Local crafters sew custom creations to make mask wearing fun!
I’ve sewn for a long time, and I sewed all my kids clothes. I wanted to help the community, and I thought, “That is something I can do because I know how to sew, and who can I help?”
Stylish, colorful homemade face masks sewn by kind-hearted community volunteer seamstresses are being worn and enjoyed by the fortunate recipients.
The masks made by Kathy Terry, a lady who attends First Baptist Church in Merced, are intricate in their design, in hopes of giving the best protection from COVID-19.
Javine Slocum, who also attends church, sewed masks and delivered them to the seniors, many of whom didn’t want to leave home to get masks on their own because of fear of exposure to the virus.
In some cases, masks were custom designed in response to the wearer’s preferences.
Terry told the Times, “I went online on You Tube to see how to make some masks, and I watched a lot of videos and took the best of what I learned and I made 35 or 40 masks.
“I made masks for my family, a few friends, and the church staff. Then a few people called and asked me to make them masks, and I did.
“I had a lot of quilting fabric at home, and I didn’t charge anyone.
“I had some brown and I used that for a bit, and then I used other colors. I took out different colorful cotton prints I had in my cupboard.
“I made a mask with a red print, a gold color, a lavender floral, and a black with sun and stars on it. The pastor’s was brown with a little tiny vine in it. I made a lavender mask with pink flowers for his wife.
“I made three different styles. The first style had interfacing inside which had to be non-woven so the virus couldn’t go through, since the virus is small enough to go through material. Those masks seemed larger.
“The second masks were a little bit smaller and gathered, and still had interfacing.
“The third set was tighter on the face and more fitted to the face and had a removable non-woven interfacing. They look nicer, but some people didn’t like them because they said they were too hot.
“All the styles were washable.
“On the third set, I couldn’t find the elastic that holds on the mask any longer, so I used the little loops that are found in a craft store, but the craft store had run out, so I took apart a pot holder that one of my grand babies made for me and used the little loops.
“The first ones that were bigger were the most time-consuming. By the last set, I could make each mask in about a half hour.
“I used two pieces of garden wire and turned the ends around and made a channel for your nose, so they were pretty intricate.”
“About the same time the virus came on the scene, I saw on TV that Dr. Fauci said people need to wear masks.
“It said on the news that by wearing a mask, you could cut the virus particles when you sneeze, cough or talk to at least half.
“I’ve sewn for a long time, and I sewed all my kids clothes. I wanted to help the community, and I thought, ‘That is something I can do because I know how to sew, and who can I help?’
“I thought of making masks for seniors at church, and I could deliver the masks to them.
“I went on Etsy and downloaded a pattern to use for making masks.
“I went to the local fabric store and found some fun material like leopard prints, flower prints, and gray-green camouflage for the guys.
“Two other people who attend my church wanted to make masks for their families and I gave them a copy of the pattern.
“I put my phone number on the church website where it has a place for people who want to volunteer.
“I started getting calls. People really needed masks, but they didn’t want to leave their house to get them, or they couldn’t find them, or they couldn’t afford them, and they seemed desperate for a mask.
“I started making masks, and then I found out more people wanted them.
“Neighbors found out I was making masks, and my next door neighbor wanted some and other neighbors wanted them and I gave them some.
“Then my friends said, ‘I want one.’
“I enjoy sewing and I liked making the masks. It took 20 to 30 minutes to make a mask, from beginning to end, which wasn’t too bad.
“I made 80 masks.”