New storage

A couple of posts ago I'd asked how you store your fabrics as I was desperate for some new storage...well, I found my dream piece of furniture: this 1940s drapers unit (below) on the website for Castle Gibson - a shop (although I think the shop bit has now closed down) that we used to visit regularly when we lived in London. I imagined backing each glass window with a fabric that hinted at what colours might be found inside. I had conjured up the smell of varnish and musty oldness that would be disturbed each time a drawer was taken out. I had even had visions of myself listening to classical music in its presence (this doesn't happen very often). For it is one of those pieces of furniture that would make you feel special every time you were near it and, in my imagination, would require its owner to be a picture of serenity and sophistication. And then Mr Teacakes said that I could have it (I can't think of anything he's ever actually said I can't have, which is very clever as well as lovely, for the minute his permission has been granted, an impetuous desire to burn money is overtaken by being Mrs Sensible). Guilt somehow got between spending an obscene amount of money and the drapers cabinet being in our bedroom...and so I said 'no thank you...I would very much like some budget drawers from Ikea instead'.

(Photo by Castle Gibson)

So a day of flat packing has been and gone (I actually enjoyed it, and found it very satisfying to spend a day feeling competent with a hammer for once after my recent disasters). But as you might expect, having imagined a whole new life involving a draper's cabinet, there is a small mental leap to be taken before one can be truly overjoyed at being in possession of two sets of rather utilitarian white drawers from Ikea. But I think in this case the happiness has come in the using. I went for drawers in the end because I knew that I work too messily to cope with would be too upsetting when I disrupted a whole pile of neatly folded fabrics every time I wanted to look at something from mid-pile. This way I can easily flick through and select fabrics in the same way that I remember seeing my father do with his vast collection of LPs.

As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, the pink drawer is rather full. The others are divided into solids:

Blues & browns:
Felts, yellows and greens:

Oooh! And that then leaves a whole four other drawers for interfacings, findings, pattern pieces, cutting mats, and the wrapping and packaging for Made by Florence things.

The magnetic board above the drawers is also from Ikea. I have some fabric that I'm hoping to cover it in, but am still feeling cornerish about how the metal will react to the staple gun, so am postponing finding out by having a think about the alternative attachment techniques for one not in possession of a hot glue gun. The other change that I have planned is for my sewing desk. I oiled my old school desk regularly and so never had to worry about water marks from cups, but this desk came waxed by its previous owner and I wasn't sure how to redo it...and so it has been upsetting to find that even the slightest drop of water leaves a mark. So my local glaziers are currently cutting and polishing a sheet of glass for me, and I am busy pondering what fabric or paper I might want beneath the glass. I'd thought of doing this a while ago, but had worried that it might be costly...but I was amazed to find that my piece of glass will cost less than £20...which only makes me worry that resurfacing is such an affordable activity that I may just cover every horizontal surface of the house in this way.

Yes, I know I'd originally said I'd only got an alcove to play with, and somehow I now seem to have a whole sewing wall. It has involved moving my wardrobe into a place that I'm not entirely happy with - but the sewing happiness to be had from having one's fabrics easily accessible far outweighs how irksome this is.

So this week I have been on a bag making spree - here are some of the pattern pieces laid out and ready to be sewn up a couple of days ago - two are now finished and I have one still to make up. I have also been listening to some new music after discovering Last FM...which asks what your favourites bands and musicians are and then suggests similar artists and creates your own personalised radio station of music. I am thinking that Joshua Radin has a rather dreamy voice - apparently he found fame after this song was featured on an episode of Scrubs.


  1. I love that song too! How funny Florence as I have been trying to find out who sang it. (Heard it on Scrubs, she says with great embarassment!).
    Like the new drawers and can see the beauty in being able to shut the work away. Looking forward to seeing your new bags x

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your discovery of! You have made my workday a lot better because now I can listen to some of my favorite music during the day. :) Yay!

    The storage system looks great. Can't wait to see the finished bags.

  3. Perhaps you could use the strong sticky backed velcro for attaching the fabric to the board?
    Hen x

  4. I have the same ikea magnetic board, bought with the same idea to cover it in fabric.

    I have yet to actually do it, as I can't decide what fabric to use, or where to put it, but I do have a plan on how to get the fabric on. I am going to try Craft Mount (spray glue in a can), which says it will stick metal and fabric together.

    My hope is it is the glue is more tacky, than wet, so won't penetrate the fabric leaving a stain. I will spray the back of the fabric all over, and then wrap it round the board, then use Gaffer tape on the back to hold the fabric more securely.

    That is my hope anyway, good luck, if I get round to doing it before you do I'll let you know how I got on.


  5. Thank you Florence I am now a Joshua Radin fan now thanks to your link! what a beautiful voice.

    Lovely fabric storage too! you can see exactly what you want straight away! wonderful.

    Right I am now off to find out where i can buy this Joshua Radin album.

  6. Hi Florence... what will power you have to turn down that drapers cabinet!... it is gorgeous.
    i am very impressed though with how streamlined your new storage is. I bet it's a joy to slide your drawers in and out... and glimpse those beautiful fabrics. Look forward to seeing your new creations,
    warmest wishes
    Ginny x

  7. Oh...sigh...Castle Gibson...I have a very lovely old stationers chest of drawers from there, from back in my London days. You must possess the most extraordinary willpower to turn down that drapers chest. Your ikea storage looks lovely - fresh and modern and bright, and perfect for your stash!

  8. I am always full of respect and admiration for the tidiness of your work are. I have a whole room and its very tempting to throw stuff in and shut the door. I did three different workshops in one day this week and the disruption is almost terminal. I just can't seem to get things back to normal.
    looking at your peace and calm has given me new impetus.

  9. That is one of my challenges this year - organise a proper work space. I have had so many projects on in the last couple of months and there is stuff everywhere. I had to tidy for my daughter's birthday party and lost all sorts of things. I actually have a big old chest of drawers that will soon have nothing in it and I hadn't considered it for fabric. I think it would be perfect!

  10. Oh my, but the drapers cabinet.... You probably made the best choice. I have also been loving last fm recently what a wonderful creation.

  11. Doesn't it feel so good to have pretty fabric alll piled neatly to look at?


Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x