Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Parlor Cabinet Meets Rachel, Modifying my Evening Work

My evenings tend to be dedicated to hand work. That is going to change a little. My dear Sweet Lucy, the almost 16 year old Black Lab who is my constant (and I mean constant) companion, has much difficulty with steps these days. While her medications do greatly improve her mobility, steps remain a struggle. My studio is downstairs and she insists on being with me. So, I compromised with a small sewing set up in the family room so that I can continue my stitching while cooking and after dinner.

I needed a piece of furniture that I can close and hide the clutter of sewing. I dressed the top up a bit with a little mini-quilt, an antique-reproduction dough bowl filled with dried pip berries, a candle tray and potpourri. A disguise of sorts but it is a sewing cabinet for sure. My term is Parlor Cabinet!

Meet the Parlor Cabinet. I saw this designation of Parlor Cabinet on an antiques web site that I felt was perfect. My Fraternal Grandmother was a professional seamstress and her dining room was her workroom. I never remember it being used for dining. There was a large standing wardrobe where she kept clients garments and her reliable Singer 99 in a studio cabinet. The table was almost against the wall and used for cutting, lay outs etc.
pretty basic in design, it is a cube.

This one is efficient and fairly small and fits well in a designated corner of my room. The name of the cabinet is "The Compact." It comes mostly assembled, it has an air lift adjustable insert for dropping the machine into the cabinet for closure. It positions for Free-Arm use, Flat Bed use and storage. The manufacturer is Tailormade, by Tailormade Limited. I bought mine through my Baby Lock dealer.
Inside the front door. approximate measurement when open 47 inches by 17 1/2 inches.

The inside front door is outfitted with little shelves and compartment to store bobbins, thread, miscellany. I can perch my workbooks on the bottom lip and it has wheels! I have chosen the "Teak" color to better blend with my other furniture and woodwork in that room.  
machine in storage position

While I am not keen on clutter up here, I will do my best to contain a single project in a large basket. (she said with grand optimism)
the air lift feature for the machine has two stops, one for flat bed sewing and one for free arm use.

I plan to use Rachel in this cabinet and the insert to convert to flatbed is still in production. We will see. I feel sort of sorry for the vintage Singer Rockateer hanging out in a trolley in the studio. She may be the substitute.
this is the flat bed position and there is a custom insert in production to convert the flat space
the whole caboddle has wheels and it is very easy to move on hard wood floors and suspect decently easy to move on carpet if that is your situation. Important feature on the door, please note that it has a full length piano hinge for stability and strength. Many cabinets like this have two simple swing hinges. This feature totally upgrades the product, IMO>
there is a little lip shelf on the base that I suspect is there for structural value but I am using it to store a small rotating cutting mat and my work book

in storage position

  • Compromise is the name of the game these days.  I need to be able to change things up a bit it I want to finish anything :)
  • This cabinet is well made, sturdy and nicely finished. Well worth the investment.
  • I Love Lucy, that is what is most important and she goes where I go so there you have it.
  • This manufacturer provides a Limited Warranty.

My review on Baby Lock Rachel.

Do you know Nicci Brazzell? An amazing woman with unbelievable energy! She is a Baby Lock Destiny teacher and now has started an amazing, I mean amazing collage project. You might want to check this out on one great way to deal with all those florals in your stash!!! 

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