Handmade Face Masks
Once, a long time ago, I wanted to be a nurse. I chose the university I went to based in their nursing program and started my first semester as a nursing major, which meant taking all the preparation courses to apply for the nursing program. Shortly into my first semester, I quickly learned that nursing was not for me. I ended up studying sociology because I've always desired to be of service to those in need, just in a less scientific way.
Though my current occupation doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what I studied, I often seek out ways in which my craft can be of service to those in need, even if it's just by bringing a little extra beauty to someone's life. Right now, however, the craft of sewing is being called upon for help in a much more practical way as sewists are being asked to create handmade face masks during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and mask shortage.
Life the last few weeks has felt like a bit of a whirlwind. So much is shifting and so quickly. One thing I love about creating handmade items during challenging times is how it has a unique ability to ground us and stabilize us when we might need it most. We love seeing how the online making community is standing firm as a place of encouragement and strength through a time that is difficult for everyone. Though we hear it over and over again right now, we're all in this together, and it couldn't be more accurate. During a time when there is so much uncertainly, I'm grateful for the skill of sewing. How amazing is it that, although for many, sewing is a hobby, in this time of need, we can help use this craft for service.
There are a lot of mixed opinions and information on handmade fabric masks, but what it comes down to is this—a handmade mask is better than no mask. For many who are unable to get ahold of masks, as the supply is running frightening low, handmade masks are becoming increasingly valuable and appreciated. If you'd like to read what the CDC has to say about masks, you can learn more HERE.
We've compiled a list of information that includes various patterns, directories, etc. that we hope will help if you're interested in being a part of this effort. We'd also encourage you to do your own research on the different types of masks and where they can be donated in your area.
Joann Make to Give Response - Joann Fabrics is creating free masks kits that can be picked up, sewn, and then returned for distribution. I'd recommend calling your local Joann's before stopping by to make sure they have kits available, as I've heard they run low by the end of the day.
Fancy Tiger Crafts has compiled an excellent article with information about homemade masks (where we got some of our information) and some specific Denver, CO area resources.
If you plan to make masks in bulk and choose to use a pattern that utilizes bias tape, you may find it helpful to make a good amount before getting started. To learn more about making bias tape, check out this tutorial!
We are incredibly grateful to all the healthcare providers and others working on the front lines to meet the needs of everyday life. We'd encourage you to continue staying home, take immensely good care of yourself, and, if you are able, use your craft for good by making masks. Stay safe and healthy. - Emily and the Making team.