Making Face Masks,  Covid-19  and New York

Making Face Masks, Covid-19 and New York

We love New York and what is happening around us right now saddens us. We just couldn't keep promoting ourselves during the height of the pandemic. 

As the numbers keep going up, I can't help but to wonder each day,  if there is anything we can do to flatten the curve. 

We all know to stay home, obsessively wash our hands and use sanitizer if we have it. The one thing that we are recently starting to do collectively, is to wear masks. 

Since I'm at home now, and BoWorkwear is on the back burner, I took out my sewing machine and started to make masks. A lot of them. 

CDC has just announced that we should all wear masks, so I decided to try out different patterns and to give my thoughts here. I'm not going to design any original masks right now, because what is out there is already working. 

For those of you who know how to sew, here's what I found in my research. 

I watched a very informational video from Dr. David Price, which helped me to feel empowered rather than frightened. He said that wearing cotton masks doesn't necessarily protect you from droplets, but it does help you to not touch your face. 

I made my first set of masks for my mother, my neighbors, family, and for my mother's neighbor who brings her groceries once a week. 

The first set are from a pattern by Joann Fabric. It's a good pattern for beginner sewers. I recommend that you use a shirting fabric because you are doubling the fabric and adding pleats. Elastic works better than ties but if all you have are ties, it still works. You'll just have to adjust it more often. 

I saw other style masks and I was curious if they had a better fit. 

The next one I tried was from State The Label. This mask is stylish, with clean lines, and it looks good. It doesn't work well with ties. I recommend that you use elastic for this style. This mask covers your chin but it doesn't hug it, so you can't maneuver the ties to a higher part of your head. It just hangs loosely around the neck. Elastic is the way to go. 

The last mask that I tried on is from my friend, who is a professor of fashion design at Ryerson University in Canada. Professor Danielle Martin did her research, and there is a plethora of information on which fabrics work best. I liked her mask the best, because I can breathe, and the ties work well on this mask. Elastic works well too. It's big enough to fit over a medical grade mask.

My doctor friend has asked me to donate my time to sew masks for medical workers, so I think my research fared well. I think all of the masks work well if you are going outside or going to the store. Just continue to social distance yourself, wash your hands, and stay home if you don't need to go out. 

 

 

Minna Kao

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