Brian Francis’s most recent work, Box 4901, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2020 to sold-out audiences. His YA novel, Break in Case of Emergency, was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His previous novels are Natural Order and Fruit. The book version of Box 4901 will be published by McClelland & Stewart in 2021.
COVID Turned Me into a Fashion Designer
During this time of COVID-19, many people picked up new hobbies to alleviate the boredom and stress. For some, that new hobby was drinking. For others, it was baking bread that looked like giant boulders. For others, their new hobby was deciding not to wear pants during online work meetings. Definitely more comfortable, but you better hope the fire alarm doesn’t go off.
My new hobby was making hats. That’s right — I became a milliner. Okay, so I didn’t actually “make” the hats. But I did add my personal flair, resulting in one-of-a-kind creations that would make Karl Lagerfeld green with envy.
It all started when I was on eBay one night and came across some old badges. Who knew there were so many abandoned badges out there looking to be resewn on something? I ordered some and decided to sew them onto baseball hats.
Here’s the first hat I made. Sarnia is my hometown and I really like the teal and gold colours in this badge. For those unaware, that’s the Bluewater Bridge. My sewing skills aren’t the best and I sewed the badge on a bit crooked, but I think this makes my hat more charming. It screams “ARTISINAL!!!”
The second hat I made was “Pollution Stinks.” Have you ever seen a badge with a person with a clothespin on their nose? Me, neither! A word to the wise — If you decide to sew badges onto trucker hats, put a thimble on your thumb because pushing needles through stiff material will have you inventing all kinds of new swear words.
The third hat I made was “I’m a Happy Camper.” Between you and me, I’m not much of a camper, but I wore it to a cottage this summer, so that counts for something. Besides, being a happy camper extends to more than just burnt marshmallows and Deep Woods Off. It’s a life philosophy.
Here’s my latest badge. It arrived in the mail last week. For any Generation Z people reading this, Beaver Lumber was the best hardware store ever. And where else have you seen a beaver mascot in white coveralls? I haven’t found a hat to sew this onto yet, but believe me, I will.
I hope you found a new hobby during COVID-19. And if you didn’t, it’s never too late to discover your arts and crafts side. The sky really is the limit. Just watch your thumbs.
Brian Francis visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Fereshteh Molavi, Cyn Rozeboom, and Cassidy McFadzean. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.
Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.