Making facemasks

Posted by ihatediabetes @ihatediabetes, Mar 25 2:01am

Hi everyone, I am spending time learning to sew and making facemasks for the hospitals. They asked for volunteers to make these due to shortage. I spent several days trying to hand-sew masks. It was so time consuming. So I bought a $99 sewing machine from Walmart and have been learning to use it by making facemasks. I still can't reload a bobbin so I bought preloaded bobbins. I haven't sewed since I was in home economics class in 8th grade. I plan to donate these 11 facemasks tomorrow at a local hospital. They have a drive-through lane for donations.

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Ihatediabetes, our hospitals provided an online template for making face masks here as well. Like you, I haven't used a sewing machine in decades but your post made me laugh remembering: I'm soooo old, our high school home economics teacher taught us on Treadle sewing machines…We had to select a pattern to make for project…I chose a 3 pc wool suit…leave the results to others' imaginations! What a hoot!!!!

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What a great service! Where did you get a pattern to figure out size snd shape? Another mask? What make is the seeing machine? ( as u can see, I am not a sewer) I live in Washington and I know the hospitals could use as many as possible. Could two people, one to cut and one to sew, workable? Have a friend that can sew anything. Online instructions on masks? Anyone out there who is practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, can do this. Thank you for sharing.

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@virgo1952

What a great service! Where did you get a pattern to figure out size snd shape? Another mask? What make is the seeing machine? ( as u can see, I am not a sewer) I live in Washington and I know the hospitals could use as many as possible. Could two people, one to cut and one to sew, workable? Have a friend that can sew anything. Online instructions on masks? Anyone out there who is practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, can do this. Thank you for sharing.

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I saw a post earlier with a link but this one may be just as easy (says someone who can't sew!).

DIY Cloth Face Mask : 8 Steps (with Pictures) – Instructables
https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

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@virgo1952

What a great service! Where did you get a pattern to figure out size snd shape? Another mask? What make is the seeing machine? ( as u can see, I am not a sewer) I live in Washington and I know the hospitals could use as many as possible. Could two people, one to cut and one to sew, workable? Have a friend that can sew anything. Online instructions on masks? Anyone out there who is practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, can do this. Thank you for sharing.

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Virgo, these are mask making instructions by Covenant Hospital: https://www.kcbd.com/2020/03/24/want-make-medical-mask-here-are-steps/

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Thank you. Homemake. Project was to sew a pleaded skirt. What a nightmare 🤣🤣🤣. But, I’m willing to take the plunge. Can’t be worse than a pleaded skirt, right? And instructions. Thank you, guys. Sew on……….

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@virgo1952

What a great service! Where did you get a pattern to figure out size snd shape? Another mask? What make is the seeing machine? ( as u can see, I am not a sewer) I live in Washington and I know the hospitals could use as many as possible. Could two people, one to cut and one to sew, workable? Have a friend that can sew anything. Online instructions on masks? Anyone out there who is practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, can do this. Thank you for sharing.

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@virgo1952 Please check the requirements by your local hospitals. Now as the sewing of these masks is increasing, elastic is in short supply and people are substituting rubber bands. Many hospitals are latex-free zones, so these rubber bands may not be able to be taken into their facilities. I would hate to see effort wasted. The local hospital here is not accepting masks, but nearby, they have asked for fabric ties to be applied if elastic is not available.
Latex allergies are serious, can be life-threatening, and we would not want to add that emergency to the already over-taxed medical system & staff!
Thank you everyone for trying to help in any way possible.
Sue

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According to some of my crafty friends, our local hospital is not accepting the homemade ones. However the local nursing home is interested. Another friend said that she is making "the old fashioned" folded bias fabric ties.

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Hi Rosemary. Good point. Having worked in both hospital and nursing/rehab centers, I wondered if there would be a problem. (Legally) I’ll do a little looking around (have several people making masks right now) and if I find any info, be glad to share with everyone. All the news show mask making, but pretty much healthcare setting exclusively. Thanks for bringing that up

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@sueinmn

@virgo1952 Please check the requirements by your local hospitals. Now as the sewing of these masks is increasing, elastic is in short supply and people are substituting rubber bands. Many hospitals are latex-free zones, so these rubber bands may not be able to be taken into their facilities. I would hate to see effort wasted. The local hospital here is not accepting masks, but nearby, they have asked for fabric ties to be applied if elastic is not available.
Latex allergies are serious, can be life-threatening, and we would not want to add that emergency to the already over-taxed medical system & staff!
Thank you everyone for trying to help in any way possible.
Sue

