When I first started hearing about seamstresses being asked to make fabric medical masks, I thought that was downright crazy! Pathogens and whatever can obviously get through the fabric. I had visions of all of us jumping on the bandwagon and making millions of masks, only to have them thrown away.
Then, a friend from Louisiana, whose son is a nurse practitioner at a large hospital sent out a plea for help because they’re in such need of masks, they’re asking anyone who can sew to help out.
There are lots of patterns floating around out there. Here are a few I’ve looked at:
This is the pattern her son included in his plea for help.
This is a pattern from the Deaconess Hospital system in southern Indiana. If you click on that link, you’ll see that they’ve had such an outpouring of support, they no longer need masks.
This one is a video and it’s the one I like. It has a pocket for inserting a filter. It even has a bread twist tie at the top that you can pinch so the wire keeps it fitting snugly against the nose. If this one works like it should, I think this one will be best.
My friend, Jill, is making some for a health facility in Ohio and she’s been working with someone there. They’ve advised that the elastic will not last through their cleaning, sanitizing, sterilizing . . whatever they do. So, Jill’s contact suggested fabric ties. This is the pattern that includes fabric ties.
I sent a message to my friend’s son who is the nurse practitioner helping get the sewing grannies motivated. I explained that one has a bread twist tie in it and asked if that would be ok. Wanted to make sure there wasn’t some kind of microwave in use somewhere that might cause problems with the little metal insert. He said it was fine. I asked about the ties vs. elastic and he thought that was a great idea. I asked about the pocket for the filter and he said they may have some filters they can cut to fit so he liked that idea.
Today, I will get my sewing machine out . . the sewing machine that is still sitting in its case by the sewing room door, where I haven’t touched it since I brought it home from sewing Addie’s flower girl dress in October, 2018. I will make masks for nurses who desperately need them. I will fee like I’m doing some small part to help those who are working so hard for others. I’m very happy to help.
These masks are obviously not the ones that will be worn by those on the front lines treating those who already have the coronavirus. I’m still not sure I understand 100% how they’re supposed to protect the nurses but they know and they’re asking so I’m giving. If anyone feels the need to help, and has 100% cotton fabric to spare, I’m sure there’s a need in just about every area of this world right now.
I will keep you updated on how my efforts go today. I’d like to have a box of these ready to send out on Tuesday. There won’t be many. I want my friend’s son to look at them and be sure they’re what he needs before I make more.