One thing I love about Facebook is you can find ways to help. Through the local quilters guild page (which I’ve not been a member in years) I found out that one of the local hospital needed face masks. After looking at the directions I figured I could make them.
Before I continue, please do not write me and tell me these masks don’t protect anyone from the virus. Before making these I spoke with the hospital that put out the call. No, they don’t protect from the virus, but as she said, “they are better than nothing.” It also makes people aware of their face and to not touch it. She also said that the hospital housekeeping staff wanted them so they at least had some type of barrier when they were in touch with patients who have colds or whatever. As for a false sense of security, I would assume the hospital will make them aware that it will not protect them from COVID-19.
I’m using some of my commercial fabric from my stash. Since I usually work with my dyed fabric, it was nice to find a reason to use some of this beautiful fabric that’s been hiding in a box.
Like many across the country who are sewing these masks, I had trouble locating more elastic. I ordered from Amazon and from Online Fabric Store, but I was out until I got those shipments. Fortunately, the local hospital purchased some elastic, and I was able to get some to use before my shipment arrives. After a small pause, I was back to my mat.
I ended up first cutting a bunch of fabric and elastic. Then I’d sew the elastic to the fabric and take the masks back to the iron. Once ironed, they go back to the machine to add the pleats which really took the longest to do.
Deaconess Health System in our area was asking for masks made with just two pieces of 100% cotton. They ended up putting up a page on the website with written and video instructions.
But depending on where you lived, each area hospital had their own guidelines. I stressed to my FB friends that they needed to check in their local areas what their hospital or nursing homes wanted.
Deaconess ended up getting coverage on national news (CNN and MSNBC) and in our local paper. The hospital representative told me that they received offers from all over the country to make the masks.
Since then nursing homes and just individuals have been asking for them. I’m in a neighborhood online group and an elderly man asked for masks. My only problem is that most of my commercial fabric is feminine. I asked him what his favorite color was. He said camo!! I didn’t have any of that, but I had some Olive Green I had ice dyed! So I made him one with that fabric, and another mask with indigo dyed fabric.
These have already gone to Deaconess.
I told a local nursing home I’d make some for them so this group and some florals that are still at my sewing machine waiting for pleats, will go there in the next day or two.
Meanwhile, we had a couple warm days last week, and I was able to get out and work in the asparagus patch. Much more to do, but it will get done once the weather changes.
Hope you are all staying well and sane. We will get through this. Sending you all a big hug.
Great post, Lynda! I just started yesterday… have a couple of nurse friends who work in a remote area with very sparse supplies, so they are my first project. I also have a friend who works at a nursing registry, and they don’t have infected clients yet, but also need to protect those clients from infection. I understand the N-95 masks can be washed and re-used, but the cloth over-masks can help extend the lives of the N-95 masks, and of course are washable too. I too am looking at a currently limited amount of elastic in my supplies, but have started checking resources to restock. Keep up the good work!
Sew important…many are doing that here also. Very much needed.
Thanks for the tutorial. Pintrest has lots of different masks and patterns. I’Ve purchased from my local supermarket hair elastic bands the type used for ponytails and seem to be better than elastic.They work very well and last for a while.just for your info l’m in south east Queensland Australia just going into lock down
Regards stay safe and well
Nice job Lynda!!
Our hospital is asking for masks made of non-stretch knit fabric with a pocket for a filter. I haven’t made any yet but plan to soon. I’ve had a pretty bad cold for a few days that is finally winding down. Not the virus!
Take care and thank you for all you do.
Diane in NH
14 so far &20 more ready to sew tomorrow. My daughter is a nurse educator & ER nurse in south Florida and needs as many as I can send her.
Mary Jo, That’s wonderful. I was going to stop at 50, but there is such a need. Thank you to your daughter for her service to our country.
Diane, Gosh, I can’t believe I’ve not answered your comment. Been so busy with the sewing and gardening. I sure hope you are feeling better. Now is not the time to get sick for sure. Thank you for commenting and your sweet words.
Sue, Yes, there are so many patterns. It can drive you crazy! Since I was making mostly for my local hospital I just went with their directions. You too stay safe and well in one of my favorite places!!
Sue, It’s amazing how many people have gotten out their sewing machines for this. Love it! Thanks for dropping by.
Judy, Hope your mask making is doing good. I was going to quit at 50, but there is such a need. It sure is getting rid of my commercial fabric! Please stay safe and well so we can meet one of these days.