It’s easy to forget that the garments we make are the end product of a process not only involving creative inspiration, but also plenty logistical details. Most often, these mundane and unglamorous operations occur in our sewing studios and go undocumented, save for the work in progress (WIP) Instagram uploads. Whether it is a separate space solely dedicated to the hobby or a dining room table turned workspace, it’s our place of zen. It’s also storage facility for supplies, piles of junk and all the other quirky doohickeys that we have on hand for no apparent reason. In my case, that’s a vintage Barbie doll. More on that later. You can’t hate until I explain.
If you didn’t know, I just moved. When I settled into my previous apartment, which was four years ago and in West Philly, I wasn’t as active in sewing. Now, I’m a very passionate seamstress who doesn’t go more than a day or two without touching her machine. So, the first decorative element I considered when I settled into my new digs? My sewing space. It had to be special and it had to be me, but at 550 square feet, finding and fitting room to sew comfortably would take some creative thinking. An image I’ve always kept on Pinterest featured a closet turned sewing. With all the right elements – florals, wallpaper and simplicity – it served as the basis for what I was going to do.
The splurge was the wallpaper. Boy did I splurge. I went back and forth between several patterns, but I couldn’t get my mind off flamingos. I guess I’ll always be a Florida girl (I was born and grew up in Ft. Lauderdale). The blue desk was a serendipitous purchase. On my first search for a desk, I found not just any desk, but a blue desk that matched the color of the wallpaper. Destiny. It’s from the Etsy shop, Nan and Pops Attic, and the owner, Linda, refinished it herself. Did I mention it’s maple wood? Just thought I’d throw that in there. The shelves are simple and cheap IKEA shelves. I hung them myself, but let’s just say I’m not the handiest handywoman, and there are many holes behind each one. On top are my most prized items and authors that represent me as a sewer and a person – Edna Bryte Bishop, Claire Schaeffer, pictures of my mom, pictures of my grandma, spools of thread, and pink hyndrageas. They’re not my best sewing books, but definitely my “prettier” ones. Oh, and that Barbie? What’s the deal with that? Well, when I was creating the post for Leslie’s interview, I spotted an item in one of the photos she sent me. It was a vintage Barbie. I told her that if she ever wanted to part ways with it, I would give her a new home. After much reminder, she caved and sold it to me. Iconic and controversial, I think she’s a cool, American knick-knack to have. A little kiddish, but that’s okay. Last is the orange polka dot rug. Another IKEA buy that in my opinion, pulls everything together.
Happy sewing to me, amirite?