Dear Big-Hearted Sewing Friends,
*This page is being updated continuously – SCROLL DOWN for free patterns, VIDEOS and other info!*
3-31-20 – CDC Weighs Advising Everyone to Wear a Mask – Widespread use of nonmedical masks could reduce community transmission. But recommending their broad use could also cause a run on the kind of masks that health care workers desperately need.
I am putting up this page to help you, and all of us make sense of this, as we search for a way to help. I am reading articles that say it is not only masks that are needed, but also shoe covers, drapes and gowns. Even more so, STERILE masks and gowns are needed for surgery. Perhaps some of you will be moved to become FDA certified so you can produce these sterile items as a cottage industry, to contribute to this massive effort. I hear from our suppliers that many manufacturers are now gearing up for huge PPE production. (PPE = personal protective equipment)
Contacts in every state and every large city are needed to collect masks from those sewing, and identify a manager or department contact person at local hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or home care agencies who would like to receive and use these masks and possibly the other PPE items mentioned.
Others who need masks in your community:
First Responders – EMT, Ambulance and Fire/emergency workers.
Other Health Care Workers – Senior living facilities, Nursing Homes, Home Care workers.
Government Workers – We are coordinating with the governor’s office to supply those who are still working – making sure our state govt keeps running – including sending out tax refunds.
UPS, FedEx and Postal Service delivery employees!
RTD, Lyft, Uber or Via Drivers. Meals on Wheels delivery.
Daycare workers, Foodbank volunteers. Grocery store and cashier staff.
Nursing home residents, homeless communities, prison communities.
Food Delivery Workers – Instacart, Restaurant Delivery Takeout Services.
Airport, government and construction staff required to stay open during shutdown. Law enforcement and security personnel.
Veterinarian staff, animal shelters and pet boarding services.
Please join us and step up and be part of this effort to not only make the masks, but also to coordinate sewing teams, wash masks and package to keep clean, and deliver them to where they are most needed, which will likely change weekly if not daily.
Here in the Boulder area we are a collection point, as long as our eQuilter.com office is not shut down by a state ‘shelter in place’ order. We are in touch with the governor’s office and Boulder Community Hospital for distribution. You can email me at [email protected] and I can arrange to be a personal collection point on an evening or weekend if you can’t make it to our office during business hours. (Mon – Fri, 7:30 am to 6 pm)
Mask and PPE collection:
eQuilter.com – Boulder Colorado
6201 Spine Rd in Gunbarrel (1/2 block west of 63rd St)
Office Hours – 7:30 am to 6 pm – Monday through Friday
Curbside Dropoff – Phone: 303-527-0856
A message from the Czech Republic – How to Significantly Slow COVID-19
Grassroots efforts are now combining for larger focused projects. Masks Now is going to receive information from the CDC shortly about a preferred mask design. There are several designs out there that are appreciated by the medical workers who receive them. If you are watching the news and seeing what is happening now in New York, you know that NOW is the time to get sewing!
Simple DIY masks could help flatten the curve. We should all wear them in public.
More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection
Masks may offer protection to healthy individuals and essential workers.
MASKS SAVE LIVES –
Universal mask-wearing is the most overlooked COVID-19 lifesaver
Chart from Bob Huttinga PA – explaining how DIY face masks help:
Here is a list of volunteer mask-sewing groups in Colorado. If you live in another state, watch for lists like this or help to organize a list for your state.
I encourage you to organize your own groups for your own hospital, your own town or city, or your region. You can organize a group page on Facebook or other social media platform. I encourage you to not limit the options for those making the masks – the time will come when any style of mask will be desperately needed and welcomed. We are not pretending to make N95 masks. We are making protective masks to act as a secondary cover for medical workers who want to preserve their one N95 mask, or for those who have nothing at all.
High thread count cottons like batiks and hand-dyes (and the PFD greige goods for batiks) are more effective than the standard 60×60 greige goods used for quilt cottons. High thread count fabrics in general are best. Light colors are preferred by healthcare workers so they can see when the masks are dirty.
Lining masks with flannel or nonwoven fabrics increases the filtering quality. The normal N95 filter fabric is impossible to find now, according to my suppliers. If that changes we will let you know.
I will continuously update this page with further information as it becomes available so please do save this link. Sending all of you love, hugs and prayers to keep safe and healthy. – Luana
Excellent Face Mask Making Page from Moda:
Fabrics. Quilting cottons work well as they are 100% cotton, are tightly woven and are washable. Cotton lawn, batiks, Ruby Star Society cottons and 200-thread-count muslins have a higher thread count so they are very well-suited for face masks – they’re also very soft. Gauze, double-gauze and loosely woven fabrics should not be used.
Linings. There are differing opinions on whether this is necessary, or even desirable. Additional layers of fabric will inhibit microbes from passing through the mask but there comes a point where each additional layer provides only miniminal improvement. The other consideration is breathability. Upon the recommendation of a group requesting face masks, we have been using one to two layers of a medium-weight, sew-in interfacing.
Here are some of the lining options:
- Medium-weight, sew-in interfacing like Pellon 930 – that’s what we’ve been using.
- 100% cotton flannel – remember to pre-wash this fabric too.
- 200-count muslin in Natural or White – also should be pre-washed.
- A 100% cotton NEW (not used) pillowcase with a high thread count.
Elastic & Other Options. There are two things to share here – first, if you have elastic on hand, or access to it, we have a few suggestions and recommendations. If you don’t have any elastic on hand, we can still help with that.
- 1/4″ elastic – many of the face mask patterns use this. Non-roll, braided, soft, and knit – they all work.
- 1/8″ elastic – also called elastic cord and oval cord elastic. This is a bit more comfortable to wear for some but it requires advanced knot-making skills or a creative join for the ends.
