a peek inside the fishbowl

30 Sep, 2008

Domestic help

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Oh! Things!

Mark and I bought new sheets. I’ve been thinking about new sheets ever since our holiday to the Maritimes and our celebratory 10th anniversary stay at a luxe hotel in old Montreal.

I have come to this conclusion: good sheets are a MUST HAVE. Not a maybe, or perhaps tomorrow, but if you’re going to spend ANY MONEY in your household it should be on v.v.v.good bed linens. Otherwise you might as well be sleeping in a barn, on flour sacks, stuffed with hay, and then you’d die and discover, while lying on cozy clouds up in heaven that your life here on earth with polyblends was a little empty and sad.

The sheets we bought are I-dunno-but-totally-high-thread-count-cotton-supima. They are a light shade of sage green with gold sheen that made my heart hurt with wanting when I saw them. There is a subtle check woven into them and they have a certain density and skinfeel that we haven’t ever had before this. They are delicious. 

We bought the sheet set, some extra pillowcases, and a creamy coloured duvet cover. Sleeping in our bed now is like sleeping in the beautiful home of imaginary wealthy relatives, relatives who have good taste in sheets.

These sheets are rich and CRISP and god I just want to cry I love them so much. Is it wrong to love bed sheets this much? Sliding into them is like sliding into your dreams AND YOU’RE NOT EVEN ASLEEP YET.

Anyway, I’ve washed the sheets twice now and twice I have been stuck, STUCK ironing them, sweating my face off, and the ironing board collapsed once under the pressure and narrowly missed squashing my toes. I’ve never ironed my sheets before. I know. It’s terrible. But our old ones never wrinkled as much as these ones do. I spent 45 minutes ironing everything yesterday because I could not WOULD NOT put such a wrinkled mass of fine linens on our bed. It would be SACRELIGIOUS.

The trick to getting those perfectly ironed bed sheets has somehow eluded me.

So far, this has been my technique.

1) Wash.
2) Shake out.
3) Dry until damp to the touch.
4) Shake AGAIN.
5) Iron with hot iron PRESSING down to maximize my time.

Pillowcases are easy, but what about the sheets? Ours are queen size. I dryed the fitted sheet (who here uses dryer balls, are they worth it?) and SPRINTED upstairs with it, rushing to put it on the bed while it was still hot. The flat sheet has been impossible to iron without re-wrinkling the part I just ironed, so I’ve taken to only ironing the outermost edges about, um, one ironing board deep.

It was still damp to the touch when I spread it out on the bed last night. It dried in place, not bad, but not great. What do I need to do to make it great? Have them dry cleaned? ;)

[With a bit of googling I learned I need to fold them in half. WHERE HAVE I BEEN. Are you supposed to do both sides too?]

What about you? Have you discovered the joy of good bed linens? And do you have any ironing tricks that would make my life easier?


25 Responses to "Domestic help"

1 | Mark

September 30th, 2008 at 8:49 am


You bought new bed sheets ? Hmmmm…I hadn’t noticed.

2 | J.

September 30th, 2008 at 9:28 am


Bed Sheet with 400+ thread count are amazing.. and make it very hard to me to get out of bed in the mornings. I don’t iron them, I never thought I had to. They still look good and crinkly, but I don’t mind.

Don’t sweat the small stuff I say. Crinkled sheets are the new “in thing”

3 | Caroline

September 30th, 2008 at 10:30 am


I dry my sheets out on the line for as long in the season as my fingers can stand the cold. They blow wrinkle free and smell so beautiful!

4 | Vanessa

September 30th, 2008 at 10:31 am


umm. don’t? they get wrinkled anyways, when you sleep on them, don’t they?

