Saturday I invited Lynn and Heather over for a little sewing project. I had all the supplies ready, and I told them it would take us about two or three hours to complete......boy did I underestimate that!
They arrived about 9:30-10:00, and we promptly began our sewing session with a cup of coffee. Heather unloaded all of the supplies and equipment that she brought, including her sewing machine, serger, and iron. I ushered them into my craft/storage room (one side houses my crafting supplies and the rest of the room is our "attic"), showed them the fabric, and explained the project to them.
our supplies for the day
We made small pillows and drain bag holders for post-mastectomy and post-breast reconstruction surgery patients. I had two sets of these pillows and bags, plus a apron that held the drain bags too (I didn't use the apron) given to me back in March when I had my mastectomy. Lifesavers! Who knew how much comfort a small, simple pillow would give? And the drain bag holders allowed me to move around without worrying that I was going to harm something or pull something out. While I only used the bags for the week that I had the drains, I slept with those pillows under my arms for over a month.
Our first task was to measure the bags and pillow that I had and then to cut the fabric to the appropriate size. This was Lynn's first sewing experience, and Heather and I had fun teaching her the basics for measuring and cutting with a rotary cutter. Measure twice and cut once we told her. Of course we all made at least one mistake, but it was all ok! We had the best time cutting and chatting.....and the time was slipping away. At the two hour mark, I think we were still cutting! So much for this being a short sewing project!
Heather at her seeing machine
Lynn at the ironing board
the ribbons for the bags....We actually ran out of ribbon before we were done.
Some of the bags waiting to be turned and ironed
We sewed and serged and stuffed and ironed and sewed some more....... Around 1:00, we took a short lunch break. At that point we knew that we were in for a long day! I was so sorry that I underestimated how long this sewing project would take! But we had such a good time visiting and working. It was so much fun!
By mid-afternoon, we knew that we needed some extra help if we were going to finish before bedtime, so we called in some reinforcements: our daughters!
Olivia and Julie came downstairs to help.
And so did Hannah and Sarah (Heather's daughters).
Then my sewing machine began giving me trouble. It was increasingly more difficult to sew. The fabric just wasn't moving through the machine like it should. I commented that something was wrong with my feed dog. The machine sewed fine in reverse, but finally it completely stopped sewing forward. I sewed in reverse for a while, but I knew that sewing that way was not the best use of my time. So, we sent the girls to a friend's house fifteen minutes away to borrow her sewing machine. The giggly girls were super happy to run an errand that involved Olivia driving them somewhere!
Heather and I got tickled when Lynn admitted that she thought I was just making up some funny word to describe the problem I was having with my machine--the feed dog. She didn't know that that was a real part of the sewing machine!
After Jimmy came home from work he periodically checked on us. He took this picture of our entire group, happily working! Thankfully, he called us before he came home from work to see if we needed anything---we did---a Coke! So he brought Lynn, Heather, and me a much appreciated Coke.
We kept on sewing and sewing, and the next thing we knew, it was suppertime! We ordered pizza, and Jimmy picked it up for us. We took another quick break to eat, and then it was back down to the basement to assess where we were in the project and finish up.
Around 8:00 PM, Lynn and Heather left. I finished up sewing the last few sets with Olivia's and Julie's help. And then we were done! 35 complete sets!
another set--this set was everyone's favorite!
We used bright, happy fabric for all of our sets.
The sets all bagged and ready to be donated.
Yesterday I delivered the pillows and bags to two different places, The Breast Care Center and the Women First Resource Center. At both locations, the ladies were delighted with our donation! And I know first-hand how happy the cute bags and pillows will make future patients. I even kept one set for myself to use after my upcoming surgery---the brown and purple set.