Jen's Sewing Notes
Are you sewing Citizen Mask 1, the curvy, fitted one? Some of these are coming in very small, and I think I figured out why. When you print the pattern, you need set your printer to the landscape orientation, not portrait. Double check the size of your pattern pieces. The bottom edge of A should be 5.25" and the bottom edge of B should be 4.25". The too-small masks will go to pediatric centers and won't go to waste, but please sew the masks at the correct size.
We have plenty of supply bundles at Flora, ready if you are running low. I love to see your kind faces through the glass door! We now have 100 mask bundles as well, for team-sewers and the super-fast! Today at Flora (still our mask drop off and supply location), we got two bins of beautiful fabric donations and even some elastic!
About that clear elastic:
With elastic in short supply, we’ve had to find a way to make the 1000’s of yards of the clear elastic we have work better. We're sorry if it's been annoying to work with! We have doubled and lengthened it. See the new instructions at the bottom of the Sewers' page. This applies to either Citizen mask design.
Supply and Demand
Hello marvelous sewers and other supporters! First, I want to thank Donna and Greg of Ambrose West, an event and music venue in West Asheville. Ambrose West has opened up their space for our filter-cutting operation, and we will soon use their courtyard as a pick-up location for outgoing masks. It’s heartwarming how local businesses have stepped up to help.
The demand for masks has far outstripped our supply and, as a result, we have had to temporarily halt online orders for Citizen masks. As soon as we catch up on the 6000+ masks now in the queue, we will turn that back on.
We have also made the decision to raise the price on the Frontline masks, to $9.00 each, in packs of 20. This allows us to pay our commercial sewers, providing jobs in our community, as we recapture our overhead and materials costs. The purchase of a Frontline masks helps us provide both Frontline and Citizen-style masks to those in need, without the ability to pay.
Each of our masks comes with filters for the end-user. After research and testing, we've now started to make them out of sterilization fabric, a material used in the sterilization of surgical instruments. Made out of a type of polypropylene, this fabric is affordable, readily available, and has an impressive ability to block virus particles.
When you receive a Masks of Love mask, insert the filter into the pocket between the layers, center it, and open it up flat. You can reuse the sterilization fabric filter by first disinfecting it with heat: remove it from the mask; put the filter only in a low temperature oven, at 165 degrees; and let it "cook" for 30 minutes. Lay it flat while cooling.
Sewers do not need to provide filters for the masks they make. We add filters to orders when we ship. For now, filters are not available separately in our online mask store. We have supply bundles a Masks of Love HQ if you need them: Flora, 428 Haywood Road; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Care & Use + Online Store Update
Now that you’re a mask-sewing expert, you probably have people asking you questions about how to wear them. We just wrote a Care & Use insert to go into our outgoing mask packages. The info is posted on the website as well. Experts stress a good fit and correct use of a mask in helping to contain the spread of the virus.
Every day brings an onslaught of frantic changes and fine-tuning of glitches at Masks of Love. Today, we’re focused on creating a regular online store for ordering masks. We’re ready to go live with that as soon as we get our payment link working. We hope to have it going by the end of the day at this link
We are looking for an industrial walking foot sewing machine and/or an industrial serger to purchase. If you can help, send us an email.
We’ve finally added a page that lists the Masks of Love WNC team members: click here. It also has a handful of the businesses and organizations that have helped in this project. Because of the chaotic nature of this emergency effort, the business section isn’t fully up-to-date, but we hope to complete it soon.
Thank you Toby Maurer and The Branding House Asheville for making this awesome Mindy the Maskmaker T-shirts and other goodies available for purchase HERE. Proceeds from the sales of these items will go directly to help fund our mask-making venture.
Update: Masks flying in AND out
Read the latest news here. And if you would like to get this in your inbox, go to our Volunteer/update form.
600 Masks on their way!
Yesterday, we got the first finished masks and filters out the door and on the way to people who need them! We shipped 110 and delivered another 50, including some to Asheville Poverty Initiative's 12 Baskets Cafe.
Other exciting numbers to share:
As you can see, demand is exceeding supply. Keep sewing like the wind!
Recent articles of interest:
A Sewing Army (NYT 3/25)
Some Fabrics Work Better than Others (NBC 4/3)
See Dr. Carly in the Mt Xpress' latest Covid-19 update.
Masks of Love WNC
was created in Western North Carolina in March 2020 as a response to our community shortage of PPE in the face of Covid 19. We created an all volunteer effort to get cloth masks into the hands of those that needed them most. Now, Masks of Love has grown into a business that is providing local jobs while staying committed to our mission of donating masks to our under-served neighbors. We have donated almost 10, 000 masks since we began. Learn more about our community partners here.