5 | porter

September 30th, 2008 at 11:17 am


i discoverred high thread count sheets about ten years ago when i bought my first condo on my own and decorated it from top to bottom with a very large budget! gone are those days. anyway, i will always have good sheets on my bed.
i don’t press my sheets…for that matter i don’t press anything ever. if it absolutely needs to be pressed than bert does it!!
my sheets are fine, so are the pillow cases once they are on the pillows. i hang my linens until it’s too cold to do so otherwise in the dryer until they are dry and back on the bed…don’t even fold em! i do keep a second set of not as good sheets just in case but never use them.

6 | Chantal

September 30th, 2008 at 11:33 am


my mother gave me an expensive set of sheets for my anniversary a few years back and I LOVE them. I don’t press then though. They go on all wrinkled and I don’t mind.

7 | Marla

September 30th, 2008 at 11:44 am


I had a vintage mangle for a while, rather like this: http://winnipeg.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-clothing-REDUCED-VINTAGE-MANGLE-IRON-IN-VERY-NICE-CONDITION-W0QQAdIdZ61326264

They’re often out there for not much money, because they’re heavy and no fun to move.

Or, wash them and take them to a dry-cleaner and ask for “press only” – they may not charge much, you know!

9 | Jennifer

September 30th, 2008 at 12:09 pm


I also am a fan of the sumptuous sheets!! The higher the thread count, the more they’re going to wrinkle. It’s like we’re being punished for wanted amazing linens!

I ALWAYS iron my linens…it is my one guilty pleasure! I too used to sweat over an ironing board, but here is my fabulous new trick….iron them ON the bed! Great flat surface, and you can lift up the edges and do them quite easily. Other bonus, the steam from the iron cleans the mattress!

10 | Alison in Ottawa

September 30th, 2008 at 12:28 pm


Maybe where you bought the sheets would sponsor your blog, after all that raving about them:) I want to know is where did you buy them? I have bought most of my sheets at Winners/Homesense so some nice higher thread counts, I have also bought stuff at Beddingtons (spelling?). It is super hard to find kids sheets that I am willing to look at for any period of time. I found some green and pink poka dots ones at Winners… they were soo cute. Most of the Queen size sheets we have are old.. I think I will get some new ones for our bed for my birthday.

11 | Soire

September 30th, 2008 at 5:18 pm


I love sumptious sheets, and every once in a while will put on sheets fresh on the same day I’ve managed to shave my legs. what a glorious feeling that is!!

Also – Dryer Balls. LOVE THEM. We’ve been fabric softener free for a year, except for the sweater load – because a load of sweaters has more static than I care to think about. So, I use a half sheet of no name scent free dryer sheet plus balls, and all is well!!

12 | BeachMama

September 30th, 2008 at 6:58 pm


When I bought my first pair of good sheets, two houses and twelve years ago, I knew I could never go back. I try my best to always get a high thread count, the highest I can afford. I don’t go for the sheened ones, but my Mom swears by them.

I haven’t ironed sheets since I was a kid (not true, I ironed them when we had open houses at our last house) but, regularly I don’t. I use dryer balls and although in the dead of winter you eventually get some static, they definitely help with wrinkle control and they also help to fluff up towels and they also help things dry faster. Give it a shot, it wouldn’t hurt.

13 | jo(e)

September 30th, 2008 at 10:21 pm


Good sheets are well worth the money — and you save money in the long run because they last for such a long time.

I didn’t know anyone still ironed sheets. When I was little, my mother used to iron them, and I have to say that I LOVE the smell of ironed cotton.

Well, I don’t love it enough to iron anything myself.

14 | Kim

September 30th, 2008 at 10:37 pm


lol. We too have super high thread count sateen sheets that I splurged on a while back and they too came out of the laundry room in a big wad of wrinkles.

And I too resorted to the iron to get them all sorted out but I have found that if I wash them early morning remove them from the dryer promptly and stretch them onto the bed most of the wrinkles fall out by the time I am ready to go to bed. One time I also put them on the bed and got the iron out on high steam and ironed them right there on the bed. It worked great…

The easiest thing I have found so far though is a couple of new tennis balls thrown in the dryer with them. It’s very noisy but very effective.

