The eighth letter: it's a goodbye

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In a few days I will be leaving Provence and letting go of my beloved studio. I am going to miss the bright and beautiful space. In order for me to produce my best work, my workspace needs to be charming and inspiring; a room that is in continuity with my universe. 

During the next few months, while work is being completed on our future house, I will be installing my things in a small room that is generously being lent to me. This room is at least three times smaller than my current studio (which is already too small ;-) and I am a little apprehensive about how this will impact my work.

This situation brings to mind the beginnings of RTS in the small alcove in my living room that was 3m2 (32 sq. ft.). I had to move my sewing machine anytime I wanted access to my printer. As for my serger, it was stored under my cutting table and if I wanted to use it I had to take it out and replace it with my computer. This is also the reason why, in my first patterns, the instructions indicated that the fabric should be serged before being sewed. This allowed me to put away the serger permanently before moving on to the sewing stage. The assembly instructions therefore always specified pressing the seam open. After working two years, 7 days a week, 12 hours pers day in such a cramped space I finally gave in and decided to spread out in the living room (which wasn’t very well received by my partner ;-)  It wasn’t ideal by any means, but it gave me a little breathing room.  

Then, my partner and I decided to leave Lyon and settle in our native Provence. We moved into a big house and I finally had a decent space to work in. It was a mezzanine under the roof, above my living room. The move also coincided with an important development for my brand that allowed me to stop working on the weekends.  

However, I quickly became disenchanted with the space once winter set in. The space was very poorly insulated, impossible to keep warm in the winter and was an oven in the summer months. I remember the heat waves that first summer, I sweated so much that drops were falling onto my patterns. I was so determined to launch my patterns that I continued to work in spite of the temperature reaching 38° degrees (100f). My solution was to take cold shower and then get right back to work !

After two years of living in the house and working in the studio, we moved into a tiny house that we had built ourselves. Obviously there wasn’t a place for a studio in a 24 m2 house (260 sq. ft.) so I decided to create a studio in our family house. It’s a big house, but a big portion of it was never renovated and it was a room in this unrenovated part that I set my sights on. The room wasn’t perfect, it was difficult to heat, it didn’t have running water or electricity, the floor was in bad shape… And yet, it’s a magnificent space that inspired me enormously and after a few weeks of work, I was able to set myself up and start working. At first it remained a blank canvas for several long months but then I started collecting and gluing dried flower petals to the walls and slowly, as the months and years passed, the walls filled up.  

Back to the present. As soon as the work at our house is finished, I will set my studio up in the guest bedroom.  It’s another small room. 

Maybe I should have found a studio for the meantime, maybe not. Maybe I will rent something, maybe I will build something… I don’t know yet. Only the future will tell. Whatever may come, I want the space to be charming and peaceful and a little magical. I would never be satisfied in a room with white walls, three recessed spotlights and a lousy plastic parquet floor. I spent countless hours in my studio working, so it’s as important to me as my house. I would say my studio is even more important to me than my own bedroom or bathroom. 

It’s pretty exciting to not know where I am headed but a little stressful as well. The idea of returning to the discomfort of the beginning of my business is not super appealing, but sometimes I surprise myself by daydreaming about a studio built out of wood, surrounded by nature with a little wood-burning stove, connected to my house by a small country path.  

And you?  Tell me, what does your dream studio look like?

PS: Right now I am hard at work, taking advantage of my current studio and doing all that I can that requires a large workspace so that I only have the computer part left (pattern grading, sewing instructions) after we move. See you soon with two new womens’ patterns!  I like them a lot and hope you will too. 


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