Monday 4 May 2015

Humatrope 1: Ingredients

Wasteful packaging - each needle has two caps!
Tonight is the night I've been waiting for: after four months spent gathering materials, I will finally begin the fun part of my Prader-Willi Syndrome sewing project.* Tonight I begin to play. This is going to be so much fun!
*Never heard of Prader-Willi Syndrome? Neither had I

The materials are the waste from my daughter's nightly Humatrope* injections - white, felt-like alcohol swabs and lovely lavender or aqua syringe caps, one per day. I did my usual thing for those four months: I sewed, and volunteered for Our Social Fabric. Some of the debris from these activities was saved, too: all the snipped-off thread tails from the sewing room garbage can and all the plastic pearls found in the dust pan at OSF. I'm curious to see what all this garbage turns out to be.
*There are no medications that work to curb the never-ending feeling of hunger that is the hallmark of PWS, however Human Growth Hormone can greatly improve the quality of life. Born with naturally flabby, flaccid bodies, HGH turns fat cells into muscle, lethargic kids into healthier, stronger, more active ones. As a byproduct, more calories are burned, and the child - whose calorie intake is severely restricted by a bizarrely slow metabolism - can eat more food. Almost like a typical kid

For a rough idea of how many would be needed, the swabs were pinned to the mannequin as they became available.
The diamond pattern is not quite doing it for me...
The plan is vague: some kind of quilted, layered collar, possibly beaded. A temporary foundation of plastic-like Heat-Away Solvy will provide structure until the thing can stand on its own. The Solvy will eventually be removed by heating. Though it is easier to manage the sturdier sort of stabilizer that rinses out when wet, I don't want to out, out any damn'd spots by accident.

I've been so eager to get to the construction, the accompanying article is already finished. I hope to post updates as the project goes along - which I hope is steadily - though that's doubtful, free time being at a minimum.

The next step: deciding the best way to assemble it, which will, in turn, affect the design. I'll need to make a swatch, to test if what I'm hoping to do will work. The plan is to use a darning foot to machine-embroider the swabs and threads with Words of Love and Admiration that will hold them all together. One anticipated challenge: the Solvy is delicate and crumbly and will probably tear under the herky-jerky motions of the darning foot. In that case, freehand embroidery won't work and I'll have to go with classic diamond quilting. Straight lines shouldn't be too tricky.

The "ink" for writing the words of love
Thread colour? Don't know. Understated white? Classy, but not really me. More likely, whatever colour there happens to be in any bobbin that no longer has its matching spool of thread. I'm constantly looking for excuses to empty bobbins...

How it will fasten is unknown. I had planned to use a real Chanel button found by my son on the floor of the electronics section at a Costco, but he told me recently it's disgusting to put that beautiful button on something made out of bloody alcohol pads. He wants me to save it, instead, for a companion piece inspired by 25 Cogmed sessions and the Dubble Bubble* that got him through it. He's right, of course... Never mind; plenty of time to give thought to the closure while I'm testing the sewing technique.
*Did you know there are 20 calories in one piece of Dubble Bubble?

If I had a tail, I'd be wagging it. Tomorrow I sew!

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