15 | AlisonG

September 30th, 2008 at 11:51 pm


I take my 100% cotton sheets out of the dryer when they are still fairly damp, and put them on the bed. A few hours later, they are dry and amazingly wrinkle-free! (Assuming the cat hasn’t decided to take a nap on the bed.)

16 | andrea

October 1st, 2008 at 7:52 am


Wow! I am surprised that many of you don’t iron your sheets. lol. Is it because they don’t come out wrinkled or you just don’t care? ;)

Freshly ironed sheets are so luxurious. It’s something I’m willing to put the time into because I think it’s worth it. BTW I forgot to mention, we bought our new sheets at HomeSense on Merivale Road. Some good deals to be had there for sure.

17 | Rosie : )

October 1st, 2008 at 9:46 pm


Iron? What is that? ;)

Seriously, though, our new dryer has this steam thing that supposedly takes out wrinkles. Now, if only hubby could find a way to bring the water towards the dryer, I might go wrinkle-free with clothes!

I don’t have time to iron anything with all our brood, so I stick stuff in the dryer for five minutes and presto, it’s done. I think I ironed my hubby’s pants before we went to the wedding this summer… I actually don’t recall. :)

18 | Scattered Mom

October 1st, 2008 at 10:42 pm


Hubs and I splurged on some wonderful sheets when we were in the USA this summer. They are fantastic, and wrinkle a bit…

…but omg I SO don’t have the time to iron them, lolol!

19 | smothermother

October 2nd, 2008 at 8:09 am


Love sumptuous sheets. Ironing them? way too high maintenance. and a little redundant, no?

20 | The Moffman

October 3rd, 2008 at 11:21 am


What’s an iron?

21 | andrea

October 3rd, 2008 at 11:36 am


Moff: tell your lovely bride to give you a slap upside the head for me, mmm’kay? :)

22 | The Veg Next Door

October 3rd, 2008 at 8:03 pm


I’m with Hubby. What’s an iron? If it needs ironing we don’t buy it or we just don’t iron it. We’re a wrinkled mess.

However, you inspired us to buy quality sheets. We went to Home Sense and bought 1000 count. Yes 1000!!!! They are so soft. I’m afraid to take them out of the package and wash them because they’re so crisp.

When I do get around to washing them they are going straight to the bed after drying (I don’t plan on ironing them). No sitting around in the dryer until the next day. That reminds me…I have clothes in the dryer that need folding. :-)

23 | andrea

October 6th, 2008 at 7:53 am


Veg: My goodness! 1000! I bet those will be niiiiice.

I have to chime in again because I’ve been giving the iron/no iron issue a lot of thought. Ironing queen-sized sheets is hard work, but it’s worth it. The hard worth makes it that much more special.

– do you stand at the sink to eat your lunch or do you get a plate and/or cultery and sit at the table?
– have you ever made homemade cookies, or bread, or a pie? This is hard work too, but why bother when you can pick these things up at the store?

Sure, the “hard work” concept can apply to anything in our lives. If you work at something, it’s that much more special – more meaningful. BUT we choose what we want to spend our time on. I happen to like sliding into a crispy smooth bed of cotton bed sheets. This makes me feel good!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling defensive about my ironing, but I just wanted to explain it to those of you who think I’m off my rocker. Besides, i’ve ironed my sheets a couple of times now and I think I am getting better at it! :)

24 | Chore bore >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 31st, 2013 at 9:42 am


[…] The sheets are usually done sometime during the week. (Sidebar: I iron our sheets! After this post I started putting them on the bed while still damp from the dryer and ironing them in […]

25 | Thoughts upon waking >> a peek inside the fishbowl

June 17th, 2014 at 10:14 am


[…] with a queen size bed or move up to king. But then that means we need all new bedding… and you know what I’m like about bedding, […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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