When I was in college and just after I worked in a few costume shops for the college theater, a local light opera, and a nearby university. I learned a lot about sewing and drafting during that time, but the thing that has stuck with me over the years was the furniture the shops were equipped with that made everything about sewing and creating such a breeze.
First there were the cutting tables. Made of plywood and two by fours with an MDF top so we could use rotary cutters without damaging anything, they were standing height or a little above (maybe 40″ high? Higher than kitchen counters) and they were wonderful to work on. They even had a lower deck to store supplies and rest one foot on while you were working.
And then there was the ironing table. Not an ironing board. Nothing so flimsy. An ironing table, the size of a kitchen table and padded and stretched with muslin for easy yardage pressing. We had sleeve boards and tailor’s hams for sleeves and fiddly bits, but for the most part it was just 3’x4′ of pure ironing surface. (12 SQUARE FEET OF IRONING POTENTIAL.) Not to make a big deal out of it, but it made an impression.
So when I saw this old workbench sitting by my neighbors’ curb I knew what it wanted to be.
I had a sample of fabulous sunset orange paint on hand that has been waiting for the perfect project and a scrap of the most adorable woodland fabric that was waiting for a chance to shine.
I’m sure that the shelves will be more heavily laden than this shortly (and I’m dreaming of matching crates or baskets to prettify it), but for now this is making my heart beat a little faster every time I enter the studio.
And look at all that surface area. It makes me want to iron All the Things.
If you are hankering to make your own ironing table, I just stretched two layers of cotton batting across the part of the table I wanted to cover and stapled it to the underside of the tabletop, covered it with one layer of muslin and stapled that and it was done. I will never fight with a flimsy ironing board again.