Thursday, March 3, 2011

Needle & Thread

Are you crafty? I have this weird compulsion to sew even though the result is rarely anything that’s publicly wearable. For all my efforts, it never fails that my garment “looks a little home-sewn” as they say on Project Runway.

But that doesn’t stop me from envying those who can work magic with fabric – I just counted up and I have 133 sewing blogs bookmarked! If you find sewing or needlework calming, the internet is a goldmine for advice and projects when you need to take a moment from chaotic daily life for something you really enjoy. And it’s a great resource if you’re looking for projects that can make life easier (or just more fun) for someone undergoing treatment.

A quick online search turns up a number of free online tutorials for chemo caps and preemie blankets. But look a little deeper and you’ll also find instructions to make hospital gowns (who wouldn’t want to trade those dreadful, flimsy hospital-issue gowns for something personalized and snazzy!) and even a knitted wig (ok, this one was a Halloween project, but I told my daughter if I ever find myself in the chemo ward, I’d like her to make me one).

A very special blog I have bookmarked is SewPaula. This one is written by the mother of a disabled child who is expert at adapting patterns to accomodate her daughter's wheelchair along with modifications to access ports and her feeding tube. Paula is a blessing to her children (she sews beautiful clothes for all her kids) and to other sewists looking for directions on adapting garment patterns for special needs.

So don’t fear Heidi Klum’s brutal reality show critiques like those running through my head. Whether you craft for yourself or for others, take heart with a few words of wisdom on what they used to call “womanly arts”…

“A creative mess is better than tidy idleness.”
                                                            ~Author Unknown

“Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that - one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery.”
                                                                    ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.”
                                                                                 ~Author Unknown

(photo courtesy

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