When things started to get a little dicey back in March - before the shutdowns & mandatory masks - I had noticed all the headlines about PPE being in short supply, and many hospitals & nursing homes running low.
There was an article I had found from a hospital in the states, about how they were asking people to donate masks. They had even taken the time to film a video of a sewing tutorial for the masks! They had a great pattern which was suggested by the CDC (and the one I still follow) with printable instructions, and a template to follow.
Two or three attempts and I had a mask! I started wearing it myself to the grocery store & outside trips, to see how it fit & held up to washing. About two weeks later, I ended up working full time from home when everything shutdown - and had a WHOLE LOTTA TIME on my hands in the evening. I wanted to help, but how?
I ended up finding a great Facebook group online, called Canada Sews. They had a local chapter for Halton/Burlington, and had partnered with UPS to collect & donate handmade masks. To date, I am proud to say I have donated over 75. ♥
Since then, I have perfected the pattern - a three pleat, double layer, 100% cotton mask. This means they are super breathable, but also form fitting to the face for a secure fit. You may notice that we don't offer the wire nose piece, and wonder why.
For a new product, insert a metal wire around the nose area - and so close to the eyes - can actually be a hazard. Without proper testing, this metal piece could become dislodged, or poke through the fabric causing injury to the mask wearer. It's for these reasons we ultimately decided not to create a nose piece. Canada Sews also requested that nose pieces not be added, as the ones that were fitted with metal, had already started to tear with washing. If you absolutely need a nose piece - we recommend getting these from a professional PPE supplier.
After sewing 500+ masks - I've honestly come to find it super relaxing! I usually throw HGTV on in the background and get crakin' after dinner. I'm super excited to have found some amazing fabric prints from local Ontario businesses like Fabricland & Becks Fabric.
If masks are going to be around for a while (and I think they will be into next year) the least I can do is make them safe, functional - and of course fashionable. As always, reach out if you have any questions - or just to say hi. :)