How to Sew a Hat


What do you think you are doing?!”

Eruviel froze, looking up at the elderly woman like a child caught trying to skip out on chores. “I’m cutting out the pattern just like you said…”

Grandma Bea huffed and tisked her disapproval. “Not with your hunting knife, missy.”

The Elf straightened her shoulders and looked to the rich red cloth on the old kitchen table before her. “I do not see why not. I cut out the first pattern that way.”

“When I wasn’t looking! We are not barbarians, Eruviel. This is sewing.”

“What does it look like I am doing?” She gestured to the paper patterns and sea of red tacked together with pins that surrounded her. “Sewing this cannot be much different from mending tack and armour.”

The ancient old woman turned to rummage through a large sewing box. A trill of triumph sounding in her throat she whirled around and waved a pair of shiny scissors in the Elf’s face. “You go find a dragon and drag it’s hide back here to stitch up. Then you can use your knife, but if you’re going to come to my house askin’ for help with sewing you will use scissors, young lady!”

Eruviel plucked the scissors from Bea’s wrinkled fingers, knowing the elderly woman would just get grumpy if she surrendered too easily. “What help? I have pieced all this on my own! Really, Bea, when I go back to Durrow and tell them you made all of this…”

“Hah!” Bea barked, picking up what might had been a hat beneath all the pins that held it together. “You wouldn’t dare! Ruin my good name, you would. Not that any of your Bree friends are old enough to remember my sewing–”

“Or old enough to remember your cooking,” the Elf added.

“Yes! Precisely! But this is a monstrosity. Are these the wings?”

“What else would they be?” Eruviel asked as she looked up from cutting out a sleeve.

“A death trap, is what. What were you thinking?” Bea turned the little red hat with dragon wings, held together by Orome knows how many pins, over in her hands.

“It’s called efficiency,” said Eruviel with a sure nod. “I will save myself time pinning everything together at once.” She went back to cutting, but watched to see what Bea would do out of the corner of her eye.

“Darned stubborn…” The elderly woman plopped down into a seat and began threading a needle. “These are so cute,” she muttered begrudgingly. “And what are those?”

Eruviel held up a jaggedly cut piece of cloth. “The spines and little tail for the back of the jacket.”

Bea blinked, then burst into a fit of laughter. “You’re ridiculous, I’ll have you know! I thought you were just going to make hats!”

Eruviel’s ears turned pink as she lifted a piece of paper with a list of measurements. “I was, but it seemed… incomplete. You know me. I cannot do anything like this the easy way.”

“Obviously,” muttered Bea, careful to dramatically drop each pin into a pile. “Your sewing is a disgrace, you could eat a horse, and –”

Eruviel laughed richly and kissed the old woman on the cheek as she swept past to save the steaming kettle from the fire. “Then you should have taught me how to sew instead of teaching me how to make buttered rolls.”

“You make a terrible Elf,” said Bea with a chuckle. “Aren’t you supposed to dance around trees and do magic and be a lady?”

Eruviel brought two tea cups to the table along with the kettle. “I dance when no one is looking, do magic as out of sight as I can manage, and being a lady does not put food on the table and save lives.”

Bea tossed the cloth hat to Eruviel’s side of the table and snatched up the jacket pieces. “You may be surprised. I will have to thank your ‘housemate‘, though. You sticking around, being properly domestic and making hats for little boys is far less stress on my health than wondering if you’ll come home two or three times a year.”

“I’ve always come home, Beatrice,” said Eruviel with a soft smile, leaving the tea to steep as she began to carefully sew the hat together.

“Seventy years. And long ones at that,” Bea scolded, pointing her needle at the Elf. She then reached over with an empty hand to fondly pinch Eruviel’s fair cheek.”At least you have gotten better about writing. And after all that time you’re still as skinny as can be. I’ll be darned if I die before making you gain a pound or two.”

Eruviel chuckled, and shook her head as she leaned back in her seat. “I haven’t put on weight in centuries. Be prepared to live a long time, my friend.”

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