LATE BREAKING NEWS!!
Our requests for Pretty Pocket info for stitchers has reached:
Those of you who happen to be friends with me on Facebook or are members of the SiCKDesigns Yahoo Group know my sister has been hospitalized since her “minor” surgery in July. I won’t go into great detail, but suffice it to say – if it could go wrong, it did. We were afraid she would not survive at one time. But, she continues to fight her way back in a rehab facility at this time, learning how to walk and perform the day to day tasks we all take for granted.
One of her “issues” is an abdominal drain. My younger sister (a 35 year veteran nurse at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore – who did spend nearly 2 weeks with my sister – tending to her nearly 24/7) saw an article in her local paper in Maryland. She forwarded it to me on Facebook and asked me to make “Pretty Pockets™” for our sister, Dona.
After reading the article, I decided to call the Jo-Ann’s Fabrics in Maryland – the host of the “sew in” for Pretty Pockets™ last weekend. Their educational coordinator, in turn, had the creator of Pretty Pockets™, Maryanne Arthur, get in touch with me.
Maryanne is definitely a woman on a mission. Her own life experience was the impetus for this wonderful project.
Here is her story:
Perhaps you know someone who had surgery and was left to recover with unsightly dangling drains?
That’s what happened to me.
In March 2011, I awoke from an anesthesia-induced sleep to find myself flanked by four drains, two on each side of my upper body, following a bilateral mastectomy. Pinned inside my hospital gown, the drains were heavy and uncomfortable against raw skin. So,
my partner ingeniously ripped apart a pair of our youngest daughter’s flannel pajama bottoms to wrap around each bulb. And, I wore soft, fuzzy drain-bulb covers for the duration of my recovery.
A few days after surgery, I met another mastectomy patient at the hospital. She carried her bulbs in a brown paper bag pinned to her waistband, admitting it was nerve wracking and
embarrassing to corral those dangling drains.
The need and concept for Pretty Pockets™ fully materialized at that moment as — a discreet and spirited way to secure post-surgical drains. Our family began production at home.
Born from a pair of children’s flannel pajama legs, satin ribbon, safety pins and handmade gift tags, Pretty Pockets™ has received rave reviews from clinic staff, nurses, doctors and–-most importantly—breast cancer patients who’ve described the pockets as ‘practical and meaningful gifts’.
Perhaps you don’t know that the need for pockets is staggering.
My doctor treats more than 500 breast cancer patients a year with surgeries that result in temporary drain bulb placement.
That’s just one medical facility and one type of surgery!
If you have the time and talent, and want to make a BIG difference in the comfort and peace-of-mind of cancer patients, then join our giving movement. Volunteer to sew post-surgical drain pockets today!
What are Surgical Drains?
Drains are vinyl tubes and bulbs, stitched at one end under the skin by a surgeon, that hang freely down about two feet from under each arm pit. Each drain bulb fills with excess fluid after major trauma, which is the body’s natural way of healing its deepest wounds and the doctor’s way of preventing lymphedema (swelling of the lymph system).
Nurses affix these drains, with safety pins, high inside hospital gowns to prevent the bulbs from hanging too freely and thereby ripping out side stitches.
Problem: The bulbs fill with fluid and pull down on garments, making clothes heavy, necks strained, and stress levels high.
Pretty Pockets™ Co-originator
Attach a LARGE safety pin (and the Pretty Pockets info card with a hand drawn flower and small piece of ribbon onto each Pretty Pocket™
Quick How-To Guide…
Here is a quick how-to for Pretty Pocket™ project
1. Purchase baby flannel in fun prints. Wash in unscented detergent.
2. Cut pockets, using enclosed pattern as a guide. Fold right sides together.
3. Sew a double seam, 5/8” and 1/8” from edge, around the sides and bottom.
(This step is very important, as the large safety pin goes through this large seam and then attaches to the patient’s clothing.)
4. Turn material right side out. Turn top edge down 1” and top stitch ¼” from fold.
5. Turn under ¼” on the bottom of the top fold and top stitch. Finger press.
6. Pin tags with ribbon through the seam – one pin per pocket.
7. Deliver/send to Creative Blossoms or local Cancer Center.
8. Repeat steps 1-5.
Alternate: Use a serger around the sides and top. At the top of the pocket, turn under 1”.
Top stitch ¼” from the fold and scant ¼” from bottom, serged edge.
Special thanks to Annemarie Merow for envisioning a creative solution; and to Judy Merow for refining our pocket sewing technique!
Maryanne wants this wonderful creation to always be FREE. Under no circumstances are they to be sold – not even to cover the cost of materials. She is sharing her idea with everyone in hopes that you, too, can help people in your area of the world.
I am always being asked “What is a good project for our group – we are small, with limited resources”? This seems like the PERFECT project for all groups, large and small. The original pattern calls for 2 pieces of flannel – 8.25 ” x 6.75′. (20.955 cm x 17.145 cm) This means 1/4 yd of fabric could yield 3 full Pretty Pockets™! And those of you who enjoy making items out of flannel – probably have enough in your stash of scraps to fill buckets!
Here is the link to the original article: Pretty Pockets in the Perry Hall Patch
If you would like the pattern for the Pretty Pockets, please contact me (Rob)
Just send to: firstname.lastname@example.org (pretty easy to remember~!!!)
- Your name
- Geographic location (City/State/Country)
- Do you belong to a sewing group?
I will send the information to Maryanne and then she will be in touch with you – to send a pattern, etc.
And, yes, while I was away at a Quilting Retreat this past weekend (the one which my sister was supposed to attend with me) – I stitched out 4 Pretty Pockets and sent them to my sister – and sent them by Priority Mail. She received them Monday. She loved them!
**Note from Rob – if you and your group (or just you) do begin creating these wonderful projects (which, by the way, can be used for many more reasons than what is listed above), please let me know. Please take pictures. I would love to see pics of you or your group stitching them, the finished projects, etc. I will put them here with the article. ðŸ™‚
Thank you in advance! I know there are so many wonderful members of our Forums/Website and Newsletter subscribers who will use this idea to provide another wonderful way to help others.
**We are rapidly approaching 500 people who have requested the Pretty Pockets (TM) pattern!!! If you think of how many people are stitching (sewing groups, friends, sisters)….the number is staggering!!! Please send pictures!
I told MaryAnne she had no idea how awesome the Designs By SiCK customers were! You all are proving me to be correct!
A suggestion from Billie – one who is also participating from Maine – she is going to add a Diaper Pin to each one she sends out! Great idea, Billie!!!!