Are you looking for easy to follow instructions on how to make your protective masks? Try JOANN. I tried several of their patterns but ended up choosing the one with the adjustable ties because I didn’t have enough elastic. Below is my experience as someone who hasn’t done much sewing in the last decade. Hopefully, it will make you smile.
Last week was a blur. I madly tried to finish work before our shut-down, and now we’re just hoping that someday we get paid for the work already done. If anyone knows how to file for the emergency relief for freelancers and gig workers, let me know. So far, things are as clear as mud on the subject for California workers.
At the end of the week, the order finally came down that everyone should be wearing face masks while they were going about essential business outside in Los Angeles. As luck would have it, I had borrowed a sewing machine from Pen a few months ago, and it was still sitting in my closet (with her blessing, as she was tired of storing it in a closet in her apartment). With a couple of YouTube tutorials about adding bobbin, I was off and running.
I did order fabric from JOANN, but I know that it might be quite a while before it arrives because they are (rightfully) closed to the public. So, I started looking around for what would fit the bill for fabric (our old t-shirts are too thin and stretchy). Just as I was beginning to eye our old tablecloth, I ran across fabric from my youth.
When I was headed off to college, my parents bought me a Laura Ashley bedding for my dorm room (yes, this should give you an idea of how long ago it was). I have no idea where those sheets or bedspread are, but somehow one lone Laura Ashely pillowcase survived in my linen closet — until Friday afternoon when it was pressed into more important duty.
I won’t lie. The first face mask was not pretty, and it took me three hours to do. Possibly more. My mom taught me how to sew, and I had sewing as part of my Home Economics class in junior high school. But I hadn’t exactly kept up with it. Also, pleats are hard, man. They are just hard.
The good news is that the second one took me only 45 minutes and the third about 30. I’m getting it. Plus, I don’t have to keep reviewing the instructions for every step. I opted for the ties because of my elastic shortage, but I think they are easier to adjust for different faces. If I end up getting the fabric any day soon, I’ll start donating to the hospital where I get treatment.
I promised that I would leave you with a question each day. And I failed. It’s true. So, let’s say that I’ll leave you with a question at the end of every post.
Have you started making your own personal protective equipment?
I got considerably faster at making masks! When the order came down that everyone needed a mask to go into stores in Los Angeles, I ended up making far more of them than I thought I would. I ended up making some for neighbors and friends (all with contact-less drop-offs, of course). And when the fabric arrived, I added black and white polka dots, red and white polka dots and sparkly stars on a blue background to my collection of options. I can’t say that I’ll ever be fast enough to go into production, and I won’t be opening an Etsy store soon. However, I’m glad I could help, even in a small way.