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I could not believe that Covid-19 has reduced the United States of America to homemade medical masks. But when my friend the hospice doctor started making them, I knew the need was real. 

So out came husband Bob’s first gift to me after we married, the Made in the USA 1970 Singer that weighs about a 1,000 pounds. Even with a meager three zigzag stitches, it was the Mercedes of its day. For 50 years I have used it to make everything from pillows for the living room to old-lady-style, elastic-in-the-waist pants. With that machine and those skills under my belt (or elastic), I set about to make masks. 

Grabbing yards of cotton that had been left over from other projects, I began cutting and sewing the pieces from a pattern described on a local Facebook page,  “Tri-Cities Face Mask Makers.” Making the fabric ties was slow and the whole process took all day, but finally I had a mask that looked okay.  SUCCESS!!

The next day I was determined to do this job faster, so I looked for an easier pattern.  A friend sent a text with the video of a woman making a mask that she said took 15 to 20 minutes to make, maybe 20 minutes for a beginner. Yippee, just what I was looking for. I cut out the fabric rectangle pieces and two elastic 7-inch elastic strips from the meager leftovers in my sewing stash. Quickly I sewed those together. Hey, I’ve got this. I can whip them out now. Healthcare workers, help is on the way!

Then it was time to put the pleats in the mask. They looked so easy on the video. Rip, rip, sew, sew, rip, rip @#$%, $#@% (expletives deleted).  Finally, a finished product that looked like s— and it took all day!!!

So on Day 3 of mask making it was back to fabric ties. So at least I’ve settled on a pattern that I can accomplish. I’m not even going to look at the beautiful masks on the Facebook page or compare the dozens of masks per day to my one.  No, I’m just going to keep plugging along.  After all, nobody knows Rosie’s rivet count.

9 thoughts on “I Can’t Believe it Has Come to This….the Trials and Tribulations of a Mask Maker

  1. Hahaha Ohhhh how I loved reading this!!!! Pretty much sums up how my days have gone. My sewing skills are reduced to crafts I flunked Rap Around Skirts in High School if that tells you anything., 😂😂😂😂 Thank you
    Cindy P
    Benton City

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  2. Hahaha thank you for your article!!! Pretty much summed up my last couple days. My sewing skills are limited to crafts I flunked Wrap Around Skirts in High School .. hahaha Thank you for the laugh 😂
    Thanks,
    Cindy P.

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  3. I read online that Joann Fabric is donating precut fabric for masks and will bring them to your car for pick up! Something to consider!

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  4. Hiya, Randy, hope y’all fine up there! Saw your town featured this morning on TV. I’ve also been making some masks. Ran out of elastic, broke the old drive belt on the machine, taking a break. And my machine, faithful thing, I got for Christmas when I was a senior at Carolina. Keep in touch! Ann

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