I have talked many times about how I used to sew so many different things from clothes for my children and myself to shirts for my husband. I sewed Halloween costumes, made curtains, and stuffed animals and dolls.
After becoming ill, I began having issues with visual and sensory over-stimulation due to the mold exposure. I could not look at a pattern piece with its shape andthen place it on a patterned piece of fabric and decide how best to lay it out without having anxiety attacks that led to tears. I gave up sewing because I just could not manage it. What used to be a calming thing to do became a nightmare of gigantic proportion.
This doll (made nearly 20 years ago) was for a friend who wanted a Scottish doll. I took a Raggedy Andy pattern and began designing. I took the shirt that closed in the back and made it open in the front with color and buttons. I used the same pattern and designed the jacket first out of muslin and then out of tweed fabric. I bought red gingham fabric and fashioned the legs to give the appearance of socks. I practiced again on muslin to fashion a kilt that would fit the doll and then using the precious piece of his clan’s fabric made the kilt. The hat was fashioned out of felt and I used orange yarn to make his hair and beard. My father using his upholstery machine and know-how made the bag.
Back of Doll.
It wasn’t until my first granddaughter Sadie was born eight years ago that I attempted to sew again. I wanted to make her a dress. I was going to be a grandma that could make things for her. My first attempt was a simple pattern with bloomers.
Then I wanted to make her first birthday dress which was a huge undertaking. It was made of coordinating polka dots (blue with white and white with blue). It also had many details. I was determined that this grandma was going to figure out a way to sew again.
An American Girl Witch
This same granddaughter asked if I would make a Halloween costume for her American Girl Doll Sage last month. She wanted either a witch or pirate costume. Looking online for doll patterns that would work for American Girl Dolls, I found several. Much to my chagrin they were $17.99 on sale for about $8.99. Still too much for a doll pattern. Armed with my muslin I began trying to create a simple dress and cape. After several attempts, this was the end product. I presented it to my granddaughters (because sister needed one for her doll as well). She loved it. Of course she asked where the hat was and I told her that grandma just couldn’t figure it out. Had this been a request of me ten or eleven years ago, I would have just sat and worked at it until I had a hat.
While my sewing now resembles two different lifetimes, I am so thankful that I have recovered enough to be able to sew again.
And isn’t this the season for thanksgiving? I am so thankful for the things I have managed to get back into my life. I am thankful for my family and the friends who stood by me. I am thankful for my wonderful doctors. I am also thankful for those who I have met and the lessons I have learned because of this illness. I am thankful for all you who follow along with me on my journey and those who have purchased my book to learn more of my journey.
Blessing to you all!
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Mind, Mind and Body, Mold, Mold Exposure, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mycotoxins, Reactions, Spirit
Tagged allergic to life, Overcoming obstacles, Sensory over-stimulation, sewing and visual over-stimulation, thanksgiving, Visual over-stimulation
Am I dating myself with this phrase? How many of you remember the Calgon commercials? Back in the day before I became sensitive to chemicals and realized all the stuff these products contained, I loved letting Calgon take me away! Today is one of those Calgon take me away days. It started with my grandson sitting on my wicker love seat cushion and wetting through his diaper forcing me to remove the cover and wash it and take care of the inner cushion. More has happened but I won’t go into detail here.
What do I do to “take me away”? I get in the car and go for a drive. So much has happened over the last few months: my father becoming ill and passing within a matter of weeks, my grief and helping my mother get through things which added even more exposures to my already overburdened body, suddenly developing swelling in my ankle and learning that I have a blood clot and needing to start blood thinners, and now the addition of a sinus infection. My doctor gave me the okay to get away as long as I am careful about my time sitting in the car.
A few weeks ago my husband took me for a drive to the mountains to the little mining town of Columbia just to walk around and get away from it all.A few days later we joined my daughter and her family at the Pumpkin Patch. It is a 45 minute drive to my daughters and I was able to walk around before the drive to the Pumpkin Patch where I was able to walk around to look at the pumpkins and enjoy the scenery. The following week my husband and I drove to my favorite place, the beach. We had to stop along the way for me to get out and walk around but it was well worth it. Nothing recharges my batteries like the ocean breeze on my face.
Today I cannot do any of those take me away things. My alternative is to sit with a cup of hot green tea and read a book and allow the adventures of May Dodd from the book 1000 White Women to take me away.
What is your Calgon “take me away”?