This site has been updated with new information as of 5-14-20.
A Note From Gina
Calling all mask-makers! I am imagining a day when we are looking back on this time in our lives and remembering the endless line of masks draped off our sewing tables assembly line style, the pleat templates, the singed fingertips from steam irons pressing pleats and binding strips into submission, the desperate search for ¼” elastic, and the trips to the bottoms of our fabric stashes! These are crazy times that we are unlikely to forget, but someone made a suggestion that I really like…..what if each of us
were to take our mask fabric scraps and make a 9.5” x 9.5” quilt square in any pattern (when pieced together, the finished block will be 9”). For those who have never pieced a quilt square before, a nine-patch may be a nice choice for a pattern or sew strips together and cut out a 9.5” square! The quilt squares can be sent to or dropped off at the address listed below. The squares will be made into colorful wall hangings that we can share with organizations/city halls/fire and police departments, etc.?
I am overwhelmed by the number of people who stepped up to help in this effort and honored to have been a tiny part of our giant team of talented seamstresses. Thank you all for everything you have done!!
If you want to participate, quilt squares may be mailed to or dropped off at:
1025 N. Morgan Rd. Oconomowoc WI 53066
Please include your name and address with the square, or just your name if you prefer. If you want to share a story about your square or the fabric, etc…. feel free. We can provide the stories along with the hangings to the recipients.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!!!
If you’d like to read a listing of all of the hospitals and groups that have benefitted from your generosity click here!
We have just been made aware that Waukesha Memorial Hospital now has an urgent need for 80-100 scrub caps.
If you have started making them, or were thinking it might be a fun change of pace, please use the instructions below and drop them at the same drop-off locations. THANK YOU!
This link has a great free pattern: https://sweetredpoppy.com/scrub-cap-free-sewing-pattern/
I found an additional site with a very simple pattern that includes links to a printable pdf of both the instructions and the pattern pieces. That site can be found by clicking here.
It is difficult to put into words the gratitude and thankfulness with which all of the masks we have donated have been received! These thanks truly belong to all of you!
As of today over 5000 masks and 115 caps have been donated! Amazing! Thank you!
They have been or are being delivered to health facilities who have expressed a need. Among these are Rogers Memorial Hospital, Froedtert Medical Center, Children’s Hospital and Shorehaven Senior Living Community. For a full listing of the organizations who have benefitted from your generosity click here.
We continue to get requests for masks and scrub caps, so please continue to make more if you are willing and able.
We now have a page with instructions to make see-through face masks for those who are hard of hearing/deaf to be able to lip read. To access that information click here!
These masks will be used in lower risk areas of the hospitals, and not in the emergency room, ICU or other front line areas. They may also be used over other masks for additional safety, and we are daily hearing of more avenues in which masks are needed to protect people from the virus.
Please feel free to supply masks to your neighbors, friends, and family! We’re reading more and more about the benefits of all of us wearing masks when we have to go out in public. We have information to share about washing the masks at the end of this post. You may want to print it and include it with the masks you’re giving out.
The masks should be made out of good quality 100% cotton fabric (high thread count, please no flannels). The updated instructions below will help you in choosing the type of fabric. Please use discretion when selecting color and prints. They will be washed with bleach and reused. There is a need for hundreds of masks so any number you make is appreciated.
The tutorial we’d like you to use has been approved by Froedtert Hospital, Children’s as well as Rogers, and can be found at:
Masks made with elastic are still being accepted also. If you have elastic you would like to use, that pattern can be found at: https://buttoncounter.com/2018/01/14/facemask-a-picture-tutorial/
Simplified String Ties
We recently found an easier way to make the ties or strings for the masks. By using a piece of paper, the edges can be folded in and sewn in one step without the hassle and burnt fingers involved in pressing them. Here’s the video:
I found the paper guide did not slide as easily in real life as it did in the video but, with a bit of practice, I made it work by using card stock instead of plain paper, and sliding the paper 6″ from the needle, stitching 5″, and repeating.
To make narrower strings: Cut the strips 1 1/2″ wide (straight of grain or bias), and make your paper template 3″ x 2 1/4″ with these marks for the folds:
If you are able to make and donate masks, please start sewing. Once you’re ready to deliver them, please put them in a sealed ziplock bag and label with the number you have made. If you made more than are in the bag and have shared them with others, please write that number on the bag also, just for our information. Thanks!
There are two options for dropping off finished masks:
Because of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order and the closing of non-essential businesses, Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc will no longer be collecting these masks. They are still urgently needed and can be dropped off at Gina Magnus’ home:
1025 N. Morgan Road
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Her home has a circle drive and the masks can be put in a marked bin on the back porch without making human contact. It’s not far from Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc and a good reason to take a ride out in the country ?.
If you would prefer to have your masks picked up, you may call or text Gina at (262)424-7640
The second option for dropping off masks is:
Sew Much More; 2140 W Saint Paul Avenue in Waukesha. Even though the store is closed, they are accepting masks in a box in front of the store, Monday – Saturday, from 9-5 . If you are running low on fabric or other supplies, you may call the store and they will bring your order out to you curbside. (262) 547-7774
On that same note, Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc is also offering curbside service (but they are not collecting masks at this time):
So if you live out in the Lake Country area this would be a good way to get the supplies you need. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open and fill out this form with the item(s) you need to purchase.
- We will make every effort to call you by 10 am on Monday, Wednesday or Friday to review details, item availability and payment information.
- Stop in front of the store at your prearranged time to pick up your prepaid order.
Both Ben Franklin and Sew Much More have been a vital part of this Face Mask project. Having the opportunity to purchase supplies from 2 of our favorite stores not only keeps us sewing, but will help keep them going through this difficult time.
Printing this information out and giving it to those you give masks to might be a good idea ?:
“These masks are clean but not sanitized. They are meant to be washed daily and reused over and over again. Machine wash in warm water in a lingerie bag. Then tumble dry on medium heat. If you don’t have a lingerie bag, then hand wash with warm water and laundry detergent (the detergent is the important part). You may need a warm iron to press pleats and restore shape after taking out of the dryer.”
For Your Information!
I made elastic type masks for family and friends. My Dad wears hearing aids and the mask didn’t work for him. Besides that, I found mine to be very uncomfortable around my earf. So I came up with a hack that works for me:
I loop an elastic hairband through both side elastic pieces on the mask,
then I loop a third hairband through one of the first bands, and I hold the 2 band ends together with a safety pin.
It isn’t pretty, but it stretches over my head easily, and it’s much more comfortable.
Another option is to make a headband with buttons on the side to attach the mask to. Click here for a good video on that topic.
Thank you again for all your generosity and enthusiasm!
If you are not in Wisconsin, you may want to contact your local hospitals/clinics to see if you can be of help to them. Thanks!