Sunday, July 26, 2009


Or, why I'm not sewing this weekend.

My workroom started out life (well, not started out, the house has been renovated, remuddled and occasionally bastardized in its 100 years of existence) as a smallish bedroom with a built-in wardrobe. You can see the wardrobe frame on the right side of the second photo, leaning against the wall.

You can also see the nice alcove it gave me to install a worktable and move some of my machines off the cutting table.

I agonized over removing the wardrobe, even though it was no longer original to the house. The previous owner's mom had the back staircase moved in 1968, and it somehow or other (I'm afraid to think about it too hard) involved taking out a chunk of the wall in this room and making the stairs go straight instead of turning at the landing. It was actually not a bad idea - any time I bring anything large into the house, it goes through to the kitchen and up the straight back stairs - but in the process of doing that, they mangled the original built-in to the extent that I didn't mind further mangling it in the interest of sewing happiness and efficiency.

Also against the wardrobe was the fact that its doors opened in the wrong direction - the far door opened from the wall, which meant I couldn't put any storage under the window, and the near door opened toward the window, which was okay until the mirrored door fell off and almost hit my Juki. The day the door fell off was the day I decided it would be okay to do it my way.

Thursday night I got bored after dinner. I didn't feel like sewing at that point, even though I'd just cut something out the night before, and I decided to see what I could do in the way of getting some of the wardrobe taken apart. I'd already removed the doors and the interior rod and shelf back in April, when the door fell off. My demolition tools were at Mario's house, so all I had in the room with me was a 3" L bracket and my "lady hammer" - you know, the little one you use to bang in picture nails, not a hammer with any intent.

Beware a determined woman with the wrong tools, for it shall still work. By 9:00, the closet face was off, and I had also torn out the drawers at the base of the closet. I'd wanted to keep those, but structurally it wouldn't have worked without cutting the entire closet face to pieces, and I want to salvage the wood for another project.

Once I pulled out the drawers, one of which you can see sitting on my table in the top picture, I found . . . a chimney. In my closet. Now in my alcove. It must have originally been from the kitchen stove, and warmed the rooms at the back of the house, but it was severed about 1.5' from the floor, capped and concreted around. They balanced the raised floor of the closet on top of it, whacked in a few nails, and they were done. Now there's a chimney, just sitting there on the dusty hardwood floor, along with 10 packets of mouse poison, a lot of rubble, and one desiccated mouse skeleton. What the - ?

It's staying, of course. I'm going to scrounge Mario's old 2 drawer file cabinet to brace the counter top on one side, and build a frame to brace it to the wall on the other, and then I will have a workspace to put the coverstitch and the Juki, so I can have my cutting and ironing space back with only the Singer at the far end. Right now it seems like an endless task, especially since someone has waltzed off to New Jersey today to visit his family and left me with a 6' x 8' piece of wood framing that I can't actually move on my own (now that my superhuman demolition energy has subsided).

As for the countertop, it's a solid core door, and it's been residing in my dining room for about 3 months now. I just need to measure and cut it to size, and then drag it upstairs. Except I can't cut it until I get my jigsaw back from Mario's house. I don't think the wrong tools will work on this one.

Final shot: Patrones issue no. 266, top # 5, the pattern I had all cut out on the table when I got the sudden urge to destroy my house. It'll get there. As soon as I can find the table again.


Dawn said...

Every time we decide to do something to this house we find something weird too. Too many funny stories about that. Once you get it back in order, I bet you'll love it.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

So we will get to see a picture of the revision, right? Cause I know it will be a wonderful redo of your sewing room.

cidell said...

Good for you!

I made that top and it was wonky on me. Or I traced it out and never made it...

Anonymous said...

You sound just like me! I would totally start doing a project like that and most typically at 10pm at night. haha! I hope you get your tools back soon so you can get finished and then get started sewing again. If you find your mojo, please ask it where mine is.

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Ha ha, I think we must be related. Sudden surge of energy to do something destructive in the middle of the night? Check. You will not regret making your sewing room more perfect for you.

Christina said...

I have that issue of Patrones too and have always wanted to make that top. Good luck finding your pattern :)