Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Special Needs Patterns

As you may know, I belong to a group within the Kingwood Area Quilt Guild that is devoted to making things for those in need in our community.  We, generally, don't do quilts but we do lots and lots of other things.....chemotherapy caps, baby hats, baby blankets, wheel chair bags, ditty  bags, Christmas stockings, and many other items.

Many of our projects are for those who cannot provide these items for themselves due to the expense and/or the unavailability of these items in regular stores.

For instance, caps for those suffering from hair loss can cost well over $20.00 a piece, which can be quite an expense as you need many to always have a clean one on hand.

The patterns we have obtained or developed meet some of the needs in our community but are very basic.  I came across several patterns lately, developed by Simplicity, that can be used to make wonderful accessories for the special needs community.

For example, Simplicity patterns 2382 and 2822 are a wonderful assortment of wheelchair, walker and scooter bags.  They are definitely fancier than the generic ones we make and would be great to customize for that family member who has such mobility devices.  If you are looking for even more interesting bags for walkers, pattern 2300 has a lot of bags for different styles of walkers.

One of the things I didn't get a chance to make for my dad when he was in rehab was a bib to save some of his clothes.  Pattern 2687 has great bibs, customizable for male or female users and definitely useful for those of us who tend to eat in our cars.

My absolutely favorite pattern is Simplicity 2623.  Although the packaging does not mention it, these patterns are wonderful for Alzheimer patients.  Each item has multiple functional buttons, zippers and pockets that allow the wearer to practice fine muscle control and help keep busy hands occupied.  Similar aprons cost cost around $50.00 at a store but can be made from your stash for a lot less.

For chemotherapy caps, Simplicity 2494 is the only simple hat pattern I can see in the current catalog.  These are designed for fleece but could be easily adapted to other fabrics.  McCall's Pattern Company's M4116 is a wonderful pattern for using knits and the styles included are quite exotic.  For other hat patterns, Nancy's Notions, has many free, simple patterns and other companies sell or give away many others.  The only rules about chemotherapy caps is that the fabric must be soft, washable and all seams or decorative bits cannot rub against the scalp.

If you like the projects we make for the local community but need something for your own or someone else's use, check out these great patterns.  They are simple to make, easy to customize and can be real stash busters! 

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