Hospital pyjamas

As soon as I received the sheep fabric given to me by Brian and Sharon in the post, I knew I’d be making some comfy pyjamas from it in the form of Jalie 2686, which, you’ll remember, I’ve already made in purple silk for my friend Pip.

They’re not quite as luxurious as the silk, but they’ve still got a silky sheen to them, they’re super soft, and the one big advantage over silk is that I can throw these in the washing machine without fear.

I actually ended up staying more true to the pattern this time around than I did with Pip’s pair, though neither of us fancied the piping or the front pocket, as you can see.

I kept the waistband as intended in the pattern – cased elastic around the back and some long drawstrings in the front (Pip’s was all drawstring by her request).

This fabric was generally a breeze to sew – my best guess is that it’s a brushed poly-cotton with a bit of stretch thrown in – but when it came time to do the buttonholes, all hell broke loose. I had skipped stitches everywhere on top of thread snarls despite the placket being interfaced against such horribleness. So rather than beat my head against the machine (sewing is meant to be fun, right?) I ripped out the stitches and bought a pack of pearl snaps!

And actually, I think these will be much easier to get open and closed than buttons anyway, and frankly, they look much neater than the buttons I’d picked out of my stash, too.

So the “hospital” in the title… If you remember, back in late November I revealed a bit about my sudden health problems. Well, it’s all gone downhill rather fast over the past few weeks and it turns out that I will be needing a bone marrow transplant very soon now rather than the other treatment that was being considered (as my diagnosis was further refined to MDS which the other treatment won’t work on). The pre-prep involved in checking out each of my internal organs plus more tests to narrow down the potential donor pool will take three months, which means I’m looking at around April for the transplant itself. That’ll be at the very least 4-6 weeks in hospital* followed by several months of isolation until my immune system rebuilds itself with the new blood. I’m getting a taste now of what I’m able to do, sewing-wise, with an IV in my hands and arms, as I have to go in twice a week for transfusions until the transplant starts. I’m hoping to be able to do some embroidery and other handstitching while in hospital (since I’ll have a Hickman line installed in my chest so my hands will be needle-free), but until then, I’m focusing a lot of sewing up comfortable clothes that can be pyjamas or loungewear for when I’m feeling terrible. The good news is that I’m young, fit, and I’m being treated at the UK’s leading centre for bone marrow disorders (I got to see their dedicated bone marrow transplant unit on Wednesday and it’s very impressive), so the outlook is as good as it can possibly be.

They’re still checking to see if my brother is a suitable match for me, but it’s not looking terribly likely, so my saviour will most likely come from a worldwide search of all the various bone marrow registries. If you’d like to help out and add yourself to your local registry, you only need to fill out a form and get a sample of blood taken at your GP or clinic and that’s it. And if you end up being a match for someone, then your immune system will be completely back to normal in three weeks (it’s not like donating a kidney or something where you’re missing something for the rest of your life, for instance). Please go here in the USA or here in the UK to get yourself on the list.

The bright side of all this is that the timing means I’ll be able to have a big party to celebrate my 30th birthday at the end of March afterall. With my weight likely to fluctuate all over the place, I don’t want to start work on my wedding gown until the last possible moment, but at least I can sew a posh birthday dress in the meantime!

Thank you, Brian and Sharon!

* If you really want to ruin your day, have a read of what’s involved in a transplant. Let’s just say it starts with a super-concentrated dose of chemo and gets worse from there.

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