What is 141 B?
141 B Crafts and Sewing – Fashion Pece’s is housed in a 12’ x 26’ shed in my yard. I purchased the shed in 2017 with some of the proceeds from my parents’ estate with the idea of creating a crafting and sewing shed, if you will, a “She-Shed”. It was my intention to design and inhabit this shed on my own, with minimal help from others. Over the next one and a half years, I installed flooring (6 layers from the subfloor), drywall, paint, a half wall, window trim, a window (in the reading loft), and carpet in the reading loft as well as paneling. It turned out that it became a group project with donations and contributions from my extended family: shelves from Diana, which I used to create sturdy walls with storage for the reading loft, two tables refurbished by Debbie, kitchen cabinets and counter tops from Jill, a sign from Laurie, the Internet from Erick, and lots of wiring, advice, and patience from Roy.
Perhaps the hardest addition to the shed was the pantyhose display from Bergner’s, a department store in our area that closed, which Roy and I wrestled through a muddy yard to the shed. It is heavy, but perfect storage for sewing patterns and other craft supplies.
I like to believe that my parents would have understood this use for the inheritance they left to me, because both of them were makers: Mom sewed, baked, crocheted, knitted, did needlepoint, embroidered, hooked rugs and created crafts of all kinds for church bazaars and in her roles as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. Mom wasn’t afraid of glitter. One of my favorite memories is crafting small nativity scenes out of Plaster of Paris and gold spray paint for our Church’s Christmas bazaar. Dozens of little sets. She dabbled in oil painting and photography. Mom taught me to sew, garden, and to bake bread and to try new crafts.
Dad was an electrical engineer who designed and built organs and electric pianos for a living, and worked wood at home, built boats and flying things both as a RC Modeler and life sized. He learned to cast bronze from found objects, and electroplated the tiny fixtures of his models. If Dad needed something that couldn’t be found at a reasonable price elsewhere, he made it. He designed it, wired it, finished it with patience and care. And when it was unique enough, he patented it. Dad taught me to take my time. After all, he often reminded me, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Both of my parents wrote: Mom hid her poetry away and brought it out shyly for my opinion once I had published a few poems, and Dad published his model reviews in craft magazines. This is the legacy my parents left me.
And now, I am sewing in the shed on a daily basis as I prepare for the opening of Fashion Pece’s.