Sewn Gifts for Little Heart Warriors

Because our LO was born with a congenital heart defect, we have spent a lot of time in hospitals both here at UVA and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH).  Over the last year, we have met so many amazing heart parents that are giving everything they have to support and love their little heart warriors.  And the kids?  They are some of the strongest fighters I have ever seen.  These families are the definition of courage and grace.  So, as the holiday season approached, I knew that I wanted to try and do something that might bring a little joy to all of the BCH and UVA families that will be spending it in the hospital.  Unfortunately, illnesses don’t observe holidays.  And DH and I know from experience how lonely and depressing spending a holiday in the hospital can be.

I had just made a bunch of pairs of knit leggings for LO (because she is super tall for her weight) from an awesome Brindille & Twig pattern, when the light bulb came on.

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Brindille & Twig Leggings for LO

UVA and BCH both struggle every time LO is admitted to find something for her to wear.  The hospital gowns that they usually provide us are HUGE, (picture me in Andre the Giant’s clothes), and they don’t keep her legs from getting cold.  It seemed like a no-brainer.  Both of these hospitals could use leggings for their pediatric patients.  Then, I also remembered how there were limited things for LO to chew on there when she was teething and figured they could use some teething toys too.  So, at 2am (because that’s always when I do my best work), I started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money to purchase fabric for leggings, teething toys, and teething bibs.

I. was. shocked.  I set the goal originally at $1,000 and it was met in less than 2 hours.  So, I changed the goal to $2,000, and it was fulfilled by 24 hours.  I sat crying in front of my computer as I witnessed the amazing generosity and love from family, friends, and friends of friends.  It was humbling.  It was also time to run to JoAnn’s.  My husband jokes that I’m having a lesbian affair with a woman names JoAnn because of how often I am there.  Whatever.  A girl’s got to craft.  After some serious waiting in line at JoAnn’s, I had my fabric!

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JoAnn’s has quite a nice selection of knits these days.

Now, it was onto the tedious process of creating a pattern for each of the legging sizes.  I needed something a little thicker than paper because I planned to use my rotary cutter to cut out all of the leggings.  Hello, beautiful manilla folder.   With a little tape, they worked beautifully.  Sorry for the bad picture.  We’ve lived in our house for almost two years with no window treatments.  Don’t judge.

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After the patterns were cut, I faced a large game of “fabric Jenga” trying to figure out how to place each one to minimize fabric waste.  After some trial and error, I think I figured out several layouts that will work.  I also decided that I could further cut down on the waste by cutting out some cute baby hats from a Coral + Co pattern with the larger pieces.

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Fabric Jenga

Several hours of serious wrist action, yielded a huge stack of 60 leggings. Whew!  And crap.  Crap, that is a lot of sewing.

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Stacks and stacks of leggings!

So, I leave you with this……..

The family is nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of iPad pros dance in their heads.
And me with my wine, and Juki, and rom coms galore,
Will just settle in to sew, and sew, and sew some more.

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