Making Masks for Essential Workers

Rachel and I have made masks for our family.  However, with the shortage of masks for essential workers in our community, we decided to keep making masks so we could donate them.


We worked on about 5 masks at a time - measuring and cutting fabric, measuring and cutting elastic, sewing masks, attaching elastic, washing masks, ironing masks.


Rachel loves to sew so she put in a lot of hours on the project.


We ran out of elastic and couldn't find any locally.  Amazon had some on back order that would be available in May but I didn't order it.  Surely we wouldn't still need masks by May.  It's supposed to be just 2 weeks or so to "flatten the curve".

We had to get creative with our masks.  We started using ribbon that I had on hand instead of elastic.  We also tried two different styles.  Our original styles is just a rectangle of fabric that is pleated.  We also used my Cricut Maker to cut another style of mask that is more fitted and conformed to the face.  


The video below shows the Cricut Maker cutting a piece of felt lining for a mask.  It is just amazing how this machine works!  It first draws the sewing line with seam allowance then it cuts out the fabric.  It's fun to watch.  If you are reading this post on email then you might have to click on the title of the post to go to the actual blog to see the video. 


Eventually we used up all of the elastic and ribbon that we had.  I had to research how to make bias tape.  Ugh!  Just another time consuming step.  I recruited Nicholas to help.  We cut the cotton fabric into strips, folded them, pressed them with a flat iron for hair, and sewed them.  Each mask needs four of these and they become ties for the mask.  


I kept reading how nurses were asking for masks to have a metal nose piece so they could custom fit it to their face.  I found a company called Chapco who was offering to send free metal strips to mask makers.  I was so excited to receive my package.  


In case you can't read the card it says, "Amazing things can happen when people come together.  Thank you, from all of us at Chapco, for your efforts".  What a blessing!

We adjusted our sewing pattern to include a little pocket at the top to hold the metal strip.


Just keep sewing.  Just keep sewing.


Rachel was proud to also make masks for her grandparents in Louisiana.


We made and donated 50 masks to essential workers.  I'm so proud of both of our kids for working so hard on this important project.

R

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