Times are hard right now, huh? I’m writing today about the sudden call to all crafters and sewists to DIY face mask for the medical community as well as friends and neighbors.
The sewing community is the greatest and most loving community that I’ve ever known and we are quick to rise to the needs of others.
Supplies are limited for the medical world right now and the demand is at an all-time high. Millions of masks are needed. Millions. People are starting to DIY them and the sewing community is really needed right now.
To quote the CDC on the matter: “In a setting where facemasks are not available, health care professionals might use homemade masks (i.g., bandana, scarf) for the care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.”
I’ve received multiple emails from sewists asking my opinions on the various face mask patterns circulating the internet and if I had any suggestions.
I’m putting together a list of ways that you can help the world today while still keeping yourself safe.
An article published on forbes.com is pleading for the help of all sewists and crafters to step in and help. You can read that article here.
So, How can you help?
1. Take care of yourself – You are no help to others if you are not taking care of yourself. – Read that again – You are NO help to others if you are not taking care of yourself.
2. Utilize what supplies you have on hand to DIY face masks for your family or to donate to the hospitals – It is recommended to stay home and away from any public area. Do not leave your home unless it is absolutely necessary. This is a wonderful way to use up your fun scraps and any ribbons and extra supplies that you have on hand.
See suggestions below for patterns and guidelines to follow when making your own medical masks.
NOTE: DIY face masks will not protect from the coronavirus and COVID-19! Check the CDC website for more guidelines
However, as the length of this pandemic stretches further and further, supplies will harder to come by and hospitals will have to use what is available. The time to start making a difference is now.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Always follow the guidelines of the CDC website and do everything you can to stay safe and take care of yourself.
3. Check the needs of local facilities – If you have enough supplies on hand to make multiple masks, consider reaching out to a hospital, nursing home, cancer-related organization, etc. near you, as many other health care facilities are also experiencing shortages in masks.
*I STRESS THIS STEP BEFORE YOU PROCEED* Check with your local hospitals or quilting groups to see what the specific needs are. Check for the materials requested and the drop off procedures for your area. Ensure that you are safe during drop off and away from other people.
4. Start sewing! – The good thing is that you have an opportunity to help the world while still staying safe. Start by checking out the pattern below. Choose one that uses materials you have on hand and start making masks to protect the brave men and women who are taking care of the sick right now.
5. Stay Inside/Indoors – These are scary times right now. there is no way to sugar coat it… we, as a public are not free to go about our regular lives right now. Be one less person in the hospital beds right now. Keep yourself and your family at home.
Where can I find DIY FACE MASK patterns?
DIY Face Mask Pattern with Elastic
- If you have elastic cording, a one-page printable pattern can be found here to show you how to make a quick and easy face mask. You can find that pattern and video here.
I have noticed that there is a shortage as more and more crafty sewists jump to help the medical community. Use the elastic cording you have on hand or check your local quilting community to see if anyone else can use it!
DIY Face Mask Patterns without Elastic
- There is a pattern on freesewing.org that does not use elastic cording. You can find the pattern here.
Make use of spare ribbons or even make fabric strip ties to secure your masks!
- This pattern from Lisa Caroline uses round elastic hair ties to secure the DIY face mask.
If you have any other suggestions for patterns that you’ve found using the supplies you have on hand, please let me know. I would be happy to add them to the list!
For more FREE quilting patterns, check out my library page! I have A TON of FREE resources for quilters including quilt patterns.
More advice for taking care of yourself right now and dealing with current events.
I love to hear from you! Feel free to email me anytime you just need to connect to another human 🙂
I have some advice I would like to share with you for making it through these hard times… and you know what? We WILL make it through. We will get through this and it WILL be ok.
It is the in-between and the unknown parts that are rough right now.
We make choices every single day.
Every single day.
We make choices to live in fear or rise above every single day.
Today is no different than yesterday. (even though the fear seems to be in much closer proximity right now)
Whenever you feel the fear and worry creeping in…
5 tips that you can practice to feel like you’re still in control right now:
1. Do the practical stuff – Protect yourself from others. Wash your hands and practice alone time – clean up your sewing room (or organize your sewing room!) and psyche yourself up to spend some good fun crafting time in there! Take care of yourself.
2. Practice doing things with love – Goodness knows that the world needs more love right now! You can stay home with an energy of fear or you can do it with an energy of love. You can distance yourself with a sense of fear or you can do it with an energy of love and support for others. You’re the only one who can decide which energy you surround yourself with.
3. Do more good – Look after people and check in on your loved ones. Human connection isn’t lost just because we all have to stay home now. Send emails, call someone, video chat with the kids next door (give their momma a break!).
My daughter had her book club via video chat the other night and it meant so much to those girls that we decided to up the frequency so they can still connect with one another!
There are so many ways that small acts of kindness can add up to a greater outcome right now.
4. Break down when you have to. It’s really ok! – We are not invincible. It is ok to feel scared. It is ok to be sensitive and confused. Give that fear it’s moment. Feel those feelings. Go ahead and cry to get it out. Then try to redirect your focus to moving forward, taking care of yourself and controlling what you can. Remember: We will get through this.
5. Embrace some change – That’s right. I said it. Come at it with open arms instead of a grimace. Humans adapt. We figure things out. Change is coming, you might as well run in front of it rather than let it drag you behind it.
Make a good list of practical things that you’ve been putting off for a while. Organize the bathroom? check. Make a big batch of muffins to freeze for easy breakfasts? check check. Read a good book? yessss! Start cutting into that fabric you’ve had for a while and couldn’t find the time for? – wish granted ?
Quilters are a wonderful generous group of people. We really can make a big difference with love in this world and making sure people are not forgotten.
I don’t want to make light of the situation the world is in right now… I just think that there is good to be found in every situation…
Let’s work on trying to be that good.