Date of Graduation

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Laurie M. Apple

Committee Member

Kathleen R. Smith

Second Committee Member

Stephanie K. Hubert

Keywords

Social sciences; Communication and the arts; Health and environmental sciences; Apparel design; Clothing fit; Design process; Pattern block; Post double mastectomy

Abstract

Breast cancer is a leading cancer among women today. Mastectomy is one of the most common paths for breast cancer prevention and treatment. However, this treatment path can cause noticeable body changes around the woman’s bust area. Recently more and more post mastectomy women are deciding to live without breast reconstruction surgery. This decision referred to as “going flat” or “living flat.” Due to the changed bodies and a lack of information on functional and aesthetic concerns related to clothing, clothing selection becomes difficult for post mastectomy women who choose to “live flat.”

The purpose of this study was to create two new fitting (no dart and one waist dart) blocks for post mastectomy women after exploring the clothing preferences, demands, and clothing expenses of post double mastectomy female participants in a Social media organization. An online survey was created and applied to collect information such as their geographic location, post-surgery clothing and body sizes, clothing and fabric preferences, and clothing expenses statistics. A total of 95 post double mastectomy women who choose to “live flat” participated in the survey. There were 89 participants who had double mastectomy surgery, and six participants who had single mastectomy.

Based on the findings, most mastectomy survivors changed their clothing style after mastectomy surgery. There are many types of clothing they could not wear any more since their body shape changed. In order to meet their clothing fitting and aesthetic demands, two new blocks have been made. The researcher also provides the steps of making the no dart and one waist dart blocks. Although there are different types of breast cancer survivors, the new blocks were only focused on post double mastectomy women in this study. It leaves a creative space for researchers and designers to innovate new blocks for women who had different types of mastectomy surgeries and without having a breast reconstruction surgery.

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