Women used to sew a lot. Growing up, I wore the clothes that my mother and grandmother had sewn for me. I swear they could look at something and recreate it out of nothing but a bolt of fabric and pixie dust.
I knew there was more to it than that; I knew sometimes they used sewing patterns, popular in the day. When the womenfolk got together and the Lonesome Charlie wine came out, you could count on a heated debate over which pattern company was superior - Butterick or McColl’s.
My mom had a sewing room instead of a home office to whittle away the hours checking Facebook statuses. To this day, she still has a sewing room.
The sewing gene was also passed on to my sister, who took up the spool and bobbin call at the tender age of 16. She was the one who painstakingly sewed my gorgeous wedding dress.
With all the stitching skills in my family, you would think some of it would have been passed on to me too.
You would be wrong!
At no time of the year is this lack of talent more tragically obvious than right now. I am steeling myself for the annual task bestowed upon hockey moms around the world: sewing name bars onto the backs of game jerseys.
Honest to Abe, a needle and thread to me are like Sean Avery and – well – just about anyone. There is simply no love lost between us. I’ve sewed them on crooked. I’ve sewed the back of the jersey to the front of the jersey. I’ve sewed the wrong name bar to the wrong jersey (which is a special talent given my kids all have the same last name!).
I’ve gone so far as to see if there is such thing as an iron-on name bar, which there is (halleluiah!)! Only they’re not permitted in most associations because they damage the jerseys on removal (curses!). And I certainly don’t want to be the reason our jersey deposit is not refunded in full!
As many hockey moms know, it’s generally not sensible to sew on the name bars until after at least the first few league games.
If you do it prior to the first game, you’re just asking for your child to hop into the car at the end of the game and announce, “Hey, Joey and I switched jerseys because we each got each other’s lucky numbers”. And just like that, you’re left removing name bars from one jersey and re-sewing them to another.
So take note: along with that needle and thread, picking up a seam ripper is also probably a wise decision.
Now that the first few league games are behind us and the special jersey numbers are secure, the annual name bar sewing fest is my chore for the week. And I do mean ‘chore’. But it must be done. I’m the team manager and I have asked that all name bars be sewn on to the jerseys by the time the first tournament rolls around. And after making this request, how would it look if my child was the only one on the team with no name bar on their jersey?
I’ve been harassing my mother to move closer to Ottawa. She thinks it’s because I love her, am worried about her and want her to be closer to me to better look after her.
She doesn’t need to know that it’s really because I need her to sew these name bars on to the game jerseys!
Three cheers for jersey name bars – may your child’s always be straight!
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