In our House: Fabric Trumps Doors
Our bedroom closet

In our House: Fabric Trumps Doors

I remember as a kid really being into fabric– when I was old enough to ride my bike around town, my cousin and I made Fabricland one of our top summer afternoon places-to-go and we’d raid the liquidation bin for remnants that we could afford on a 12-year-old budget- we’d make Barbie doll clothes, or I’d upholster the furniture in my miniature houses made from twigs, and once we made curtains and painted our inside jokes all over them… but my most memorable project was a tent made from this shiny, royal blue dress lining that hung from the ceiling all around my bed. It was inspired, I think, by an episode of “Trading Spaces” (my favourite show), and it was truly awesome. It was like hanging out inside a warm, blue cave, or a womb, or a cocoon.

All this to say, I always loved fabric, but I also never developed any real skill in using it. All five of my dad’s sisters are amazing seamstresses, and I gleaned little bits of knowledge off of them the few times I watched them in action. When I sit down to the sewing machine now, as I feed my little quilt squares through, the smell of the sewing machine working hard combines with this really subtle hint of cigarette smoke lingering in through the screen from my downstairs neighbors’ house. And I get such a surprising, nostalgic feeling that brings me back to my 12 year old self, spending the afternoon at my auntie’s house helping her cut out fabric to make skating skirts.

Since I remain not so skilled in sewing, but with an intense love for fabric, I’ve gone back to the things I certainly can do, which includes sewing a straight seam. When we moved into our apartment last year, most of the doors (except the obvious ones) had been removed so that the wood floor could be refinished. They were stacked in our back shed and could have easily been put back on, but we just never did. Little by little I started tacking up extra pieces of fabric I had instead. I think I still feel like I’m in a fun tent-world when there’s fabric hanging from the ceiling. It’s also like having easily removable wallpaper in little spots around my house. The fabric that hangs in the bathroom covers the little section of the room that houses our washer and dryer, and some storage cupboards. There’s something so convenient about knowing that if you don’t have time to put everything away, there are little spots like this where you can hide a pile of junk and pull the curtain in front of.

But really, I just love fabric. And who needs a door when you have an extra piece of pretty floral fabric?

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