Dust off the sewing machine.
Now that we are in stay-at-home mode, you can join the trend in sewing your own masks.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, crafty people and those skilled at sewing have been leading the charge with this do-it-yourself face mask making project. Many sewing circles have taken up the task and say, while the masks are not hospital grade, they are better than none at all.
The masks are being donating to healthcare professionals, nursing homes and those in need. Locally, the Clawson Makers Market has already collected hundreds of masks its makers have sewn to donate to local healthcare facilities.
The basic materials needed are two pieces of cotton fabric, elastic to make a loop that goes around ears, fusible interfacing if you have it and a sewing machine.
At joann.com, there are instructions for how to make a basic mask and one with the addition of bendable wire sewn in to secure the mask over the nose.
It’s important to note that sources providing instructions on making the face mask, say the mask do not prevent COVID-19. The type of masks experts say provide the most protection are N-95 respirators, the tight-fitting, heavier duty masks commonly used for sanding.
Jo-Ann Stores, a nationwide retailer of crafts and fabrics, is pitching in on the homemade mask effort. Stores are handing out free kits with instructions and materials needed to make masks.
Each kit has enough materials to make to make 4 to 5 masks. It’s best to call stores first to check on the kits. You can pick them up curbside.
Jo-Ann Stores has been inundated with requests from hospitals for donations of bulk material, according company spokeswoman Amanda Hayes.
A lot of them have furloughed employees who are making gowns, masks and scrubs,” she said.
On Monday, Hayes said, 250,000 masks were created from donated material and following a base acceptable pattern.
You find patterns and instructions through the American Sewing Guild (ASG) webite and its program weneedmasks.org. Two mask pattern types are provided.
Here’s what you will need to make a basic mask:
- Sewing machine
- Marking pencil
- Any kind of cotton fabric. Use scraps or what you have on hand.
- Lightweight fusible interfacing, optional.
- ¼-inch wide elastic pieces. You’ll need two pieces for each mask about 7-inches long. If you can’t find elastic, crafters are recommending elastic headbands. But cutting and using fabric as ties is just fine.
How to sew your own face mask
- Using a ruler make a 9-inch-by-6-inch template out of piece of paper.
- Cut out two pieces of fabric using the template. (If using interfacing, iron the adhesive side to one wrong side of one piece of fabric.)
- Cut out two 7-inch pieces of elastic or use elastic headbands.
- Lay one piece of fabric with pattern facing up. Pin elastic lengthwise down in the four corners. Pushing loop toward the center of the fabrics.
- Place second piece of fabric on top with wrong side facing out.
- Sew a ¼-inch seam around the rectangle leaving a 2-inch opening to be able to turn the fabric inside out.
- Turn inside out, pulling fabric through the opening.
- Iron the mask.
- To make the pleats: Fold, pin and press three small pleats.
- Sew an ⅛-inch top stitch around the entire mask.
Contact Susan Selasky at 313-222-6872 or email@example.com. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.
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