Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And now for something completely different...

There's been a lot of talk in the sewing blogosphere recently about 'stash' - that is, the amount of equipment and fabric you have on hand waiting to be used. It's something I can't join in as I have no real stash to speak of - Chateau Clackett is very small, and I have no storage. My 'stashbuilding' has been limited to whatever I can fit into a couple of shoeboxes. That was a bit sad because, I mean, they're pretty Irregular Choice shoeboxes and all, but still.

So, when Jill of Retrobox got in touch with me towards the end of last year, I was immediately interested. She is an upholsterer and has a special interest in refurbishing sewing boxes. Jill had a 50s sewing box that was in need of some love, and she wondered if I'd like her to upholster it for me in my choice of fabric. My answer, needless to say, was OMG YES PLEASE.

Jill lives locally so one Friday afternoon last year we met up and nattered for an age over coffee, and I handed over some fabric. Jill explained that she was very busy for a variety of reasons, and that it might take a little bit of time to get the box to me. Fair enough - and last week, she emailed me to say that it was ready. She dropped it off here on Friday and I'm not exaggerating when I say my jaw dropped. If you look at Jill's blog you will see the before, but man - just check out the AFTER:


Regular readers may recognise the fabrics - I had just enough of the Home Sewing Is Easy fabric for Jill to make it the centerpiece of the design. The side panels are more Alexander Henry - the blue From The Hip fabric leftover from my Cowgirl Cambie dress. The whole thing is tied together with yellow twill left over from my vintage McCall's 5517 dress.

I'm honestly bowled over by this sewing box. I couldn't have imagined that Jill would present me with something so gorgeous. Now I feel like it's putting all of the rest of the furniture in my flat to shame!

I have a small Cath Kidston sewing box that holds my notions, and this one is just perfect for my fabric and the few bits of haberdashery that are too big for the other one, such as my button box and my tin of pins.

With fabric...

The Gingerbread Man (whose name is Joe) is my button box and the Vaseline tin holds my pins

There are so many gorgeous touches to the box - I wish I was a more talented photographer so you could really see how amazing they are! Jill lined the box with soft grey wool and added some adorable polka dot piping to the inside of the lid. Even the cord for holding the lid open is polka-dotted!

Jill chose all of the fabric pieces with great care and even the inside shows off the Home Sewing is Easy fabric beautifully. I couldn't have asked for anything better or more thoughtful!

The box has taken up residence in the corner of the living room that is home to my collections - some of my books, some of my prettiest shoes, my collection of Hornsea Pottery. I think it looks pretty cute:


I love the sewing box so much - I only wish I was a better photographer and could really do it justice. But I will try to do that by filling it with gorgeous fabrics!

Please do go and visit Retrobox Upholstery. As well as sewing boxes, Jill has upholstered some truly gorgeous chairs and it's a feast for the eyes over there. I couldn't be more thrilled or touched with what Jill has done for me - these fabrics say something about who I am, and it's truly special to have such an amazing and unique piece of furniture. Thank you, Jill!