Thursday, 7 February 2013

A studio sewing table

Let me tell you a sad, sad story of the one worst moving-purges I've ever done (I promise, there's a happy end!). When I lived with my mom I had a pretty 60s teak writing desk. It was a perfect size, 80x120 cm, easily de-constructed for storage or transport and with two small drawers at one side, making it perfect to sew at since you could easily have two machines next to each other. However, this was before I fell in love with vintage, when 60s teak was just quaint, and before I started sewing on such an everyday basis or owned two sewing machines. But I did love the desk, and something about it spoke to me (maybe a premonition of the love affair to come! ;) ). I was moving up north (leaving home for the third and final time), having rented a partly furnished one bedroom appartement, with no additional storage space, second hand. At the same time mom and my sister Kajsa was moving to Malmö, and my brother Joakim was leaving the nest. The house was sold and everybody would have less space in their new homes - lot's of hard choices were made.
I loved that desk, I really did. But the appartement already had a desk, I anyway had a load of moving boxes I couldn't store anywhere except my bedroom and the hallway. Mom stood by the car, the desk halfway out and I hesitated, so very torn. Mom said "Will you take it with you or no? I'm going to the landfill now." I closed my eyes, pushed away the knot in my belly and said "Go."

Wrong decision. Totally wrong. And one I've regretted more times than I can count. For in the end I could have found space for it even in the furnished appartement - four legs and a slice of wood is easy to fit in and I anyway felt like I lived in a storage space that first year. When I moved to my own place it would have been perfect. Not so long after that the love-affair with vintage started, I began appreciating the old teak furnitures more and I started sewing more regularly. For five years I've searched for the twin of the desk I foolishly let go (don't think about the landfill, don't think about it smashed to pieces. D**n, too late.)

I try to tell myself that I've learned something very important through this: Sometimes it's hard to let go of old things because of misguided nostalgia, and then it's a sort of catharsis to clean them out. Hard to do, but you feel better afterwards. Other times, it's hard to let go because you deeply love something, even though it's not practical or doesn't fit in. And then it's foolish to ignore your resistance, it's better to keep what we deeply love close to us, and adjust the little things in life to them, instead if the other way around. The trick is to learn to tell the difference between nostalgia and true affection.

So, all of this said, I've been on the look out for a new sewing table for years. I've activly searched for two years, since moving to my non-student appartement and therefore having more stability in my living situation. And I've finally found it! And it's even better than the one that got away! May I introduce you to...

It's an old studio sewing table that belonged to the seller's passed away mother (a lady who apparently ran her own sewing studio). I'm pretty sure it's made to order, as there are so many unique features to it (and some signs of traditional woodman craft).

It's 110x150 cm (xxx"), so it's huge! At least in my book it's huge =) The surface is covered with something that has a suspicious similarity to plastic carpeting, but whatever it is, it's very unsensitive to needles, scissors etc, and the fabric doesn't shift around a whole lot on it. I like it =)

There are two sets of drawers, the bottom one on the right side is tailormade for hanging folders.

On the other shortside there's a beautiful shelf, perfect for storing boxes of sewing supplies and sewing reference books.

It was in pretty bad shape, but after some cleaning and a lot of teak oil it looks great. It was also a bit unstable, but some wooden plugs to secure the table top to the drawer unit and it's standing still =)

It is a bit big for my sewing area, but I don't care - I love it! Looking forward to spending lot's of hours at it for the next 40 years or so =) And I've learned my lesson: even if there comes a time in my life when I don't have room for it, I'll find a way to store it until I have space again. This time, I'm holding on!

I'm off to sewing, there's a lovely table calling to me for attention... =) Have a great weekend!

Love, Erika


Anthea said...

That's a great sewing table!

Suzanne said...

I haven't been this jealous in a long time. Beautiful table.

Tasha said...

I have gotten rid of things over the years that I have later regretted, so I know the feeling. What a beautiful table that you found in the end, though!!

Kajsa said...

Great story-telling sis! I got all choked up. Beautiful table, and it doesn't look too big =)

Sarah said...

I'm jealous!! It's so lovely!
What a great find, maybe you were meant to let the other table go in order to have this one!!

Foster said...

That is a fabulous table and beautiful to look at. My sewing table is a giant 60s or 70s style office desk that I bought for 25 dollars. I love it!

Sarah Why said...

Hello! You have been nominated for the Liebster Award here:

The Liebster award is a blog award given to new, up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers :)
Hope to see you participate!

PS. That is a beautiful sewing table, and such an organised work space! Mine's all cramped up on this tiny coffee table in my living room XD

Erika said...

Thank you, Anthea and Suzanne!

Tasha; Thank you! I agree, it really is an awful feeling, and the worst is that there's no one to blame but oneself. The only for way for me to let go of those feelings was finding a new table. I finally feel I can let go of the regret! And of course, I love the table =)

Kajsa; thank you, sweetie! It does fit the room, but it's gotten way trickier to cut out fabric single layer. No more laying out 3x1,5 metre and be able to walk around it... Not a huge problem, though, there are ways to work around that. You'll see it with your own eyes soon! Yay!

Sarah; Thank you! I think you may be right, at least finding this table has allowed me to let go of the loss of the other one.

Foster; Thank you so much! Oh, your table sounds great! I looked a lot at old office desks, but they were always too long to fit into my sewing room. I did see one amazing 50s teak corner desk. Huge, expensive and totally gorgeous. Had to realise I lacked both funds and space... So happy when this one came my way istead! Sometimes it pays off to wait and keep looking until it feels just right =)

Sarah Why; thank you so much!

Pixie S. Greene said...

Oh wow, that is a seriously beautiful piece! I love the angle of the legs on the open shelved side. I also love that it has open shelving and enclosed drawers - so versatile!

I've been acquiring vintage furniture for years now, and I also move frequently. I find it hard to come to terms with the fact that I can't take home EVERY beautiful piece I see. So sometimes, when a beloved piece of furniture has to go, I convince myself to get rid of it by thinking, "Oh well, I can get an ever BETTER items when the need arises." You've definitely done that, I think!!

Sarah Edgecumbe said...

LOVE the table. Wish i could fit something like that in.

Great blog! Have enjoyed reading it this morning. Now i SHOULD go out and plant some veges in the garden.

Have a great day, and happy sewing to you.