Monday Musings: the making of One Small Butterfly Caps

9 Oct

One Small Butterfly Caps are for those who have lost their hair battling cancer.

This past weekend, two of our kids made public a project they’ve been working on for a couple of months now: One Small Butterfly Caps. They are reversible chemo caps for people who have lost their hair battling cancer. They were inspired by so many people who have fought the disease, but by several in particular.

Last fall, my oldest daughter was in class when her Algebra teacher announced she was leaving for surgery and recovery, battling breast cancer for the second time in a short number of years. She was young, with a husband and young kids, and visibly shaken as she told her high school math students she’d be out for a length of time. My daughter Caroline, her peers and the faculty at school were so upset and so worried for her.

Later in the school year, her teacher returned to school with the arrival of springtime. During one conversation, she happened to mention to the students how hard it was to find a good chemo cap that was affordable and stylish and matched her wardrobe. She was frustrated.

As someone who sews, my daughter thought she could sew her a cap that would fit her needs, and she put it on her “to do” list. Before she knew it, her teacher wasn’t wearing a cap any longer, her hair was growing back in. However, it was almost summertime and my aunt was about to undergo chemotherapy and would be losing her hair. My daughter decided to make her great aunt a chemo cap. Before she could do it, our aunt took a turn for the worse in July, ended up in the hospital, and a month later, lost her battle to a cancer she’d been successfully fighting for almost three decades. My daughter was devastated that she had to permanently cross this off her list, never having been able to give her a stylish handmade cap.

In stepped Elizabeth to take on and carry out the chemo cap project.

As she talked about how upset she was, she mentioned that she had even printed out an easy pattern, but just hadn’t gotten to do it in time. Our middle daughter, Elizabeth also sews, as does our youngest daughter, Alexandra. Neither of the younger two work outside the house, while our oldest holds down a part time job in addition to her after-school activities. Elizabeth decided right then and there that she would take on the chemo cap project and start making caps in advance for those who would need them. Alexandra offered to help, doing some of the sewing, but specifically interested in working on the social media aspect of the project and setting up a website.

Within days, Elizabeth had taken $40 of her own money to purchase fabrics and Alexandra had set up an Instagram page where all of the caps are pictured as they are finished, and had started working on a website. She began to keep track of what they were spending, how many they were making and specifically what they needed for materials, keeping copious notes of everything as they went along.

One Small Butterfly Caps were born that day in August during that very conversation, named in honor of those who have suddenly gone too soon from our lives, created in honor of all those we’ve lost already, but designed to help all those who will be fighting this awful disease going forward.

Alex was up, creating the perfect website early one morning.

The girls’ mission was to make functional, stylish, reversible, affordable chemo caps that would help people feel good about how they look as they fight their battle, thinking back to Caroline’s teacher and the conversation about her frustrations this past spring.

For days, prior to the start of school, they worked day in and day out, using the pattern designed for the adult sized caps, and modifying it to create smaller sized caps for kids too. They chose fun fabrics and beautiful fabrics, hoping to meet the needs of people with a variety of tastes. We didn’t say much about it to very many people, they just kept working on caps until school began. In mid- September, we mourned the loss of yet another close friend of our family who also lost her life to cancer.

Here is one of their reversible caps with a fun travel themed fabric on one side and a versatile creamy fabric on the other side.

Before we knew it, it was October, and it is specifically a month for breast cancer awareness. Although the girls didn’t have a huge amount of caps stockpiled yet, they decided to launch their One Small Butterfly Caps website and they were thrilled when Jerilyn Perry, owner and operator of Jerilyn’s Sewing School where all our girls have learned to sew, and where Caroline now works, offered them the opportunity to sell some of their caps in her store, The Creative Corner, which is attached to the sewing school. They were excited for the opportunity, so grateful to Jerilyn for her continued support, and this past Saturday they chose four of their favorite caps, two for adults and two for kids, and brought them to the store, where they will sell for $15 and $20 apiece for the small and large sizes, respectively.

Four favorite One Small Butterfly Caps were chosen to be the first ever to be for sale in stores this past weekend.

The One Small Butterfly Caps website is up and running now too, and soon the girls will be putting some caps for sale online as well. In the meantime, the sewing machines will be running again soon, and more fun fabrics await. For now, it is their hope that their One Small Butterfly Caps will be able to begin helping to make a difference in the lives of those who are living and fighting their battle with cancer.

2 Responses to “Monday Musings: the making of One Small Butterfly Caps”

  1. Sue October 9, 2017 at 5:47 pm #

    Ok…I just LOVE this post!! And a cool thing about it, is that I think I work with that wonderful algebra teacher’s husband, and have known him forever! Your girls are amazing, as is your whole family…I’m going to show this to her hubby, if that’s ok…

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