Would you like to take another look inside my work space? This part of the tour is relatively self-explanatory. The area I'm going to show you today is where I store my fabric and a large built-in bookshelf opposite the fabric. Originally we had no idea what to do with this awkward, wide, and deep closet in the upstairs just off the office space. It's tucked under the sloping roof of our Cape Cod house, so I can only stand up straight partway in.
Once I ruined a piece of fabric by having it sit in the sun, folded, for a few days (leaving an awkward pale stripe over much of the usable space). Then I realized what this closet that was far away from sunlight was meant to be: fabric storage.
The space is still tiny, so it's difficult to depict in photos the overall layout, but I'll try my best.
This is the best I could get in trying to capture the overall fabric storage space. Like I said, tiny, but extremely functional. Just imagine identical shelves on the left and right as you stand at the entrance (and a basket of scraps on the floor, oops!).
Legos greet me everywhere in my house. Can anyone else with young boys relate?? And, ah, that floor...we plan to eventually install something new but I'm tempted to slap on some garage floor paint in the meantime. 1960's linoleum that's supposed to look like...a peach alligator?
Greens and blues. All fabric that is greater than half a yard is folded and stored on comic board cardboard pieces. They make great mini-bolts (and are quite inexpensive at about $13/100 on Amazon). When I started using the studio, fabric was haphazardly piled everywhere. Once I took the time to fold everything and display it on these mini-bolts, my efficiency went sky high! I can SEE everything at a glance, which makes life a lot easier. The bottom shelf holds some inventory and booth setup materials. Keeping inventory out of the sunlight is as important as keeping fabric protected.
The top shelf has a basket filled with canvas, and one filled with white felt (leftover from all those angel wings I made at Christmastime!)
Large bolts of fabric. Occasionally, something will be so popular that I will buy an entire bolt. Pink anchors, navy blue anchors, lobsters, flip flops...can you tell I live in a New England resort area populated by lots of US Navy and sailing folks? This is also where I store my interfacing (more on that in a sewing tips post) and PUL. For those that remember the goodie bags I made for Valentine's Day, I stumbled upon a few yards of conversation heart fabric (out of print) after the holiday and scooped up all that they had.
Pinks and purples, plus "holiday" on the bottom shelf. I make a LOT of things for women and girls! The back corner holds two bins of felt that I use primarily to make games.
Teal, red, black and neutral.
Utility fabric. This is where I keep the ripstop nylon, mesh for produce bags and small pieces of PUL.
Going back to the center of the room, there is a chest of drawers that mostly houses ribbon. There are other odds and ends, and this tends to be messy since I let my children have free reign for art.
This is an actual shirt that I made for my husband back when we were first married 12 years ago that hangs on the rod in this area. Honest to goodness, he wears the thing! I use it as an example for my students to think outside the box. Sometimes WAYYYYYYY outside the box! This fabric is intended to be purchased by the panel to make a stuffed duck. Stuffed. My husband thought it would be hilarious to make clothing out of the fabric because no one would have a shirt like this. Um, he was certainly right about that! Bless his heart, he wears it at least once a summer. I made him promise that he would wear it if I was going to take the time to make it. He stayed true to his word. If anything, it's quite the conversation piece!
The instructions for how to sew the stuffed duck are printed on the piece of fabric that appears on the shoulder. You know, the part that otherwise would have been thrown away...
The last area I will show you today is the shelving across from the fabric closet. You can see my desk chair off in the far right of this photo. This is what you see when you first get to the top of the second floor stairs. This is also where I store my primo nautical fabrics.
My nautical fabrics and my favorite sewing books.
A sewing machine we bought for my daughter (don't ever buy a fake "toy" sewing machine--go for a refurbished real one--this one is so noisy and makes a crappy chain stitch with no bobbin...it was a great idea, but it doesn't really work.) Here are some more books, a dollhouse-sized Singer treadle sewing machine, and some random storage.
Lastly, some buttons and other decor on the shelves. The Drexel Dancers mug is from my college modern dance days.
I'll leave you with two inspirational prints I have hanging to the left of these shelves that you see as soon as you enter the space. Two more areas to show you after today, one fun with my cutting table and projects-in-progress, the other utilitarian for shipping Etsy sales. I hope your week is off to a great start!
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.