I'm again participating in the ByAnnie #sewpink campaign for the October Breast cancer awareness month. Although I have so far escaped the 1 in 7 statistic, many of my friends have not and I have watched them battle and fight with grace and courage… hopefully by their side with support along the way. So it was certainly my honour to once again support this activity and bring a little awareness and reminders to our day.


There are many great designers participating in the blog hop, and I've put the links at the bottom of the post.  We also may each have a prize to giveaway! yes, one every day if you visit each blog. To win mine, you just need to post a pic on IG and tag me @helen_stubbings using hashtag #sewpink.  telling your friends and family to ‘check their bumps for lumps’. Don’t forget to tag me or I won’t see your entry. It would be great to also tag @PatternsByAnnie  It can be a HNK or ByAnnie project you’ve made, some wise words or show your BC story, anything you like. Be creative and have fun..  You may win a $30 digital voucher from By Annie and another from Hugs ‘n Kisses.

Last year I had a bit of fun and made this little project – the Zip it up bag


and we held a wonderful and successful ‘Stitch for Sisters’ high tea event raising many funds for the cause.


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Sadly that is not possible this year – so I have instead ‘interviewed’ three lovely friends who have all won the battle and have some tips to share. (note: photos and content provided & shared with their permission further down)

I have also made the lovely Day Tripper 2.0 Cross body bag from ByAnnie as I felt it was the perfect bag for day treatment visits.


I've used Anna Maria Horner fabrics which are just perfect for the task, and something that I thought you’d be proud to hang over your shoulder. daytripper-close-top

I used the wonderful bag zippers from ByAnnie, (in hot pink of course) and the Wild Lotus Prussian fabric by Anna Maria. We also just received the lovely new black hardware from Annie, so of course I had to try that..  stock is coming!day-tripper-full-outside

I asked my friends what 3 things would they put into a day treatment (tripper) bag?


What are three things you wished you knew before going to your first treatment to take in your bag?


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First and last treatments -

First treatment I was full of anxiety  - Last Herceptin treatment (had to do this every 3 weeks for 12months, started with chemo) feeling happy it was all over

1. I wished I had prepared a small bag packed with a simple project to work on just at treatments, or sitting in waiting rooms. I was always walking out the door and forgetting to take some handwork and a lot of time was wasted in my own head worrying about stuff I had no control over.

2.I found taking comfy socks to wear during chemo kept my toes warm and me comfy.


3.Keep a diary/journal and write your story.



Look good, Feelgood workshops – celebrating end of first year of treatment

1.Ask how you’re having your treatment, mine was through a cannula in my hand and so I couldn’t really use one of my hands while I was having the chemo. So Music and an electronic book were better options than stitching for me, it was such a shame I had so much time I would have loved to have stitched. My days were a minimum of six hours long to an overnight stay on my first treatment.

2.I found everyone amazing and you are well informed about what to expect but when they suggested loose comfortable clothing I didn’t think about easy slip on shoes and socks! I liked to recline in the chair without my shoes, but I needed to put them on every time I went to the toilet which was often. You’re hooked up to a pump on a mobile pole and a cannula in one hand that they ask you not to use if possible so slip on shoes are invaluable. I took a pair of crocs in my bag. If you don’t wear socks take some. It may be hot outside, but hospitals are airconditioned and if you’re like me I didn’t like cold feet. It’s also not a fashion faux pas to wear socks with your slip on shoes, you also don’t have any hair remember.

3. A drink bottle that you only need one hand to open is handy and big enough you don’t have to get up too often but not too big that its heavy to lift. Your encouraged to drink lots of water and believe me it’s better to stick with that advice, dehydration, nausea, constipation are all much worse if you don’t drink regularly.




About to go into surgery – stitchery in hand to calm the nerves

Mandy due to her home location moved away from home to a residential facility to undergo her weeks of radiation treatment daily. The most valued things (packed in a bag by her good friend) to get through this period were:

1.A little new stitching project by Anni Downs,

2.MooGoo body cream & homemade sleeping and relaxation oils,

3. chocolate and magazines


What is one single piece of advice you would have as a survivor?


If you’re likely to lose your hair don’t panic and rush out and buy an expensive wig, you may never wear it, the head scarves I had were so much more comfy and pretty. The wig still sits in a box.


Try to be patient if you’re not that nature. Everything takes longer than you think it should. Tests to be done so you can start treatment, your treatment to be over, days to feel normal, your hair to grow back, your taste to return, to not need an afternoon sleep, to be able to concentrate and remember things, to like chocolate again Winking smile , but before you know it it’s all over and you survived.


Have that regular mammogram when it’s due! I like many before and after me was symptomless and my little cancer friend was hiding and didn’t want to be found by regular monthly checks. It was an insidious little monster just growing away and I thank Breast Screen Victoria for their vigilance.


Remember to win a $30 ByAnnie digital voucher OR a $30 HNK voucher you just need to post a pic on IG and tag me @helen_stubbings using hashtag #sewpink. Don’t forget to tag me or I won’t see your entry. It can be a HNK project you’ve made, some wise words or show your BC story, anything you like. If possible – make it pink!

and ladies and gents – don’t forget to check those bumps for lumps!

Hugs for today – and go check those bumps!



Oct. 1 (Thur): Mister Domestic

Oct. 5 (Mon): Sewfinity

Oct. 7 (Wed): Great Heron Thread

Oct. 9 (Friday): Knot and Thread

Oct. 12 (Mon): Snuggles Quilts

Oct. 14 (Wed): A Bright Corner

Oct. 16 (Fri): Susan Quilts

Oct. 19 (Mon): HUGS'N KISSES

Oct. 20 (Tues): Sallie Tomato

Oct. 22 (Thur): Nancy Scott

Oct. 23 (Fri): Meadow Mist

Oct. 26 (Mon): LoveYouSew

Oct. 27 (Tue): Teresa Coates

Oct. 31 (Sat): Sue O'Very/Sookie Sews

The #SewPink Initiative was created by ByAnnie.com LLC to raise awareness for breast cancer throughout the year. Our efforts culminate in an annual blog hop during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote self-care, awareness, early detection and support for those affected by breast cancer.

To learn more and see the calendar of events visit: https://www.ByAnnie.com/SewPINK

To find screenings available near you:

· Breast Screen (Australia)

· CDC.gov (US)

· WebMD (free screenings)

To donate directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation visit: https://give.bcrf.org/give/31404/#!/donation/checkout