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Hi Sue. You are totally right. I have several people in my husband’s rock group sewing masks. There was a “letter to the editor” in our local newspaper asking for help. Not sure where the masks are going. I’m hoping people have researched the limitations before ploughing ahead. 👍

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I just searched several sites where masks are being requested/accepted. These instructions, from Allina in Minnesota are typical of those offered: https://www.allinahealth.org/-/media/allina-health/files/mask-sewing-how-to.pdf Please note that the masks need to be 100% cotton, with elastic or with 100% cotton bias ties, in order to be of use to them.
They are not the same as many tutorials being offered on Facebook, YouTube, etc. If you are going to the effort of making masks, please be sure they can be safely used.
Even if the providers themselves, in any setting, can tolerate latex (as in rubber band ear loops) they have no way to know whether their patients can. That is why nearly all health care providers have transitioned away from latex of any kind. In most hospitals they do not even permit latex balloons due to risk of serious reaction.
Sue

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@sueinmn

I just searched several sites where masks are being requested/accepted. These instructions, from Allina in Minnesota are typical of those offered: https://www.allinahealth.org/-/media/allina-health/files/mask-sewing-how-to.pdf Please note that the masks need to be 100% cotton, with elastic or with 100% cotton bias ties, in order to be of use to them.
They are not the same as many tutorials being offered on Facebook, YouTube, etc. If you are going to the effort of making masks, please be sure they can be safely used.
Even if the providers themselves, in any setting, can tolerate latex (as in rubber band ear loops) they have no way to know whether their patients can. That is why nearly all health care providers have transitioned away from latex of any kind. In most hospitals they do not even permit latex balloons due to risk of serious reaction.
Sue

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Thanks. I found some info too. Pretty much like yours. I can say w/confidence that Washington state is taking masks at specific hospital/care setting. Each site is making that decision. Also there are sites that will supply at home mask making with hospital grade supplies. This is Washington state protocol. Need to lookup your area, I did see other states, so might be worth your time. Rubber bands are probably not a great option anyway. Workers in Seattle are wearing bandanas for protection, so home masks may be welcomed.

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@virgo1952

What a great service! Where did you get a pattern to figure out size snd shape? Another mask? What make is the seeing machine? ( as u can see, I am not a sewer) I live in Washington and I know the hospitals could use as many as possible. Could two people, one to cut and one to sew, workable? Have a friend that can sew anything. Online instructions on masks? Anyone out there who is practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, can do this. Thank you for sharing.

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I watched the video link from the Allina health system website. Blue Cross of Minnesota and Allina health have some sort of partnership going. But I was at Joannes fabric store and they had free fabric and directions there. The hardest thing to find is elastic because there's been a run on elastic. I bought 2“ wide elastic and cut ribbons that are 1/4 inch wide.

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@virgo1952

Thanks. I found some info too. Pretty much like yours. I can say w/confidence that Washington state is taking masks at specific hospital/care setting. Each site is making that decision. Also there are sites that will supply at home mask making with hospital grade supplies. This is Washington state protocol. Need to lookup your area, I did see other states, so might be worth your time. Rubber bands are probably not a great option anyway. Workers in Seattle are wearing bandanas for protection, so home masks may be welcomed.

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I heard in the fabric store that people are also using elastic hair bands for facemasks. I found the 2“wide elastic and I cut 1/4“ ribbons. That's been working for me.

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@virgo1952

What a great service! Where did you get a pattern to figure out size snd shape? Another mask? What make is the seeing machine? ( as u can see, I am not a sewer) I live in Washington and I know the hospitals could use as many as possible. Could two people, one to cut and one to sew, workable? Have a friend that can sew anything. Online instructions on masks? Anyone out there who is practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, can do this. Thank you for sharing.

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I just actually read my comment above. I hope everyone found it amusing, I did🤪. Not looking for a SEEing machine. And, no, I am not a SEWER. Oh boy@&$!?@@

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This is my latest batch of facemasks. I make 8 at a time using my production system. I cut the 2" elastic band into 1/4" strips, tack, sew, turn inside out, then sew border three times. It really helps to focus to pass time at home.

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