- 1/2″ elastic – this is best for elastic straps that will go around the head instead of the ears. Some professionals prefer that.
- Bodkins – this makes threading the elastic through the casing on one of the masks much easier. We particularly like the ball-point bodkins by Tool Tron and Dritz.
- Point Turner – this is very useful in turning the corners and edges on two of the face mask styles. We like this Point 2 Point Turner.
Ties. If you don’t have elastic, the two patterns that are made with elastic can also be made with ties. The tie can be made with fabric, a ribbon or cording. What about using some of the Moda twill tape you’ve been saving?
The easiest way to make a tie is to cut a strip of fabric across the width of the fabric – 1-1/2″ or 2″ wide. With right sides out, fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press. Open the strip and press the edges to the center fold and press again. Top-stitch along the open edge – and along the folded edge, if desired. The 1-1/2″ strip will make a tie that finishes at approx. 3/8″, and the 2″ strip will finish at approx. 1/2″.
Please READ this Information from my friend Kathryn D. who is a working nurse in Ohio:
I found this pleated, bound and tied pattern to be the best. The pleats will make for better absorption and longer effectiveness, as well as accommodate all types of noses.
I would change from 2 layers of cotton to an outer layer of cotton and inner layer of flannel or nonwoven fabric. This would change cutting instructions to 2 fat quarters RST. (right sides together)
It will also be sturdiest, should it be washed/bleached multiple times, and it will hold up better than the other patterns, if there is NO ELASTIC.
Elastic will break down in repeated hot/bleached washers/dryers, and many are allergic to the latex in the elastic.
To the advice about not using latex/elastic, I would add NO METAL OR WIRE.
Metal in the operating room is an electrical safety hazard. Metal in the operating room can spark and start a fire.
If the mask is going to someone who will never wear it in an operating room, then it is ok to put in the wire or metal to shape around the nose. Different doctors and hospitals have strong opinions about this, often opposite.
This mask with ties should fit the best. Any nurse will tell you that fit of a mask is very important, so you can keep your hands free.
The bindings and ties will contribute to a good mask fit. Hands are full and having to stop to adjust a slipping or gapping mask is awkward and unhygienic.
Pre-packaged bindings would work well for a quick and easy set of bindings and ties, or use quilters’ pre-cut binding from your stash.
Here is a Facebook video from a European quilter, on how to make your own binding.
For all masks, please use clean, tightly-woven cotton fabric on both sides, and sew on a clean work surface. Please place CLEAN face masks in ziplock-style plastic bags for donation.
Since time is of the essence, a pocket for a filter may not be necessary. The need is so great now that you don’t necessarily need to worry about the filter pocket.
I am doing home care now, and the shortage of masks and PPE is just as severe outside the hospitals as in them. – Kathryn D. in Ohio
Dear Sewing Community: (from Andover Fabrics)
There is a critical shortage of face masks for health professionals and first-responders. We have been asked to mobilize our community to do what we do best: sew.
We are calling on you all now to share the “Keep Calm and Sew a Mask” campaign on all of your social media platforms.
There is a tremendous need for masks that tie at the top and the bottom, as seen below.
A large hospital uses hundreds of thousands of masks a week — so we need to move as quickly as we can.
To start making an impact, get your materials ready and click the link below:
Notes from Dr Rita and Dr Chris:
I looked at many websites and liked this method best – especially when made with a tie cord instead of elastic (which is becoming hard to get). Also: the tie cord is adjustable therefore more comfortable. She mentions and illustrates it on the YouTube tutorial below. I use floral wire for the nose piece.
1) Homemade masks are not as effective as the (almost impossible to find) professional masks.
2) Covering the precious mask that Chris is given each day with a homemade one, will protect it and extend its use.
3) Wearing a mask is better than nothing.
4) A mask helps me remember not to touch my face!!!!
Sew It – Cloth Surgical Face Mask Pattern: with Elastic and Wire.
LIST OF MASK PATTERNS AND INSTRUCTIONS:
More information and links offered from our friend Rachel Wallis:
If you want to make masks, this group has a standard, vetted, tested, downloadable pattern, quality control standards, and regional distribution hubs. – Michael K.
Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage:
How to Make a Face Mask: from Deaconess
Fast production method of making masks from Iva in Czech Republic – watch video below!
She writes: Keep sewing! Here in Czech Republic all hospitals begging for face masks. They run out of the ones they have very fast and since the whole world is trying to buy medical supplies, there is not enough. Please don’t sew the patterns that are fastened on the ears, sew ties behind the head. Nurses here complain that face masks that hang on ears cause blisters bleeding and headaches.
Rouška Ať žije řemeslo www.krejcijavad.cz pomáhat musíme, žádná výmluva.JavadPosted by Stephen Folker on Friday, March 20, 2020
How to Sew a Bias Tape Surgical Face Mask with Flexible Nose – very detailed video from sweetredpoppy.com
How to sew pleated easy mask with elastic, using clips:
How to make a Face Mask from Shruti in India. This is in Hindi but she uses English words and it is a very good visual tutorial. I’ve asked her to do an English version for this page!
Free Hospital Gown Patterns from Lazy Girl:
Free Bouffant Surgical Cap Pattern from Doodabug:
DIY Scrub Cap from Medical Student
Reversible Scrub Cap Tutorial with Free Pattern and SVG
UNC Health is accepting donations of masks sewn at home. Here are sewing instructions for the Face Mask Pattern:
Professional and Home-Made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections among the General Population
Textile Chart showing effectiveness of different fabrics:
The Turban Project – scroll down for Adult Face Mask
DIY Cloth Face Mask
Face Mask Sewing Pattern
100 Million Mask Challenge – mask-making tutorial video below:
More info about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) from the CDC