Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Cleaned My Sewing Room You Guys

For the first time ever, the floor is not covered in fabric scraps and trailing bits of thread, my feet are not printed with textile dust, and I can see where everything is!  It's amazing!  It's a pretty nice little space, too--we had originally planned to use it as an office (hence the vestigial printer) but since I write best stretched out on a couch and dear partner likes her little desk in the living room better, it has slowly morphed into a sewing room.  It has its charms--good light in the afternoon and evening, a couch (not pictured) to sit on while I do handwork, the Door Into Nowhere (one of several in our weird Victorian-servants-quarters apartment).  And, of course, the fact of having an entire dedicated room for my sewing is still a wonderful novelty.

It also has its little quirks: the rickety makeshift desk; the very hard, very cold floor; the door that blows closed and sticks in the jamb whenever there's the slightest draft so that on at least one memorable occasion I have had to shout for dear partner to come and let me out.

Now that the space is finally clean, I'm experimenting with a new system for organizing my sewing materials.  I call it "the Shoebox System."  Somehow, in a small apartment inhabited by two not-particularly-fashion-inclined people without overmuch interest in shoes, shoeboxes still manage to collect on every available surface--every surface, that is, not already covered in pieces of my Sewing Diaspora--scissors, tape measure, and notebook in one corner with a half-drafted pattern, pincushion and thread on a pile of rumpled fabric in another, a small and lonely community of seam rippers sitting on the bookshelf.

The Shoebox System is a solution to both of these problems!  Step the Former: divide all upcoming projects between the smaller shoeboxes (flat sneakers, sandals, and the like) so that each box contains all the fabric and notions necessary for a pencil skirt, a pair of trousers, a crinoline.  Step the Latter: use a larger box (boots, perhaps) to hold both the fabric and notions for the current project--here, a pair of Sailor Shorts--as well as all your basic sewing necessities: dressmaker's shears, pincushion, rulers, tailor's pencil.  Want to watch TV while you hem?  Simply carry the box with you.  Everything is at your elbow and at no risk of finding itself orphaned and inadvertently sat or stepped or spilled upon by unsuspecting members of the general public, i.e. dear partners!

And lastly, here is the woman-shaped object whose conveniently me-sized shoulders and bust make a passable dress form!  In between projects she stands with her back to the window, probably casting a frightening headless shadow.  

That's a light-up children's toy she's wearing between her improbably pointed breasts, by the way.  I thought she deserved something nice for herself.  I also think she deserves a name.  Any ideas?


  1. Have you ever read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith?

  2. No, but I just looked it up and it looks very charming. Is it good?

  3. Her name should be Dottie.

  4. Whitney agrees. Dottie she shall be.

  5. It is very charming and pretty good. Dan actually likes it. My point in mentioning it, though, was that the girls in the book have a dressmaker's dummy in their room and the younger one makes her talk. The dummy's name is Mrs. Blossom, I think.