The Eternal Maker Crafts

Monday, 10 August 2009

5 weeks, 4 days, 4 lorry bays, 1500 bolts of fabric

When we were told we had to move, it took a while to sink in.  Despite the pure terror of the actual move, we were initially optimistic, this could be a good thing, we thought.
And then we started looking.  
Apparently, our criteria is a pretty tricky list to fulfill in this area.  Parking, space, light, easy access.  We soon discovered that although we could tick one, maybe two boxes on our list, to tick all was seemingly impossible.
We spent days driving up and down each road leading into town, trying to find THE place.  It had to exist.  Mum pointed out each potential place while I mentally tried to convince myself that this could work yet all the while it's negatives helped to confirm an image of the place that couldn't possibly exist, yet would be perfect. 
Finally Mum pulled in at one end of Terminus Road.  I was just thinking to myself, this is it, we either shut up shop, or go to one of the places that was wrong,and move again in a year.  This was not what I wanted.  Mum lost patience with me (obviously this happens a lot, but this time was pretty bad).  "What is it exactly you want?" she asked.
"A cross between an old brick warehouse and an old fire station" I said, having seen a cool fire station conversion online recently.  
I can't remember her answer, and quite possibly it's not something I want to repeat here, I must keep her image as a respectable lady.  The point was, there was NOTHING like that to be found in the vicinity.
We drove on.  And 2 minutes later, there it was.

Now, unfortunately, I don't have any before photos of the building as a whole from outside, but I have some closeups.  As you can see, it needed a little bit of work.
It was an old lorry depot.  The walls and ceiling were covered in diesel, grime, and goodness knows what else.  The fittings were dated from a time long before regulations, and the windows were cracked and peeling.




It's a shame not to be able to show you better pictures of this stage.  You'll just have to take my word for it.  It was bad, but it was great.  It was awful, but it was PERFECT.
After a few weeks of back and forthing with agents and solicitors, it was ours.  
First thing was a clean.  Armed with boiler suits and sprays and all sorts of cleaners, the workmen went in.  Ian, John & Jan were our workforce, and they worked and they worked.  Here it is during and after the clean:
 




and then came the painting.  800 litres of white paint later, and suddenly things were taking shape.  Flooring got laid, window panes replaced.

then, as false walls and shelves were being built, we could get on with the decorative parts: I made my friend lizzie (an illustrator, if anyone needs any great illustrations done, she can do small scale too) draw the biggest pair of scissors I think that maybe has ever been seen on the south coast of england (do you think?)


and lizzie and Rachael our shop manager and I painted some signs...

mum multi tasking- taking phone calls and dredging a pit...

And then came the move. As we had to move out of the old place, and the work wasn't finished yet, suddenly there was a big pile of boxes we had to work around.

and then trees started sprouting in odd places...

we ate a lot... (to keep our energies up of course) and look how many people turned up to chip in towards the end!



literally last minute cleaning before the doors open

and here it is, finally, the eternal maker and the button company craft warehouse, incorporating just sew sewing machines, wholesale & retail supply of fabric, paper, buttons, threads, and all round lovely stuff.

finally space to get out all those jars of buttons, and look at the fabrics and threads, it's like rainbows.
workshop space, fully equipped with big tables, sewing machines, & everything else necessary to make beautiful things...
view from the door looking left
my lovely trees, trimmed to perfection by foxearth tree surgery, I'm pretty sure it's the first job they've had where they had to trim dead branches to someone's specifications- a little off here, please, you've missed a bit.  A bit shorter, yes perfect.  Chainsawed to perfection.
sofa, bought at a car boot sale for £20, re-covered in Momo's wonderland fabric, in home decor weight, by the very clever Rachael (look out for her in next month's sew hip!)
the view to the right from the centre.
giant coat hangers, perfect for hanging your quilts on, or for giant's clothes.

we used some old wardrobes on their sides for shelving, perfect for fabric bolts
and cut slat board to size to fit in old drawers, to put in hooks and hang things from.
an old dressmakers dummy from a car boot sale, I wish I could reduce or increase my size with knobs and dials in my middle.

our old kitchen table from when I was growing up - now a handy cutting table.
I think they like our new home, we certainly do!

7 Comments:

  • At 10 August 2009 at 16:42 , Anonymous Lou Butt said...

    And this is why Anna is also the editor of SEW Hip. With a visionary mind like hers, how could we not have her onboard! Anna I'm in awe of you! Lou x

     
  • At 11 August 2009 at 17:13 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's lovely in real life to. Oh to have that vision!

     
  • At 15 August 2009 at 21:05 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Can't wait to come for a visit next time I'm in town to see my brother!

     
  • At 23 August 2009 at 22:47 , Blogger Lanna said...

    It really made my evening to see this post. Having a lovely new UK fabric shop up and running, particularly one with such vision, is just wonderful! I shall have to venture down from Scotland sometime. :) I wish you all the success that your hard work has earned you!

     
  • At 24 August 2009 at 12:18 , Blogger QuiltmumUK said...

    What a wonderful transformation and I am so pleased to have discovered you at the Festival of Quilts this year!

     
  • At 26 August 2009 at 17:09 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You have done wonders! Your shop looks amazing. I came to find you today but your website still has your old address in Oving Road. We drove up and down twice and when we got home I eventually found your new address! Looking forward to visiting asap! This area definately needs a crafting empire. Good Luck.

     
  • At 4 September 2009 at 21:36 , Blogger sewbox said...

    Wow, what a splendid job! It looks fantastic!

     

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