Come behind the scenes at Whipstitch for a #CraftRoomTour and see Deborah's home office in Atlanta, Georgia.
I love that it's a big space, but not so huge that I'll stuff it full of too much--the dimensions really help me to manage how much fabric I hoard and force me to be very efficient in planning and laying out my projects. At the same time, I can fit three people and a camera with lights in here all at the same time, so it's functional as a working photo and video studio. I love working from home, because it allows me to make the most of my time--no irritating commute--while still giving me a dedicated space where I can create.
Tell us about your space
This room measures 15 x 15 feet, so it's a generous size. I don't have to share it, but it is visible from the front door, so I have to work to keep it organized and tidy!
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
Adding bookcases for all my sewing books and bringing in sewing-related ephemera (a tiny vintage toy sewing machine, an enormous pair of carved wooden shears, my own cross stitched wall hangings) has made this space feel really welcoming to me. I love my corner desk, which gives me plenty of room to both access my computer for editing photos and video, and also houses both my sewing machine and serger within easy reach of one another. I'm a big believer in decorating with plants. Having a clothing rack in the studio keeps works-in-progress and patterns-in-development always in sight and top of mind so projects don't get lost!
How do you keep organized?
I have a file cabinet where I work to keep track of every workshop, online class and pattern I develop. I keep my planner and this year's "jot-it-down" idea notebook in a vintage desk organizer on my work table. My cutting table is ALWAYS cleaned off, every evening, so that I can begin work the next morning without having to dig through piles of things--if I'm really on my game, I set out all the supplies for the next day's work on the cutting table the night before. I keep a tray to the left of my computer for must-do paperwork, and a tray on my cutting table for my must-have tools--it's such a huge help to know at a glance just where things are!
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
One of my best purchases--and it was a big one, at the time--is a tall set of metal drawers. I think it's a reproduction, but they look wartime vintage, and those drawers hold a LOT more than it appears. Each drawer is labeled on the front with its contents, and I work very hard to ensure that ONLY what's on the label goes inside. I can't put into words how greatly that one thing increased my efficiency and has helped me keep the necessary clutter of sewing under control. I found these drawers for $400 at a flea market, which seemed like too much to spend, but they were worth every penny just for keeping things tidy!
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I have an incredible vintage sewing box shaped like a bird that I found on Etsy and adore. Along with my vintage metal desk organizer and a yellow Ikea glass-front cabinet, the bird really brings some whimsy into the room. I have some of my own cross stitch on the walls, but mostly I decorate with my current projects displayed around the room! The dress form in the corner is almost always wearing my most recent pattern design, which is encouraging and motivating as I work.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I used to keep a wall of images torn from magazines (which I've since taken down), and now I generally keep them in a folder or notebook for reference. I have a croquis sketchbook that I love, and as I get ideas, I'll sketch out a garment and include any magazine photos or images that might flesh out that design. I also love Pinterest--who doesn't?
Where do you look for inspiration?
I love flea markets and vintage magazines. Old movies are great, especially for wonderful clothes with great details on them. Going for hikes and boat rides and beach trips with my husband and children deeply inspires my color palette, and planning adventures with them always gives me new ideas about bags and garments that would be useful and fit well into a busy lifestyle.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
Higher ceilings!! No doubt, that would be first--I adore the airiness of a high ceiling. I'd love built-in shelving around the walls, with lots of windows in between, to allow me to keep everything off the floor but still have lots of light. And as greedy as it sounds, I'd love more space! We have an unfinished basement, and I dream of finishing it out with lots of bright light and white paint.
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