Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Stand Here Ironing

I had no idea I had amassed so many *Victorian to 50's-fabulous* pieces of vintage clothing.
If these clothes were in my own closet I'd leave the wrinkles in.

But presenting them for sale is another matter. I think that's why a lot of the items currently in my shop get ironed. The linens. The fabric yardage. The vintage clothes and lingerie.

I wanted a place in the shop to iron but my ironing board is not pretty or decorative.

This is my solution.

Under that very cool patchwork of fabric is my ironing board. With that fabric over it, even the shape is disguised! The fabric goes all the way to the floor, so I can hide the iron, spray bottles of water & starch, pressing cloths, etc.

My view as I iron.

I'm not very good at doing nothing. When I sit I can stay put if I read. I don't think I have ever watched tv without a magazine to look at, or a game of spider solitaire on my laptop! About a month ago I discovered the value of ironing in the shop. It allows me to do nothing, or at least stand still for a bit. It's really soothing and I don't feel guilty. It's an easy project to drop when customers arrive. And it really doesn't make much of a mess. This is excellent; I am way too good at making messes!

When I iron, I often think of Tillie Olsen's short story, "I Stand Here Ironing" from her book, Tell Me A Riddle. I read it in college when feminist literature was just finding its feet. The story, about a mother's estrangement from her daughter is told from the mother's perspective as she irons her family's clothes. The story was written in the 1930's, tho it wasn't published for 30+ years. My mom taught me to iron in elementary school and I know the reflectiveness that comes upon moving the iron across a shirt or dress. It's a poignant story, sad even, but real, and I love the title!


Lori said...

i am drooling here!!! that all looks so gorgeous!!! i love what i can see of the frilly number with the ribbons and scalloped edges...*sigh*

cammy @ freckledfarm said...

Such wonderful photos of such lovely things and what a pretty view you have while ironing all of your lovelies.

Stephenie said...

I'm with Lori, you really have such beautiful things.. I really wish I lived closer, I'd so be shopping there all the time..

Elyse said...

i am swooning over your eloquent writing and beautiful things! i love that adorable apron!

here's to a few wrinkles ... in fabric, that is.


sharon said...

I just came across your blog and am really enjoying it. I spend time on Cape Cod every summer (it's my favorite place in the whole world) and would love to visit your shop next summer. Can you let me know where it is?