Hello, friends, it's been a minute.
I haven't done a lick of sewing since I made the velvet pants, which is atrocious, but things have been kinda busy.
I have purchased some patterns and fabric, lol, which is what you do when you can't seem to get to the sewing machines, right? Of course, right. Two pieces are en route to me even as I type. I may actually get some sewing time...eventually.
But here's what has suddenly popped up in my social media world. It appears that there are MULTIPLE medical communities asking the public to make face masks. I started looking at links last night and wandered down that rabbit hole until a ridiculous hour in the AM. Because, I thought, here's a community service I could easily do, without risking bringing a bad germ home to My Sweet Babboo, who, for reasons unknown, is particularly susceptible to respiratory infections.
Unfortunately, the information out there is crazy divergent. The patterns range from 'eyeball the pleats in this rectangle' (Deaconness Hospital Evansville, IN ) to 'Sew these six pieces together and leave a pocket for a .3 micron filter' (Unity Point Health, Cedar Rapids, IA - Video Here) Fabric recommendations range from knits ( Peggy Sagers -- and she lined hers with leather? Wouldn't that, like, be really hard to breathe through? Kinda messed with her credibility there...) to tightly woven Cotton (Deaconness and Unity Point both recommended cotton). A friend shared a post from a Facebook Page (Sew Loved ) that organized a big mask-making event in the South Bend, IN area that emphasized that cotton was NOT acceptable and used surgical sheeting for their material. Fit standards vary widely, too; most, but not all, include some kind of flexible insertion (Unity Point used Wikki Stix! Bread ties and flattened paperclips are also recommended) to snug the mask to the bridge of the nose. Unity Point also recommeds using double-sided medical tape to secure the mask to the face, in addition to the elastic ear pieces (they used hair ties, which I thought was clever), but, well, I have a sensitivity to adhesives and could easily blister up my face if I tried that. Then, here's another pleated version, which I liked better than the Deaconness one as it 1) allows for the insertion of a filter (it looked to me like the demonstrator just used folded up kleenex for a filter but I really couldn't tell) and 2) will allow for replacement of the elastic after the hot water breaks it down.
One source...that I didn't mark...emphasized the necessity to handle the masks correctly. They must be put on and removed by the ear straps/ties/whatever, and the front of the mask...the bit that actually covers the nose and mouth...should not be touched at any time. They should go straight into a detergent solution (one source recommended 'spraying lightly with hydrogen peroxide') and washed with hot water and dried on high heat.
I checked with The Princess, who works in Marketing at our local hospital, and she said they were not looking for donations from the public yet, but it may be coming. So I printed the patterns for Peggy's mask, the Olson Mask and will play
around with a pleated mask , which is basically just a rectangle or two;
depending on whether you're using the one or two piece version. If my cotton fabric remnants that I have about are an acceptable fabric, well, this looks to be something I could actually do.
Anyone else looking at sewing masks? What have you found out about design/fabrics?