Some of our best DIY project posts came way by special guests post from local Los Angeles crafting specialist and friend, Jenny Ryan. If you're ever in the vicinity of Silver Lake's Sunset Junction, it's highly recommended you drop by her new shop, Home Ec., a crafter's shangri-la. Jenny took time to discuss her new store, recommendations and advice about setting up a crafting space below…
Tell us a little about what one can expect when they walk through the doors of your store, Home Ec.
Hopefully they'll feel welcomed and cozy—that's definitely what I'm going for. I want Home Ec. to feel like your home away from home...or at least your craft room away from home. It's a functioning workshop with space for creating always at the ready, but it's a retail space as well offering a selection of unique fabrics, sewing patterns, all kids of how-to books, as well as some fun gift items from indie designers.
Can anyone come in and work on their crafting projects? What about classes if I’m a beginner?
Absolutely! If you're looking to rent studio time, you can schedule machine rental time on an hourly basis. This gives you access to our PFAFF sewing machines, cutting tables and tools, iron and ironing boards, etc. Or course our cozy seating area is also open to anyone who wants to come in and sit a spell with their embroidery, crochet, or other handwork projects. We do offer a variety of entry-level craft classes, from sewing to crochet to paper and fabric crafting. Upcoming classes this fall include bookbinding, paste paper making, and more!
Tell us about some of your favorite products/supplies you carry.
I think the handmade porcelain buttons from Poodlebreath have a gorgeous storybook like charm...they would be the perfect addition to a hand-knit capelet or scarf.
Lotta's Printing Studio by the amazing Scandinavian designer Lotta Jansdotter is a perfect starter kit for anyone interested in printmaking. You can customize many items in your home, from walls to furniture, along with clothing and paper too.
I love Japanese fabrics and offer a selection of prints, such as Nani Iro's amazing patterns that look as though they were painted right on the fabric. Closer to home, a carry some reproduction 1930s and '40s prints that are wonderful to use in quilting projects and the like.
Any advice for creating a crafting space at home?
I'm lucky to have a husband who also needs creative space at home, so we've split the dining room into a work area we can both use. If your options are more limited space-wise (or if you're the kind of person who doesn't want to look at your supplies when you're not using them) it's all about the armoire. I've seen some efficient and cute sewing areas set up inside vintage armoires (the book Weekend Sewing features one), which works well since you can close the doors when you're not working. Otherwise I'd say my craft organization/decor must-haves include vintage suitcases, glass jars and card catalogs or thrifted metal file drawers for small items, and of course baskets and bins galore: metal, fabric, or wooden.
Thanks Jenny for sharing about your new store and advice about crafting in the home. Be sure to check out Jenny's book Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish and her posts here at Apartment Therapy for inspiration (pssst...she occasionally even has cupcakes from nearby Lark that she shares with customers, because she's wonderfully friendly that way!).