U P D A T E - 4 / 10 / 2020
we have put together face mask kits here and our own tutorial here (uses elastic loops, has a pocket for added filter and includes adult large, adult small/med and child sizes)
U P D A T E - 4 / 5 / 2020
hello all -
we've been trying to keep up with the latest news surrounding home-sewn masks, both for personal use and medical professional use. the cdc is now recommending fabric face masks for everyone out in public and medical professionals in maine are starting to accept donations. here's what we've learned recently:
masks for MAINE medical workers
MaineHealth is currently accepting THIS PATTERN, designed by a nurse, for cotton face masks - it's called the AB mask. they will use these masks to cover and keep clean N95 medical masks. here is a LINK to their donation landing page. they ask that you adhere to the following guidelines in making:
1. please use tightly woven cotton fabrics/quilters cottons. please NO flannel, NO metallic prints, NO glitter in or on fabrics. (please wash all fabrics in hot water before sewing to prevent shrinkage)
2. masks should have FABRIC TIES rather than elastic straps
3. please avoid using metal across the nasal bridge
if you have been sewing a different pattern than the AB mask (linked above), they can be donated to Face Masks for Maine. here a LINK to the google doc for drop off locations in your county.
the smith's general team
we just tried out both the New York Times mask tutorial and the Gotham Quilts tutorial to make masks for our families. Both tutorials worked very well and we were able to modify the Gotham Quilts tutorial to hem the final opening instead of closing it, so an added filter can be inserted. we tried both the handmade fabric ties listed in the Gotham Quilts pattern and 1" strips of an old t-shirt for ties (we folded in 1/2 before sewing them into the seams) and they worked equally well. We've linked to a few other patterns in the original blog post below, simply scroll down to find them.
we've had some inquiries asking if we are currently making masks for sale. with much thought and consideration, our team is not currently in the shop sewing, as we are complying with the state of maine's "stay at home" order, so we are not able to do so at this time. however, our team has taken up personal efforts to make and donate masks.
we will continue to keep you updated as circumstances change. again - we are so appreciative of everyone's support in this difficult time. thank you, and be safe <3
as many of you are aware, healthcare providers around the country are experiencing a shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), including face masks. there is a mounting effort for folks to sew masks at home and donate them to healthcare providers in need. these masks are no substitute for the proper PPE, however, the consensus we've seen online seems to be that they are better than nothing, and some hospitals are currently accepting donations.
with the large amount of patterns and resources available, we wanted to share some options below for making your own face mask and also where to donate them in Maine.
here's what we've found so far:
making & supporting
there are many (free) mask patterns and instructional videos available online. we've rounded up a couple below:
Seams Right Design offers a straightforward pattern & instagram story with step-by-step assembly instructions. they've adapted their pattern from healthcare providers at Deaconess Health System and it includes tucks and elastic straps.
with all the efforts to sew masks at home, elastic cord is currently hard to come by. Made Everyday adapted a pattern using fabric ties alongside her original PDF pattern that loops elastic around the head instead of the ears.
STATE the Label provide's a pattern with instructions that is a more form fitting style of mask, with a curved design instead of tucks and elastic cord that stretches around the head instead of behind the ears.
And over at CraftPassion they have a pattern for a fitted style mask with 3 different sizes and room to insert a filter (scroll to the bottom where they update their original pattern).
donating (in Maine)
one of the challenges is then determining where to donate the face masks that have been made so they end up in the hands of those who need them. please do not simply show up at your local hospital with supplies, as it may overwhelm an already busy staff. we will update this list as we get more information.
Click here for the Deaconess list of organizations in Maine that are currently looking for masks!
UPDATE 3/26: elastic is back-ordered - we will continue to try and bring in and will update when we have more info!
we have place a large order of elastic that we are hopeful will arrive by the end of this week (~3/27) and we will be putting together kits for purchase to be able to sew your own masks for personal use or donation.
any suggestions, or other updates, please leave a comment below. thank you all so much!