Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Think Pink in 2011

A contribute to all the Women who have had the unfortunate battle of facing breast cancer. Many women of all races have been diagnosed with the terrible, ugly, and devastating, trying-to-bring-us-females-down devil.

We should be educated on this ugly wanna-be tyrannical potential destroyer of life. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.

So, for a special contribute to our strong women who have fought this battle and either beat it or lost the fight, I decided to enter the Think Pink contest over at Pattern Review. This link takes you to the discussion for Think Pink. This link takes you to the photo gallery of all the entries. You won’t see me being prolific at all in the discussion because I wanted to finish my entry before I made a vow to enter. However, I followed the discussion by the other participants and lurkers and enjoyed the conversation.

I decided to make two patterns that have been collecting dust in the stash. They are Simplicity 2364 and Vogue 8697. I needed something quick and easy because of time constraints.

Decisions 1 

While I settled on the decision to make this very pretty and very figure flattering envelope style top, I thought this is such a great top that would help wash away any negative self-identity that a breast cancer patient may have. This type of top looks good with 1, 2, or no breast! Believe me, it is just that sexy.

There are a few words that are used to describe breast cancer that we should become familiar with.

1. Carcinoma - This is a term used to describe a cancer that begins in the lining layer (epithelial cells) of organs like the breast. Nearly all breast cancers are carcinomas (either ductal carcinomas or lobular carcinomas).

2. Adenocarcinoma - An adenocarcinoma is a type of carcinoma that starts in glandular tissue (tissue that makes and secretes a substance). The ducts and lobules of the breast are glandular tissue (they make breast milk), so cancers starting in these areas are often called adenocarcinomas.

3. Carcinoma in situ - This term is used for an early stage of cancer, when it is confined to the layer of cells where it began. In breast cancer, in situ means that the cancer cells remain confined to ducts (ductal carcinoma in situ). The cells have not grown into (invaded) deeper tissues in the breast or spread to other organs in the body. Carcinoma in situ of the breast is sometimes referred to as non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer because it may develop into an invasive breast cancer if left untreated.

4. Invasive (infiltrating) carcinoma - An invasive cancer is one that has already grown beyond the layer of cells where it started (as opposed to carcinoma in situ). Most breast cancers are invasive carcinomas — either invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma.

5. Sarcoma - Sarcomas are cancers that start in connective tissues such as muscle tissue, fat tissue, or blood vessels. Sarcomas of the breast are rare.

Here is the review for the top: Simplicity 2364 

Almost Done Front                          Almost Done Back

Almost Done Side

Pattern description: Misses’ Knit Tops. I would add: with two neck lines 1. Envelope  and 2. One-shouldered. Four sleeve variations: 1. sleeveless, 2. cap, 3. three-quarter, and 4. flutter. I made view A.

Sizing: 6 through 14 and 14 through 22. I cut the 14. I think I lost more weight than I initially thought because this was way too big.

Did it look like the photo or drawing on the envelope when you were done with it? Why, yes. I do believe so in a strange kind of way. Since I had a fit issue across the chest and didn’t quite know how to fix it. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were pretty simple. Nothing to grip or complain about.

What did I particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Well, I liked it because of the necklines. A woman always looks very nice and sexy in envelope style tops. To me this is hands down. For the other versions I did not make, I like the flutter sleeve and the one shoulder looks. My dislikes didn’t come until after I made blind adjustments and the top was done. I think this pattern either runs a bit on the huge side or my fabric had terrible stretch return – and it has good return but maybe not enough for this style.

Fabric used: I used a very pretty rib knit Pink in one light, Coral in another, and peach in, yet, another light. I bought it over a year ago from Hancock Fabrics when I visited my sister in NC. It was $2.95 a yard. It was supposed to have been a tank dress but that never happened.

Pattern alterations or any design changes: Hmmm, After I put the top’s front, back, and arm pieces together and tried it on, it fit like it was two sizes too big. I went in and sewn almost two inches on both sides. It was still big. I also took in another 1/2 in on each side from the under arm to the hem starting a zero and ending back at zero. I done a 1/2 hem also. For the part that makes the ‘cape’ of the top, I did not do a center seam. Instead, I just overlapped what would have been the center seam allowance and cut on the fold.

Would I sew it again? Would I recommend it? Well, let me say this. I made Vogue's top that is identical to this one twice. One for two of my sisters. Well, I made one for myself and it was claimed before I could wear it and I coached the other. (I didn’t get a chance to take any photos of those two.) I will continue to make the Vogue top for this style. I MIGHT try it again to see if it was me, the fabric used, or the pattern. I can not say that I recommend it because I am not fully content with it. Others who have made this same pattern may have other views. You can check them out right here and make an informed decision for yourself.

Breast 1

The normal breast

To understand breast cancer, it helps to have some basic knowledge about the normal structure of the breasts, shown in the diagram.

