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Forum > Fashion Styles and Trends > Chemo Turbans ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Chemo Turbans
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Amy-may
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Amy-may
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Illinois USA
Member since 6/7/05
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Date: 10/3/09 11:25 PM

I've had a request for Chemo Turbans/Hats/Scarves....
Having no experience with such things, what do I need to know? The standard turban looks so old-lady to me, but, maybe that's a good thing?

Any pattern suggestions? I picked up Mc4116 today, but I'm not sure if that's the right idea or not.

Fabric suggestions? Should I stick to 100% cotton? Is polar fleece good for this time of year?, or too hot? Flannel maybe? Solid colors for goes-with-everything, or pretty prints? Poly-silky for a shaped scarf? Or like all ladies' accessories, some of each?

Any help would be appreciated. I'm glad to donate some sewing time to charity, but want to make sure I'm sewing what is needed.

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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In reply to Amy-may


Date: 10/4/09 1:39 AM

I've used this vintage pattern for a friend going through chemo. Your McCall's 4116 is a superb pattern, though, in that it combines the best of several fine, now-discontinued patterns.

In my too-frequent experience with friends going through this experience, the scalp becomes very sensitive and you need a soft, soft fabric and seams with no raw edges next to the skin (which means doing some of the construction inside out). Silk-like poly can get pretty warm in regions where it's still summery. Soft cotton knits are great in general, and when the weather gets cooler, lightweight fleece of the type called "chamois" can be very comfortable. In terms of design, there merest suggestion of looseness just at the hairline casts a tiny shadow there and is more flattering than fabric that is flush with the skin. You can see this effect in the beige and blue hats in that vintage Muir pattern.

meesa
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meesa
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Ohio USA
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Date: 10/4/09 9:52 AM

I also have the uncut pattern from McCall's 4116 to make some for my MIL. I've knitted a few hats for her, which she likes, but sewing will be faster for me. I just need to get my behind in gear and do it. I bought extra cotton/lycra knit when I made myself some tops and I will use that to make the hats. It is very soft so I think it would be comfortable.

Cornelia
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Cornelia  Friend of PR
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Ohio USA
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Date: 10/4/09 10:08 AM

Wild Ginger has a free downloadable program, iCare, for custom medical care patient clothing. You might find the public forum helpful. Here's a thread on chemo hats: http://www.wildginger.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=3150&posts=9

NAYY, just love this company.

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Cornelia"Love" is a verb.

PhyllisC
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PhyllisC
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Massachusetts USA
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In reply to Elona


Date: 10/4/09 11:51 AM

Quote: Elona

In my too-frequent experience with friends going through this experience, the scalp becomes very sensitive and you need a soft, soft fabric and seams with no raw edges next to the skin (which means doing some of the construction inside out). Silk-like poly can get pretty warm in regions where it's still summery. Soft cotton knits are great in general, and when the weather gets cooler, lightweight fleece of the type called "chamois" can be very comfortable.

I've never sewn one but I've read this as well. I recall someone here on PR suggesting that well worn tee-shirt knit that has been washed many times so that its ultra-soft is also a good choice as a lining.

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Sewing = Fashion
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Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.

GorgeousFabrics
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GorgeousFabrics
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Date: 10/4/09 12:50 PM

Years ago a number of us had a secret sewalong making hats for a PR member who was going through chemo at the time. I made her a fedora style that I lined with silk charmeuse. I later made a hat for my MIL when she was undergoing treatment and I used silk charmeuse as the lining. She really loved her hat and wore it until she died. I chose silk charmeuse instead of poly so it would breathe better. Both of them seemed to like it. You can also use stretch silk charmeuse if you're making a closer fitting topper or scarf.

SueV
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SueV  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/5/09 7:09 PM

from my experience... don't make it too silky as it will slip off. The scalp is smooth when bald so something with a little knit/lycra is nice as it keeps/holds it in place. I found that a lot of the silk scarves that I bought and loved, while they felt really nice, they didn't stay on too well and slipped back or off. I really liked lightweight (rayon lycra) shirts with hoods. I could put up the hood and it had the advantage of keeping my neck warm; particularly outside. I also liked caps that friends knitted or crochet. I tended to like things that would make me look "normal", and not too chemo-ish. :)

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Sue V
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Amy-may
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Amy-may
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Illinois USA
Member since 6/7/05
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Date: 10/5/09 7:31 PM

Okay, one more question. Is this an issue only for women? Or do men just look more "everyday" in a hat or bald that nobody ever notices? My son thought I should also make some do-rags for sick men with cold heads. Is this a need?

jannw
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jannw  Friend of PR
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In reply to Amy-may


Date: 10/5/09 8:46 PM

That is a very good question..I was trying to think back and I don't recall men with this problem when I was undergoing treatment..probably, because we are used to seeing bald men..However, I would think that men who lost their hair would have the same problems with heat loss, tender scalps, etc. I would think that it would be appreciated with winter coming..

That is a nice thought from your son..can you call a local treatment center or Cancer Society?

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2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

Amy-may
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Amy-may
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 6/7/05
Posts: 1223
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Date: 10/5/09 9:08 PM

The local chapter of the American Cancer Society called our church sewing group about taking this on as a ministry project. They will accept anything we give them (yes, a little vague) but I wanted to be sure that we were filling a need, not our assumption of the need. (Most of our dear sewing ladies are not computer literate and not garment sewers, so they are waiting on me to get them started.)

I've googled and followed a rabbit trail of links, but didn't find "definitive" answers. I suspect that preferences vary widely, so maybe there isn't a single "right" answer?

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