Whilst many projects initially seem like a very good idea, I often find that the early days are quick to throw up problems, and make you wonder how it might work out. I had a simple idea – I would make a dress entirely from drawn thread and include an image from my CT scan that would represent bronchiectasis.
First I needed to get hold of my CT scan images. I started by contacting the consultant who supported my project, and he directed me towards the radiology department, where a seemingly complicated process of gaining consent to access records eventually resulted in me getting a copy of my CT scan. Once I had the disks another problem arose – how to read the images so that I could recognise the diseased lung from the healthy tissue. The consultant radiologist at Southmead kindly agreed to meet me and explained that there was a classic shape that signified the disease: a signet ring. In healthy lung tissue the bronchi which allow air to pass through the lungs are the same size as the accompanying blood vessels. In bronchiectasis the damaged bronchi have an enlarged lumen, which provides the signet ring appearance.
Transverse image of CT scanWith a basic understanding of what I was looking for, I printed several different images from my CT scan. I cut, arranged and rearranged images and then made some samples in free machine embroidered 1/4 scale blocks on dissolvable fabric.