And now, this: Face Mask Production

This blog post began a diary-in-progress as I jump into the call to make face masks. It now has a menu:

Keep reading below if you want to help, and don't know how

First and foremost, It is important to note that the most important kind of mask—the N95—is NOT what fabric masks are being called to replace. If you happen to have ANY type of unused industry mask on hand, find a nearby hospital and DONATE IT! 

Also: Hand-washing, social distancing and self-quarantine are considered more effective measures for ordinary citizens.

It's true: Fabric masks are a last resort. Statistics on their efficacy aren't that promising. They can vary from maker to maker based on the materials we have on hand. 

What they ARE good for right now is filling in gaps—we are told they are better than nothing. Offering any type of mask (instead of nothing at all) may ease the anxiety of a worried person. Some might want to provide a barrier between their talking, coughs and sneezes as a courtesy to others. There may be non-medical personnel working in health care facilities who should be saving the N95s for the doctors and nurses, but might want a maskUsing last-resort masks for these reasons allows us to save and store industry-made masks to be ready for the most high-risk tasks. Like surgery. 

There is also the growing concern these masks may be the only choice left when other masks are simply not available. 

I'm working on masks in my small factory setting with help from my family and a network of neighbors. Recently, all masks have been claimed as soon as they are finished. If you need masks for your facility, click here.

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If you'd like to help, please consider a National Picnic gift card. I am donating fabric I already own toward these masks, and all the time I put into this effort. Our masks are distributed to healthcare personnel free of charge.

Any patronage will help me immediately to pay shop rent and other looming bills, and to order elastic and wire, more fabric needed for masks. Business is, understandably, becoming scarce and I'm not able to make clothing to fill my shop while I'm making masks.

It's not a donation—you can redeem a gift card at any time—but if you wait until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, I promise I'll find a way to add something special. It will be a beautiful day when we can see the end of this extraordinary life-changing event.


2 comments


  • DOnna

    I have about 50 pleated rectangular masks ready to been sewn. Have been waiting for elastic, that did not arrive. What is your opinion for using the idea cutting a stretch knit fabric into strips, that naturally curl when stretched. Then attaching these strips as ties on the four corners? I truly appreciate your professional opinion, i am anxious to get these masks to the people who need them, NOW. Thanks for what you are doing. And if you need another seamstress, please contact me. Donna Bellia, Collingswood


  • Michala Costello

    This is an absolutely beautiful post! I have driven by your store many times but always too busy to stop by. Now that all of the local places I would take my pup for a run in the morning are closed, I found myself running by your store this am and thought I should really check it out online. Fastforward to a post I saw on downtownhaddonfield instagram (gotta love social media) and here I am. Would love to support your efforts and your store. I haven’t sewn in ages and do have fabric and scrapes left and possibly elastic. Would it be best to try and make it on my own or drop off things? I just donated hundreds of booties (we use them for open houses) that I saw a need for. It’s amazing what we have that can be helpful when we just look around. At any rate, let me know how best to support you and your effort! Thanks
    Michala Costello


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