Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Behind Burlesque, The Sewing Series - Voodoo's Space

A little while ago my sister did a nice little blog post titled "Home as Temple/Temple as Home" and while it had to do with more magical spaces in the home it did get both of us thinking about decor and functionality in small spaces. As a result both of us did some altering in our apartments which led me to re-organize one of my most important spaces:

My costume/sewing area.

Now, while both me and my sister are witches we are both different in how we create things and weave spells. Mandy is much more the scribe in the family - creating things through words, knowledge and will. Where as I think of myself as more of the hands on type, it may be weird to think that sewing costumes and what not can be considered magic but to that I say why not? It has some of the same fundamentals as any spell. Such as figuring out what the intent is, creating the base, infusing it with energy/power and voila!

There is something very powerful and lovely about being able to slip into a costume you have made yourself, feel the power between the fabric and then use it to dazzle a room full of people. It's almost like the ultimate glamour spell.

This isn't to say that every single costume I make I weave a spell into, but even with simple projects there is a place my mind goes to when I get into that sewing zone. It's special to me, it makes me tingle with a creative force and because of that I am very particular about my sewing station and set up.

And so, without further ado I take you on a little tour of my space and how I work.

My actual sewing station is set up next to my living room mantel, off to one side and near the corner closet that stores all my clothes. The reasons I picked here for my work station was because it's close to my candles and ritual things, I like to keep those close as I find it inspires and relaxes me while I work. It is also close to any clothes I might want to use as a sewing example, and as an added bonus I can put my cup of tea on the mantel.

You can see that I try to keep my sewing area fairly tidy, main threads stay out and I keep all my bobbins/needles/etc in a pretty little book box. The rest of my thread and scissors I store in the two drawers that are in the desk.

The rest of my sewing supplies and work tools are actually spread out through the whole living room, I don't have a large place so I have to be very smart about where and what I store. My sewing form and tools such as glue gun, hammer, wire cutters and the like I keep across the way by the window in a little rolling Ikea cart. I like having the form by the window because it allows me to look outside while I work, or to get some fresh air if I'm caught up in a particular sewing frenzy.

A large portion of my fringe and fabric goes into nice vintage looking boxes on the other side of the window, the top box is for my boyfriend's bow-tie collection, the middle is all fringe and the bottom is fabric.

On the other side of the mantel are some hand stained crates that hold the larger pieces of fabric that I own, the bottom is for non stretch fabric where as the top is for all the spandex and stretchy fabric I own and use. And yes, that's a banjo case.

This fun little box, sitting on top of my Lovecraft Ouija board is what stores all my wigs and drag accessories. If you're curious as to what these items sit on it is a little side dresser that also contains my underwear, socks, leg warmers and tights. A lot of the items in my house do double duty.

And speaking of double duty, whoever said you had to keep only food and dishes in your kitchen? Not this girl! I was actually blessed with a fairly large kitchen in my apartment so rather then waste it I now use the bottom cupboards to  house my many boxes of supplies such as rhinestones, sewing patterns, trim, beads, and so on.

The last bit of storage is my huge walk in closet that houses all my regular clothes (which are hung up on the first rack) and the costumes I use the most (which are hung up on the second rack), any other costumes that don't get as much use I pack into two suitcases and keep in the downstairs locker of the apartment building.

And there you have it! This is how I use my small space to house a very large collection of sewing and costume projects. Next time we will explore one of the other burlesque ladies sewing/craft areas so stay tuned!

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