Making facemasks

Posted by ihatediabetes @ihatediabetes, Mar 25, 2020

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.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

@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

Jump to this post

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.

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

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.

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

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.

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

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@&$!?@@

REPLY

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.

REPLY

Good for you! They will be appreciated.

REPLY
@ihatediabetes

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.

Jump to this post

Love them. And fashion forward to!! Thank you fir doing that virgo1952 ❤️

REPLY

I have been sewing masks for a couple of weeks. Some have elastic, some have ties. Everything except the elastic is cotton. I have a huge stash of quilting cotton being used. A local county group is requesting 1000 face masks a week, and the kits they are supplying ask for elastic if you have it, or anything if you don't! These are going to nursing homes, health workers. I will be taking a variety of masks to my dermatologist's office this week. I have given them to grocery store workers, the postman, or those who ask me if I have a spare one to gift them. I think this will answer @contentandwell's question.
Ginger

REPLY

@gingerw and @ihatediabetes, what guidance have you found about reusing the cloth face masks? How long can they be worn? How do you take them off safely? How should they be washed? How should they be stored after use but before they are washed?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

@gingerw and @ihatediabetes, what guidance have you found about reusing the cloth face masks? How long can they be worn? How do you take them off safely? How should they be washed? How should they be stored after use but before they are washed?

Jump to this post

@colleenyoung I can only speak for myself, and what I have seen. The masks I make can be worn over an existing N95 mask, or be worn alone. As some have said, anything is better than nothing. My masks are made from tightly woven 100% cotton fabric. Personally I wash mine in a liquid detergent that also sanitizes, and change out each day. Because I am mostly home all day each day, I do not have the need to change out multiple times a day, like a healthcare provider may have. The masks I do can be autoclaved or sterilized. Storing a used mask not yet washed, is done in a plastic bag. Hope this helps answer your questions.
Ginger

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.