My dear friend, Alice, broke her ankle a few years back. She went through several surgeries that didn't do the trick. Then, she gave it one more try and found a wonderful surgeon. However, Alice had to keep all weight off the foot and was literally bolted into a huge titanium frame called a fixator for six months! Well, it wasn't pretty. Her foot was swollen, red, blue... it all looked pretty yucky with metal pins going into the ends of each toe. Not at all a nice thing to see.
So, my quilting brain started thinking about making a stylish cover for the contraption. Sweet Alice had been tying a pillowcase around her leg... I had to accomplish something better than that. I knew Alice loved beige and wore it often. I found a darling floral print and began to design the cover. It had to be rigid and able to wrap around the frame and velcro in the front. I found a stiff pellon with a double sided iron on bonding much like Wonder Under. It would hold its shape and stand up straight. I ironed the beige fabric to both sides and then began to sew. I hoped the doctor wouldn't mind, but I also used stick on velcro and went around the entire outside edge of the fixator frame. So, the bottom of the cover had velcro sewn in to it so that it would wrap around the frame and have the stiffness to go up her leg.
The part that covered her foot was the really fun part... I traced around my own bare foot for the pattern. I found a sweet pink batik, backed it with Wonder Under, and then using the foot pattern ironed it onto the beige floral fabric. I did free-motion sewing on the pink foot to simulate toe nails, folds in the skin... it was so fun. I kept looking at my own foot to get all the lines and cracks correct. I found a magenta fabric scrap and ironed on painted toe nails! Good lord, I was cracking up as I was working. I even put in a toe ring! I'm sure Alice's alter ego would wear a toe ring even though she is quite the proper lady.
Well... when I had the whole thing finished I delivered it expecting a roar of laughter - hoping she would actually use. Roar with laughter she did along with her husband. Sweet Alice loved it and was the talk of the orthopedic ward when she went for her next doctor's visit. The nurses loved it.
I am delighted that I was able to make an ugly contraption look like something cute and stylish. Everywhere Alice went she was stopped to talk about her novel foot covering. My goal was to lift her spirits; I believe I did. The doctor told Alice to tell me I could make a fortune making these covers.... but, I just want to pass this idea on to you and hope you will perk up someone's fixator. Think how fun it would be to make one for a child... just let your imagination go. Oh, a little ballerina could have a toe shoe!! I LOVE it! What about a swim fin or fancy flip flop... Yee gads, this is great!
Keep on stitching with love...
Hugs from Mary