2020, uncharted

Mask Maker

I’m back with a little more quarantine content! I’m sorry if this really isn’t what you feel like reading right now. I understand that you might feel consumed by the pandemic at this point. I promise I’ll have something fashion-related soon!

UPDATE: Greenville Fashion Week has been postponed to Fall 2020. I look forward to sharing more about my collection, Uncharted, in the coming months!


Do they do anything? 
Should you make them?
Should you buy them? 
When should you be wearing it - if at all? 

I’m not here to answer these questions. I have no hard evidence and really no experience in this part of product design. What I do know is there is a strong urge in me to find value in myself while I’m at home.

Cut from the scrap stash – project memories!
I like how neat they look lined up and ready for mass production.

As soon as I saw other crafty people putting masks together I felt so much pressure to participate and throw my hat in the ring. People want masks! I could sell them. I could make cute ones. Put a whole lot of time into it. Commissions! NO! There were so many conflicting stories from the CDC, craftspeople, medical personnel. I didn’t know where to start! How do I know I’m making the right mask? Do I have the right materials? Is it appropriate to profit from this situation?

After this mental breakdown I decided that I wasn’t going to make masks. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on something that wouldn’t really help. My greatest fear of making masks was working on something that the front line would find entirely useless – what’s the point of working on something to donate if they can’t use it?! I also can’t help but think about all the masks that will end up in the landfill at the end of this – but my friend brought to my attention that this situation might make masks a common place item that people keep around to wear when they’re sick or traveling.

New batch of masks

Later on that week, I did a bit more reading and found an article from the CDC that something was better than nothing. As I walked around my neighborhood I realized everyone who worked on the grounds was wearing a mask. I came to a conclusion that you might as well try something rather than do nothing. 

Prepped to sew the strap channels

When my girlfriend mentioned that she was going to make masks for her husband’s squad (he’s a police officer – essential worker) I knew right away that I had to help. I am doing what little I can to help my friends who are essential workers to make them feel a little safe in this unfortunate (and actually really scary) situation that they’re stuck in. 

Finished batch of masks

I wanted to give my mask the best chance of being useful so I was sure to do my research. I included a wire at the bridge of the nose to improve the “seal” – I used pipe cleaners because I had them around and they are kind of “padded” by the flocking so they won’t poke through the fabric. I knew elastic behind the ears was becoming unpopular so I was sure to use long pieces that would fit behind the head. I quickly ran out of elastic on hand and realized there was a significant shortage so I started making ties out of strips of cut up t-shirts. I decided to line my masks with cotton flannel as it provides better filtration than just plain woven cotton (not as good as actual filter sheets – but I was limited to the supplies that I had on hand).

Side note: the office is closed at my apartment complex so I no longer have access to a printer. I found a pattern online that was drawn on a grid, pulled out some graph paper, and drew up a pattern (just like one of those coloring book pages you used to skip). No excuses! I knew I had to help any way I could.

I used the pattern provided by CraftPassion – she has a number of edits and a lot of good attention (link to their post here). This is also the pattern Joann fabrics is recommending on their website. (But you can choose to do your own research if you decide to make masks.)

Let me tell you. The dent in my scrap stash (cabbage patch) alone has made me proud! I’m using cotton scraps from my first ever sewing projects (when I was a little kid cutting up dads old shirts). I’ve used up scraps from my first sewing projects in college – I’ve even unearthed some ASU themed fabric I still had laying around. There’s been no shortage of elephants, I have so much elephant fabric scraps – I’m not afraid to admit I have a problem.

Scraps to masks

Anyway, back to donating the makes. I made a batch to donate to the police squad. I also made a batch for my friend and her coworkers (essential workers) still working in food service. I have found that donating to people I know and care about personally has helped to motivate me. Not to say that there are not others in need, but it is overwhelming to imagine how great the need truly is and I’m just one person trying to help. (If you know of any other businesses or essential workers in need of masks please let me know.)


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♬ Lose Control – Meduza & Becky Hill & Goodboys

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Delivery day was exciting but also sad. I was happy to hop in my car for a drive…it’s been weeks! Upon arrival I realized I had to stick to the guidelines and continue to distance myself from my friends. So I dropped the box on the porch, ran back to my car, sent a text announcing package delivery and waved goodbye. I am happy I could do my part to help them in a way I knew how but I do look forward to spending time with them in person again – hopefully soon!

Another batch of masks

As I said last time, don’t be afraid to get a little #QuarantineCrafty, because I mean, why not? It might make you feel a little less afraid to go to the grocery store. 

*I am by no means encouraging anyone to break the stay-at-home-order. Only you can choose to do what you see fit with your masks. This is why I have chosen not to sell my masks. I do not want to encourage anyone to break social distancing because they think they’re safe with a mask. 

If you’re interested here are some links to other local creators who are making masks to sell:

Humble Connor

Alicia Zeigler

Jade Sky

RCB Fashion 

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