UPDATED: Sadly, The Liberty Rose Trust seems to have closed. However, if you know of somewhere that needs them, then you're welcome to use this tutorial to make wiggly bags. Please be aware though, that different hospitals require different sizes of wiggly bag.
Last month one of the lovely readers of my blog wrote to me and told me about some 'wiggly bags' that she was hoping to make for the Liberty Rose Trust and asked my advice about colours as she was having problems visualising what would work well. I'd actually never heard of Wiggly Bags, but following the link that she sent, found that they are bags that children undergoing treatment for cancer use to hold their central line, which will be with them throughout their treatment to give medicines and take blood (thus avoiding the need for needles). So that the line (that's the 'wiggly') doesn't get dirty or pulled while playing each child needs a wiggly bag to keep it in. Sarah Hill (Director of Family Support at the Liberty Rose Trust) told me that a child will often have their line with them on a constant basis for around 18 months and so the wiggly bag that holds it will become a big part of their daily life and the child will often become very attached to it. The bags are needed for children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers and so there's a call for bags bearing pictures of animals, fairies, dinosaurs, rockets...but there's also a real need for bags that teenagers will be happy to wear.
So anyway, back to the reader who wrote to me...I could see exactly why she was having problems visualising the Wiggly Bag as although the Liberty Rose Trust have a pattern piece and instructions for how to make one, they don't currently have on their site a picture of the finished bag or any step photos...which is tricky if you are a visual person. So, with the Liberty Rose Trust's permission, I've written up a step-by-step photo tutorial based on their original pattern piece in the hope that it might make it even easier for other sewers to help. They can take as long or as little time to make as you can spare...they can be embellished with appliques or made from patchwork, or they can just be made from one simple fabric piece as shown in this tutorial (the latter means that you can whip up around 3 bags in an hour). Please remember though:
- The bag will be washed every 2/3 days, which means that all wiggly bags need to be made from cotton.
- The drawstring must be made of soft tape (not ribbon, as that can be scratchy against the skin).
- The tape must be 1 metre long so that the ends can be cut to size to suit the height of the child wearing the Wiggly Bag.
- A variety of bags are needed for boys, girls, toddlers, children and teenagers.
- You can find a downloadable PDF including the Liberty Rose Trust pattern piece and this photo tutorial at the bottom of this post, which can be downloaded to your computer and printed out.
- This tutorial covers the basics in the hope that beginner sewers won't be put off.