Sewing face masks for our local hospitals

OK all you professional and amateur seamstresses out there… Atlantic Health is reaching out not only for donations of N95 masks, gowns, gloves etc. but also asking people to help sew masks that will be used for professionals who are not taking care of patients with Coronavirus but still may want additional protection.

I received this message a little while ago also. I'll see what I can do. Unfortunately I no longer have my sewing machine, so I'll have to sew them by hand. No matter, I'm happy to do whatever I can to help.

DD - I can't sew but have always wanted to learn so I do have a machine.
Let me know and we can arrange so you can borrow mine.
Thank you.

I see they're using instructions from Deaconess Hospitals, which got them from the Turban project to make masks to help protect those not directly dealing with exposure to COVID-19.

Here's a story about a hospital in Georgia that has had volunteers making masks:

The masks they're making are being used as a prefilter (just like in home HEPA systems) in order to extend the life of the N95 mask due to shortages of the N95s for those who need to use them. Their instruction page states they can be used instead of an N95 for non-critical usage:

Instructions, including a pattern:

Unfortunately, they're really in the thick of things and have had 2 deaths already due to COVID-19:-(

This hospital was a pioneering hospital in its own right when it was built. Located in Southern Georgia, a local judge gave $25,000 for the building of a hospital in 1911 subject to 3 stipulations, 1) that it be made of brick, since he wanted to avoid the fire hazards that had caused the destruction of other hospitals, 2) that it be named after his mother and 3) that it treat and it be open to ALL, regardless of race, which in 1911 Georgia was not particularly popular concept.

Phil D. Phil D.
March 22nd

I don t sew, but how can I help? Very happy to team up with someone or be taught

I sew and have large tubs of the material needed as I used to make bandanas for dogs in my business. The problem is can’t get the elastic needed anywhere. All sold out till Sometime in May. I need either 1/4 or 1/8 inch flat elastic or bead elastic. Can contact me

Dog cookie Lady Dog cookie Lady
March 23rd

That's what I'm finding also. Joanns said to call daily to find out if they've received a shipment. They're donating fabric and elastic but you have to return the completed masks to them for distribution to hospitals (which ones they didn't say). While it's generous of Joanns to offer the fabric and elastic (when in stock) and I understand they need to account for their donated materials, having to bring the completed masks back to them delays getting the masks to hospitals.

Also, Atlantic Health's directions say to use a soft flannel or cotton for the side touching the face, but the Joanns rep. said they were directed not to use a flannel for that side - ???

Maybe Atlantic Health can get the elastic in bulk - as many people have fabric already and then this way there is less traveling to pick up supplies and to drop off the completed masks.

Three Bees Plus Three Bees Plus
March 23rd

JO-ANN Fabrics is giving away free mask kits for you to sew and donate to hospitals.

Closest one is in Roxbury I think. 9am to 6-pm

fulanita fulanita
March 23rd

Hi! I also saw a video using coffee filter size 2 and 4. They use anything elastic. This does not require sewing.

Here is the video.

I also would love to help, but no sewing machine but can sew by hand..learned how to when I was in grade school. Let me know. Thank you!

I dont drive but maybe someone could get me the goods needed if I pay them?
I live in Hackettstown. I want to help

I have fabric if anyone wants it. Free

maryanne maryanne
March 27th

Has anyone gone to Joann Fabrics? Im home bound these days but want so much to help

Why do they need to be elastic around the ears? We could easily make more masks by using a pattern that ties around the top and back of the end. Wish they would allow these during the elastic shortage.

Monica Forfa Monica Forfa
March 28th

I've seen directions for ties around the top and bottom using fabric and/or quilt binding, etc. I think hospitals are accepting either - elastic is easier to get on/off quickly. You can use the thinner elastic 1/8" as well - just sew elastic/backstitch so that it stays securely. A few days ago Joanne's online had 1/4" elastic in large amounts - not sure how many yards. Possible that sales clerks are using that for individual customers, etc. to make it last.

SS2cats SS2cats
March 29th

Re: Sewing face masks for our local hospitals

How about this used during the Spanish Flu? Use Velcro or buttons so the mask can detach from the cap and eliminate ear breakdown from the elastic.

Peggy C. Peggy C.
March 30th

Thank you so much from all of us at Hackettstown Pediatrics to the kind caring patient and his mom for making us masks. So much appreciated. Thank you for your kindness. Stay safe and well.
Hackettstown Pediatrics

hackmom hackmom
March 30th

Re: Sewing face masks for our local hospitals

Just got text from a nurse friend. She said they are also in need of headbands with buttons to keep their ears from breakdown. I don't sew or I would help out. It's so important.

auntiel auntiel
March 30th

My husband only has two masks, which he has been using over n over again for weeks.

I decided to boil a 3rd of water in a pot, than I put a colander on top. I placed the masks in the colander and placed a lid on top in an attempt to steam sterilize.

Hoping it killed any present spores, I know that dental instruments are sterilized by very hot steam, however by using distilled water.

positive positive
March 30th

If those are N95 masks you probably compromised them. Vaporized peroxide is being used to sterilize the masks but with proper equipment to do so.

happiest girl
March 30th

There is no proven effective method, but unfortunately we all have to do what we have to do when supplies are greatly scarce.

From the article: However, they wrote, "70 C / 158 F heating in a kitchen-type of oven for 30 min, or hot water vapor from boiling water for 10 min, are additional effective decontamination methods."

positive positive
March 30th

Is that for the N95? Is that what your husband has?
Is your husband a doctor or nurse in contact with covid 19 patients?

happiest girl
March 30th

Yes, he has two N95 masks that he uses for work. He’s a maintenance worker for a large apt complex. He uses the masks for sanding and when dealing with strong chemicals.

Also, he has to work in occupied Apts, which he wears the mask to protect himself and the tenants. The tenants appreciate his proactive professionalism.

positive positive
March 31st

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