Sew Paradise

The cabinet that says “I love you” every time it’s opened

Sewing Workstation

About two years ago, almost 3, hubby built a sewing cabinet for me. It started as a ‘where am I going to sew now that we are finally expecting a baby?’ using a small cabinet he’d built for his computer 20 years before. But quickly morphed into a fully-fledged woodworking-plans-purchased project. And he built it in a 12×12 shed and our backyard at our tiny house. Every time I open this cabinet to sew, with it’s big long side extension,  perfect for curtains or laying out my next-to-sew garment pieces, I can just feel the love (and the labor) that went into this.

I think sometimes, as women, we tend to look at all that WE do – and it’s a lot – full time work, child care, housecleaning, pregnancy and birth. Endless hours caring for infants. But I think when I see this cabinet, I see the the love my husband poured into it as he sanded, routed, measured and cut, varnished and sanded again. And it’s not only amazingly functional, but it’s gorgeous, a lovely piece of furniture we’re proud to have in our front room at our house. Men are so good like that. They build us shelves, bookcases, tables. They fix things. They look at the work of the home as their labor.

It’s transformed my sewing. I can easily open it to sew, close it up to hide it from tiny fingers. It stays neat, holds my at-hand items for sewing (fabric and more notions are stored in the basement in a cabinet and some tote bins.)

I can see my husband working in the back yard, under tarps, in the summer, as he finished it. I remember his excitement showing me the fancy drawers and drawer fronts he’d designed himself, to match our furniture, modifying the plans he’d purchased (for the record, a Rockler Woodworking plan).

And there’s much love created on this – nursery pillows for a miracle baby we never thought we’d keep. Curtains for ANOTHER miracle baby we never thought we’d conceive on our own. Maternity clothes, twirly dresses, baby layettes, training pants. Mama’s clothes, nursing tops and fancy purses.

But mainly, every time I open this cabinet, it whispers love to me. The kind of love a man has for his bride of 17+ years and counting. The kind of love men know how to give, that we often overlook, seeking flowers and flowerly words. Truth is, the love is in every sanded board, every precisely varnished piece. I don’t need roses; I think I’ll just go sew.


By paradise

I'm Ann. I've been sewing since I was 9. My first project was a denim wrap skirt. Thrifting is a way of life for me - both eco-chic and financially savvy.

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