Breast cancer series

This is a short sewing series where our online sewists friends will occasionally share their journey with us.

Denise Archer 2022

Go to the YouTube Channel for Denise’s latest video on breast cancer.

Alison of Alibobs_sews

Alison is Alibobs_sews

Thursday 17 March 2022: Alison Alibobs_sews says the SewOver50 Instagram tip posts are quite useful to her. She’s not over 50 and Alison is a great friend to many sewists online.

Alison shares her embroidery story that binds her to her mother
A sampler by Alison

Alison had her personal embroidery story published in Threads Magazine issue 212. Alison wrote how doing embroidery on the sofa when Alison was diagnosed with breast cancer, as her mother also also done had breast cancer when Alison was 4 years old.

Guess what dress pattern Alison’s wearing.

Alison created embroidered flowers in a vase and did blackwork embroidery to reflect a pixelated portrait.

Alison’s blackwork embroidery

Replay: Denise Archer

Denise Archer

Sunday 31 October 2021: This is a replay where Denise talks to us about her breast cancer experience. It never ends so it’s worthwhile replaying this podcast for cancer awareness month.

Replaying Denise’s experience with breast cancer.

Helen ‘thecword_radio’ podcast

The C Word Radio podcast is hosted by Helen. She’s a Kiwi who talks about cancery stuff on a weekly podcast.

Meet Helen

Helen live on Ngāti Whātua whenua (land) in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). 

The C Word Radio is a podcast and community for anyone impacted by cancer who wants open, honest and hilarious conversations about life with the C Word. 

Follow Helen’s work on Instagram or on her C Word website. Helen’s work is worth listening to and supporting.

Eleanor Thomson

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eleanor-1.jpg
Eleanor Thomson

Tuesday 12 October 2021: Eleanor Thomson or Nelnanandnora talks about Sewing Flat and Asymmetrical on facebook – A group for anyone sewing for a small bust, asymmetry or after surgery (mastectomy or otherwise), offering shared ideas, support and information in a safe space.

Eleanor talks about what the Sewing Flat and Asymmetrical group does

Her default bra patterns are the Jordy Bralette by Emerald Erin and the Watson Bra by Cloth Habit.

The main hashtag to follow for like minded sewists is #sewoverbreastcancer.

Make sure you follow Eleanor on Instagram and refer people to the Sewing Flat and Asymmetrical group. It’s a group for anyone sewing for a small bust, asymmetry or after surgery (mastectomy or otherwise), offering shared ideas, support and information in a safe space.

Tina Bricolagedk

Tina in her self drafted top

Thursday 30 September 2021: Tina is back for Sewover50 and give us an update on some of the new useful patterns she has found.

Tina is back for Sewover50’s #chronicallysewn series

The Ylia top by Lenaline patterns is one of Tina’s latest finds. The Clochette top by Iam patterns is a great find and they have videos of all their designs which is wonderful help in deciding whether I can use the pattern or not. The Renata top by Make my Lemonade patterns is another of Tina’s latest finds. The Bella robe is another Make My Lemonade pattern Tina is looking closely at right now. The Josephine Jumper Sewing Pattern by Rebecca Page is a useful pattern to try.

Ylia top from Lenaline patterns
This is a great tutorial by In House Pattern Studio on how to remove a bust dart, with no added width to the waist seam is one that Tina recommends.
This tutorial is different to the Seamwork tutorial Tina mentioned in her first podcast where the excess width is moved into the waist.

Valetta top from Schnitquelle1

The fingerless glove pattern by Gina Renee Designs is one that Tina will be trying soon. She has difficulty finding gloves she can wear over her compression garment.

Melissa of Fehr Trade has a free sleeve pattern which Tina hope to use for making lace covers for her compression sleeve if I ever go to a party again.

The Sewing Guide to Cancer (and Other Pesky Long Term Illnesses)” by Heather Grant (Editor), Samarra Kahja (Illustrations) from Lucky Spool is a good book to refer to if you want to make projects for people you love.  

Tina does recommend sewing a Heart pillow for anyone going through a mastectomy. It is a pain relief pillow made of two pieces of soft cotton filled with wadding. The pillow Tina had helped her through my first year post mastectomy when driving and resting/sleeping. You can find the pattern by searching mastectomy pillow pattern or heart pillow pattern on Google.

Tina wearing her self-drafted tunic using nani iro fabric

Thursday 8 April 2021: Tina or Bricolagdk talks about her sewing experience post her breast cancer mastectomy and her choice to have one breast without a prosthesis.

Tina has had great support from the Sewover50 community through their support and friendship

Tina found the Sewover50 community made her feel amongst like minded people through their support for her call out for patterns that were asymmetrical. When Tina asked Judith and Sandy of Sewover50 to put the call out for patterns that would suit her uniboob body, Tina was so thrilled to have people from across the globe helping her find pdf patterns that made Tina feel confident in her body.

#110burda012019 in double layered jersey with foam center

Tina is now part of a facebook group called Sewing Flat and Asymmetrical to share patterns that suit their bodies. This is a group for anyone sewing for a small bust, asymmetry or after surgery (mastectomy or otherwise), offering shared ideas, support and information in a safe space.

