Friday, July 11, 2008

Where We Create: Behind the Scenes of NC Triangle Etsiers

Welcome to behind the scenes of NC Etsier JoeiReed Hats

How would you describe the space in which you create?
I've taken over most of one of our spare rooms. It doubles as an office when I'm not sewing, and my husband also has his computer in there because he likes to hang out and play computer games while I'm sewing, so we can be in the same area. I've had a dedicated sewing room in this fashion for the last decade and I could never go back to having my sewing things shoved into a corner of another room! It's so much harder to find the time to create when you have to take everything out and set it up. This way, my sewing table and my sewing machine are always ready to go. I have a large cutting table of adjustable height, covered with self-healing mat so I can use a rotary cutter on it, and a lamp clamped to it so I always have good light. I have a separate shelf with my sewing machine set up on it. Most often, I also have my ironing board set up on the other side of the room. I have two dressforms, one my size and one smaller. I have several hat stands set up for finished hats and ones in progress. I have two full-length mirrors. I also have a corner set up covered with black fabric and a stand with a mannequin head on it that I use to photograph my hats to send to customers or post in my store. The great thing about taking over a room is I get a whole closet in which to store my costumes and hats and wigs. And of course, I usually have music playing on my computer while I work.

What is your favorite thing about your space? My cutting table. It's at a great height to stand and cut fabric. I can move it out so I can walk entirely around it. And I had it custom covered with self-healing mat so I can cut on it with a rotary cutter without damaging the table.

How do you keep your space organized? My late stepfather was very good at interior design, and he was the first to suggest that I put a shelf way up near the ceiling, all the way around the room, to get all my supplies off the floor. It's a really great idea, as it really opens up the floor space. It means I have to use a stepstool to reach everything, but it's a small concession. I am big into bins - I have about 20 plastic bins with lids. About a dozen are dedicated to fabric, one color per bin. I also have two for patterns, one for feathers, two for ribbon and trim, several smaller ones for fabric flowers, and several with ongoing projects or miscellaneous notions.

Do you have inspiration pieces in your space? If so, what are they? I try to keep my fabric "filed" but I often have several pieces out that I'm dying to use. I also have some patterns out that I really want to use. But for my hats, most of my inspiration comes from my materials. If I get any time when I'm not making custom orders, I'm pulling out a color of veiling or feather I haven't had the chance to use yet.

Is there something else you'd like to share about your space? When I'm making hats, I use my cutting table as a work space, and it's usually overflowing with bins of feathers, veiling and ribbons. I am usually pulling out different colors that are buried down in the bins, so they get disorganized very quickly. The only way I completely clean up is when I'm switching to a sewing project, so I have to clear the table for cutting fabric. It lasts until the next time I have to start making hats!

Check Joei out at her Etsy store, see more pictures on photobucket and read her blog about hat care and tips.

1 comment: