In October, 2016, I found a lump in my left breast. Wait. Is this too much too soon? I’ll back up a little.
I started making garments when I was about 6 years old and could steal scraps from my mom’s sewing table. She got pretty irritated because the rule was that I could have the scraps after the project was finished. But I was always enamored with whatever she was sewing, hence the thievery. I made “garments” that were glued and stapled together doll clothes. Fast forward a couple of years, and I remember laying out patterns for my step-mom to make me school clothes. It’s a good thing I waited for her approval to cut these since I had laid out against the nap on corduroy! After several more years, Mom was not sewing my summer clothes fast enough for me, so I decided to learn how to do it myself. Those were some short, mink-colored velour shorts in 1970something!
I sewed off and on throughout college and into adulthood. Then I could afford to buy clothes, and they fit. So, I stopped sewing for a while. Next I realized I was ready to move on from living in Lands End knit skirts and tops, so I went back to sewing. At the time, I was a 38DD and needed help getting patterns to fit. I found a sewing teacher and blissfully sewed my way through about a decade.
That’s when I found a lump, and it turned out it was invasive ductal carcinoma. Then there was another spot of ductal carcinoma in situ. In sum, HER2+, ER+, stage 2. I went to my sewing teacher and told her everything would be fine because we know how to take out bust darts. (Except that it turns out the sewing solution may not be that easy…)
I finished chemo in March 2017 and had a double mastectomy surgery in April. I’m still swollen from the surgery, but it’s time to figure out how to clothe this new body! I’ve done some serious web searching, and there’s a vacuum where there should be information about how to sew for women who what to live flat.