Lillian Weber says she took a year of sewing in 4H when she was 17 years old, but she forgot all about sewing as she pursued other interests and goals. After her three children were born, Lillian says “the creative side of me was itching to get out and do something.” Since money was tight, she began by upcycling clothes for her kids, then went on to branch into doing alterations and production sewing.
She was frustrated by fitting problems, especially for women with fuller busts, so she “pursued the fitting secrets with a passion and finally found enough of them online and in books, which, together with my analytical and problem solving brain, helped me solve fitting problems in sewing.”
Her business, JSAW Mastectomy Designs, was born in 2003 and Lillian says its still feels like a bit of a startup since she’s constantly learning new aspects of the business, like the ins and outs of online stores and website development.
Lillian designs and sews custom made nightwear and intimate apparel for ladies who have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy due to breast cancer. Her designs are custom made to her customer’s specific measurements, they do not come in small, medium and large, all with the same bust cup size. She actually creates a new pattern, based on the customer’s measurements, for each new garment order she receives.
The business is run from Lillian’s home office and she has a sewing room setup in the basement. Lillian says the best part about being self employed is “being able to be there for your family when they need you. Also being able to follow one’s own dreams and heart’s passion.” Lillian knows the frustration of not being able to find clothes that fit, “not because of a mastectomy but because of having a body that is a combination of about 4 different dress sizes,” so she completely understands the relief of finally having clothes that fit well.