Listeners can direct message Tina to find patterns to suit their body needs. There is a German pattern company called Schnittquelle that has great patterns. Their website has both patterns and fabrics. Tina absolutely loves DP Studio patterns. Megan Kelso or Venusmensch is one Instagram person who Tina refers to about adapting an ordinary bar pattern for a chest with one breast. Here is a link to the Megan Kelso venus_mensch tutorial 

Anna Bonny is another Instagram person who has a unilateral pdf bra pattern. Teta & Teta has 2 downloadable unilateral bra patterns on their website. Bra Makers Supply has a tutorial on how to make a breast form. Seamwork has a tutorial on bodice adjustments for a bilateral mastectomy. Sandra Betzina’s book on Fast Fit: Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure, has a chapter on adapting patterns for a mastectomy body. Here’s the link to Made It patterns, mentioned by Tina. They’re contributing a robe pattern for a book for people living with cancer and its effects. Les Monocyclettes is the French company with clothes for people with 1 breast.

Here are some blog posts Tina has already written:
A blog post at The Sewcialists website:
A blog post for My Body Model:

Denise Archer

Denise Archer

Thursday 25 March 2021: Denise Archer talks about her breast cancer experience and how her sewing choices have changed.

Denise’s breast cancer experience

Denise shares the details of her breast cancer treatments and post surgeries.

This podcast is not medical advice. If you want information about breast cancer treatments or post surgery choices contact your oncologist or go to the breast cancer organisations in your country.

Perfect Again breast forms

Episode 31: is where you go to find a light bra form that suits your personal needs after a mastectomy. These bra forms are just one option to consider when you’ve already endured the medical and personal trauma of breast cancer and want to look like yourself again. You won’t feel weighed down.

Listen to the passion Julie has in this podcast.
Take a look at Perfect Again for more details.

Julie Brand of Perfect Again was in the same situation in 2002, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a mastectomy and an unsuccessful reconstruction which lasted for seven months, she asked her plastic surgeon to remove the breast implant.

Perfect again isn’t just your average bra form. The passion for Julie’s business is reflected in the table banging she does as she speaks. Her business is a personal commitment to her unique customer base to help them begin to feel perfect again. Perfect Again’s Facebook has ongoing information about these breast forms.

“After it came out, I needed a breast form but the only products available at the time were ill fitting, uncomfortable and poorly designed,” Julie says.

As an artist who had ‘always made stuff’ Julie decided to design and make an external breast prosthesis for herself.

“There were none on the market that appealed to me. I intuitively knew that if I wasn’t happy with a weighted breast form, other women wouldn’t be happy either. So my partner Franco, an Italian ship-wright and a man who can make anything, decided we’d get into it and Perfect Again was born!” And now it’s 6 years since they began!

Perfect Again Breast Forms are:
– lightweight
– comfortable. You won’t feel you’re wearing them
– beautiful to wear in gorgeous lingerie
– perfect for watersports and being active again.

Make sure you also listen to latest podcast with Linda Jobson of Linda’s Lingerie. Linda is also the authorised Queensland fitter for Perfect Again Breast Forms.

Kay Lenehan shared her breast cancer journey in her podcast.

Kay Lenehan

Episode 65: It’s not everyday you meet a sewing friend that lives in rural Australia in person.

Kay Lenehan talks about her sewing passion.

Kay Lenehan works full time; runs a farm; and loves couture sewing. But what are her challenges when she’s so passionate about sewing? We explore this with Kay and she gives us some of her tips and tricks for following her sewing passion.

She’s using her stash fabrics to make washable bags for nurses at the moment. Kay also gives our listeners ways to develop your sewing skills via a few online resources.

Raquel and refashioning

Thursday 17 December 2020: Raquel is this week’s Sewover50 podcast guest.

Raquel is back for Sewover50 with her refashions

Raquel was podcast #2 in 2019 and in this podcast she updates us on her sewing and how she supports the Sewover50 account on Instagram.

Refashions are her joy and she talks to us about how thrifting in Taipei meets her budget needs.

Raquel initially started participating in MAGAM Sewalong when it was run by Sarah Liz. MAGAM Sewalong is another sewing challenge Raquel continues to support each month because this keeps her sewing creativity alive. Raquel is also enjoying being a Minerva Brand Ambassador. Her love for refashioning is what drives her sewing passion each day.

Creating model looks with her own sewing is her fun and successful challenge

Episode 2 26 August 2019: Listen to the refashion journey of Raquel. 

Raquel makes through her refashions

The dress above is an inspirational dress Raquel made last year and Susan drew it as part of Me-Made-May. You can find all of Raquel’s refashion works on instagram at @raquel_sewing_knitting_in_asia and at @raquel_sewtospeak

Raquel has consistently supported Sewover50. Sewover50 started through the Sewcialists mothership. Here’s a link to the Mimi G zipper tutorial Raquel uses.

Here are the dresses Raquel has made using her refashioning skills buying deadstock clothes in Taipei.

Support us via our Patreon page.

Contact us if you’d like us to arrange a podcast to tell your sewing story.

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