Following her experience losing a breast to cancer and the need for a comfortable way to cover the area of her body, a Hokkaido seamstress developed a cotton breast pad that is now sold across the country.

Mieko Ichinomiya, 68, who lives in Sapporo, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and had her right breast completely removed. Following her surgery, she started making pads by hand at the hospital, first to kill time, and later to give as gifts to others who had a need to cover their post-surgery breasts and felt that conventional pads were not quite right.

The pads — all of which are hand-sewn by Ichinomiya — are available online through Cancer Support Hokkaido, a nonprofit group that offers a range of support activities for cancer patients and their families.