A day at the Mercantile

DSCN0113.2It really is a great deal. For one job, I get paid to ride horses, and for the other job, I get paid to play with fabric all day. There’s been a learning curve for both jobs, but each is going well in its own way.

DSCN0097.1The Hill City Mercantile is a relatively recent addition to Hill City Main Street, and is a beautiful renovation job on a building from the early 1900s. Pam and Gary, the owners, have done a marvelous job on the interior of the building, and it is just a gorgeous workplace. Sliding doors and exposed brick give the shop an industrial flair, and the warm, bright lighting sure brings out the colors in the fabric. It is an eye-catching interior!


I’ve been sewing since I was about ten, and on and off over the past few years I had tossed around the idea of working in a fabric store–What I perfect fit it is! It might be a little difficult to hang on to my paychecks, but hopefully I’ll have sufficient self-control. Everything seems to suggest projects to me, whether it be clothing for me, clothing to sell, doll clothes, pillowcases and bedding, curtains…DSCN0098.1I especially like the Kansas Troubles line of fabric, a gorgeous collection of antique-looking prints. One of the fabrics looks like how I’ve always imagined Caroline Ingalls’ delaine dress to have looked. Green with little red berries on it. I know it was wool and not cotton, but I still think it must have looked something like our cotton print!


Today, I was given the management of remnants and fat quarters, both of which give me a little bit of artistic license as far as arranging the fabrics goes. Both jobs can be mindless activities, which is sometimes exactly what I like. I enjoy having my hands busy so my imagination is free to explore. And there’s something satisfying about baskets full of organized remnants at the end of the day. I’m afraid it is the remnants that get me–That little $2 or $4 price tag is so tempting! And what better for dolls’ clothes than small pieces of beautiful cotton!

Laura Elizabeth

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