Two Hot Pockets and a Strap

While on the phone with one of my fellow Renaissance sisters, I mentioned that I had a sewing machine for this month’s meeting. The Mister looked at me. “You have a what?” he asked, smirking. His incredulity, though a little hurtful, is completely warranted. The only thing I’ve sewn in my life is an apron in Grade 8 Home Economics. The only thing I remember liking about it was embroidering ‘SK8’ on the pocket. (I was a pretend skate betty [a girl skateboarder]. I say pretend because I hung out with all the skater dudes but didn’t own a skateboard. Poser.)

At this month’s workshop we learned how to sew an apron. Been there; done that; embroidered the pocket. Which is probably why I completely forgot about the workshop until 5 p.m. the night before. I had no fabric, no pattern. Heather Walker sent an email suggesting we wash our fabric before the workshop. I was already a step behind.

Heather Kaye, who carpools with me, was equally slack. She too hadn’t visited Fabricland for her supplies, as instructed. Reluctant but loyal Renaissancers, we attended the workshop anyway. We felt it would let down the group by not showing up. Even if all we did was drink teafarm tea and have a giggle.

We arrived late with two beastly sewing machines and a baby in a beastly car seat (note to self: must re-invent bucket car seat). The other Renaissancers welcomed us with warm smiles while listening to instructions from charming sewing expert and workshop leader, Maggie Beischer. Heather and I were catching up on what we’d missed when the smell of freshly baked cookies filled up my senses like a John Denver ballad. Within 5 minutes of arriving, I regretted not having put more effort into preparing for this workshop.

Photo by Joan Kallis, Renaissance Woman

Heather and I did our best, which, given the outcome, is pathetic. The sum of our combined 2-hour sewing effort to make a child’s apron is two pockets (which inspired me to sing Hot Pockets repeatedly), and one shoulder strap.

Our lack of finished product doesn’t represent how much we enjoyed our afternoon, nor how much we learned. Heather now knows how to thread her antique machine, which, until the workshop, frustrated her, and I now know how to thread a bobbin. And we learned new vocabulary, like selvage — and bobbin.

Not sure I’ll ever sew pumpkin costumes for Halloween, but maybe I could hem those yoga pants I’ve been dragging around for the last two years (though with all the friction, they seem to be hemming themselves). When I mentioned that to the Mister, he just shook his head and smirked. A little hurtful, but warranted.


  1. Well said Maeve! I am so grateful you were my partner in slackdom.

    At the very least, Maggie inspired me to let go of my fear of sewing something together that’s not meant to be. I plan on making some pillow covers soon and perhaps try my hand at this one-piece dress that can be shared by all the neighbourhood girls with mothers who don’t sew:

    1. I’ll tell you what, if you sew that dress I will be SEW impressed (argh). You’re inspiring me to take on my own sewing project. Pillowcases sound just about right. Heck, I’ve already made two pockets; pillowcases are just bigger versions of the same, no?

      Sorry for throwing you under the bus with me. Next time, let’s promise each other we will not slack!


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