The female breast is made up mainly of lobules (milk-producing glands), ducts (tiny tubes that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple), and stroma (fatty tissue and connective tissue surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels). Most breast cancers begin in the cells that line the ducts (ductal cancers). Some begin in the cells that line the lobules (lobular cancers), while a small number start in other tissues.

The skirt was chosen because, for one, it has been in the stash since it came out and I wanted to do a new pattern, that was a skirt, and seemed to be pretty easy. You can’t go wrong with a high-waist pencil skirt.

Here is that review: Vogue 8697

Almost Complete Front                         Almost Complete Back

Almost Complete Side

Pattern description: This is one of Vogue’s Options patterns for Misses’ and Misses’ Petite Skirt: Semi-fitted, tapered, lined skirts with shaped waistband, princess seams, back slit, topstitched trim and back zipper. I would say, what a sexy and very attractive skirt that would look great in any material!

Sizes: 4 through 18 and I cut the 12.

Did it look like the photo or depicted drawing on the envelope? Yes, indeed. Although I am not slim like the model nor as tall, I believe it looks pretty darn close to it.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Oh boy, yes! Just make sure you have your waistband pieces numbered and put together correctly. The photos are also helpful.

What did I like or dislike about the pattern? I love the shape and the kind of piecing to put it together. It makes an interesting waistband. I have no dislikes.

Fabric used: I used another great find from Hancock Fabrics on the same visit to NC for $3.95 a yard. So, it was a stash too.

Pattern alterations or design changes: First, I did not line the skirt. Second, I did not top-stitch any seam. Third, I added a small braided trim that was bought for another project. I put those in the horizontal side seam in the front and back. Now these seams I did top-stitch. At first, I was not going to add the lined waistband because I had issues with something just not lining up. However, I trimmed the extra fabric, made the facing piece as a whole by tracing the fashion side, and added the allowance. Last, I added a black bias to the facing bottom for a little contrast that only I would know about.

Shaped Waistband      Bias Trim and Plain Facing


Would I sew it again? Do I recommend? Oh, yes, I want to definitely sew this number again. I see this in denim, corduroy, and suede…. Yes, I recommend this pattern to the highest power. And if this skirt has potential to make me look like this, I am even more in tuned to making it! Lol

Types of breast cancers: There are several types of breast cancer, but some of them are quite rare. In some cases a single breast tumor can be a combination of these types or be a mixture of invasive and in situ cancer.

Ductal carcinoma in situ - Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer. DCIS means that the cancer cells are inside the ducts but have not spread through the walls of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. About 1 in 5 new breast cancer cases will be DCIS. Nearly all women diagnosed at this early stage of breast cancer can be cured. A mammogram is often the best way to find DCIS early.

Lobular carcinoma in situ - This is not a true cancer, and is discussed in the section “What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma - This is the most common type of breast cancer. Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC) starts in a milk passage (duct) of the breast, breaks through the wall of the duct, and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it may be able to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system and bloodstream. About 8 of 10 invasive breast cancers are infiltrating ductal carcinomas.

Invasive (or infiltrating) lobular carcinoma - Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules). Like IDC, it can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. About 1 in 10 invasive breast cancers is an ILC. Invasive lobular carcinoma may be harder to detect by a mammogram than invasive ductal carcinoma.

BCA on Aloe Front                    BCA on Aloe Back

Breast Cancer Front                       Breast Cancer Back

While I was trying to see how nice was to look in my new ensemble, my Sister asked me what shoes I was going to wear with it. 0_o. Ummm, good question. So I ran to the closet to see what I had on hand and these are what I sent her:

Shoe Choices FrontandShoe Choices Side

Don’t mind the black pair in the background. They have been disabled. I broke the heel while walking in Wal-Mart.

My shoes are my new Chinese Laundry Whistle pump.

All previous information taken from:

One more note on breast cancer. I want to put it out there that we can perform our own breast self-exam. There are five steps to doing this. When I started about two years ago, I noticed that performing the self exam in the shower worked best. 

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

Here's what you should look for:

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:

  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Breast Self-Exam - Step 1

Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

Breast Self-Exam - Steps 2 and 3

Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).

Breast Self-Exam - Step 4

Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.

Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.

Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4.

Breast Self-Exam - Step 5

I hope you enjoyed this special review contributed to ALL breast cancer patients. Be blessed and stay informed. Education is the key.

Previous information taken from Breast Cancer.Org @

Breast Cancer Front 1

Until later Schey. 


GodsgirlT said...

Very nice! The outfit, the tribute. I especially love the skirt fabric. Great job!

Alethia said...

I, too, really like this outfit...your skirt fabric is beautiful!
I have the top pattern, but I've overlooked it several time... after seeing yours, I think I'm gonna use it very soon. :)

Myra said...

Very nice outfit and tribute Schey! Thanks for all the wonderful information!