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Masks, But Make It Fashion!

The sewing community comes together to address the PPE shortage

By Intern Becca

Masks sewn and donated to community by small business owner, Lisa Leishman

Sewing is an art! I wouldn't necessarily label it as a "dying art", however, it is not a basic skill that is taught to everyone as a child anymore. As time progressed into the 21st century, people relied more on factories to produce their clothes and blankets rather than using sewing machines to create it themselves. I recently began to learn this art form. It brings me much satisfaction to see a project progress and turn into a usable item!

Image by @seekatesew

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shortage of masks, gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. To address this issue, people have banded together all across the country to help. This includes the Hamilton/Oxford sewing community that has stepped up to sew masks for the local healthcare institutions. I love seeing the community come together during this difficult time.

Several professional sewers/bloggers have also joined in! Blogger Kate (former Oxford resident), @seekatesew, has been an advocate on this front and even donated a free pattern to download for fellow sewers to participate. Her most recent pattern includes a pocket for health professionals to place a filter in the masks. Local Oxford business owner of You're Fired Pottery Studio, Lisa, has also sewn several masks to donate to Fort Hamilton Hospital!

There are regulations that have to be followed in order for the masks to be up-to-par for the healthcare workers to use. They must be high quality quilting fabric. Elastics were originally being used for the masks, but are quickly selling out across the country. However, the masks can be made with ties (pictured below). They can even withstand the sanitation process which is a major plus for re-usability.

Image by @seekatesew

If you know how to sew and want to help, follow the link below to Kettering Health Network as they explain how to get involved. They include the requirements for the masks and the pattern. They have a drop off at several different locations, including Fort Hamilton. All healthcare institutions are extremely grateful to have these masks donated at their disposal!

It's really cool to see the sewing community eager to help, especially in our local area. This art form is doing so much to help the community and prevent the spread of this virus! Many sewers are now also sewing and donating masks to community residents to wear while working or while running essential errands. But hey, these masks are WAY cute! What is it people are saying? "Masks, but make it fashion."

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