Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Workspace Revamp

When I moved into this apartment, my mother expressed concern that there would be nowhere to relax.  I told her it didn't matter, that I'd be able to find somewhere to lounge when the desire to do so came over me.  However, I did a little creative arrangement to make space for a micro-living room.  It consisted of a set of shelves with my ancient, tiny TV (a remnant of my dorm room) and an ugly but remarkably comfortable gold recliner, purchased from Goodwill for $20 or so.  To do so, my sewing space was a little bit crowded and became more so when I brought in the Mercury.

On a whim, I priced out dress forms online one afternoon.  I found a decent one on Amazon, and the seller includes an arm up to a size 12.  I really would have preferred to buy even larger; the "usual" size for a pro dress form is an 8, but I'd really like to be working in the plus range.  Not only did sizes over 12 not include the arm, there was a significant price jump - so if I was going to buy, it would be the 12.  I'm a size 22 myself, but that's OK, I can cope with that.   The real issue was whether or not to get rid of the gold chair and give up my "living room."

I asked my friends.  I consulted my boyfriend.  I checked my bank balance.  I ordered the dress form.

If you didn't know what I meant by "arm" before, you do now.
(more after the cut)

This meant I had to get rid of the gold chair.  Fortunately a friend said she'd like to have it, so I arranged for some helpers to get it out of my place.  I'd had the form delivered to my folks' house as they are home all day to sign for stuff; my Dad agreed to deliver it and help us move the chair, but I had to provide the muscle.  It was truly remarkable to watch my Dad flawlessly thread his full-size Dodge Ram through two turns in a tight alleyway.

It took a few more days for me to have the rest of the sewing room set back up.  The machines and some of the shelving had to be moved, and that's no picnic - the Mercury weighs a ton, and the shelves are full of books and stuff.  With a little help from my awesome boyfriend, it got done.  It was a few more days before it was clean enough to take pictures.  The pictures did get taken, though, and here they are:

The kitchen and dining room table, which more often serves as a drawing table.

Moving to the right, the ironing board and the Mercury.  We raised the pendant lamp over the table to allow  a person to stand at the ironing board without burning their scalp on the light bulb.  The art above the ironing board is from design school; the art above the Mercury is Heironymus Bosch's Garden Of Earthly Delights.

The Mercury and the serger, accompanied by a cheap can light on a makeshift riser (also known as an upturned bucket), to raise the lamps up high enough to be of use.  The rest of the wall is shelving, some low below the window and some tall next to the door.

The other half of the room, with the cutting table, dress form, notions and yardage shelves.  Out of the frame to the left is some drafting tools and a place to hang the full-size cutting mat.

I did go through a lot of my stuff and a bit of it - mostly art from college - will go into storage.  One treasure I freed up from a particularly nasty stack of clutter is my portfolio.  Mom bought it for me while I was in school in Tukwila and, much to her great disapproval, I promptly stenciled it with a Jolly Roger.  Mother thought it unprofessional, but I have never gotten anything but rave reviews over it.


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