Update as of 4/16/2020: 823 masks ( of 1479 requested) sewn and delivered to 20 locations!
When masks are completed, they should be put into a plastic bag and the number of masks should be written in Sharpie on the bag. This limits touching them again to count them. Then you notify us via this Google Form: https://bit.ly/MaskPickUps. A volunteer will pick them up from your front stoop. They will call or text you on the day they will be stopping by to notify you to put the bag outside.
Getting Additional Supplies:
If you need help getting supplies to make masks please let us know by filling out the same form: https://bit.ly/MaskPickUps We have volunteers who will bring the items you need and leave them at your doorstep each afternoon between about 1-4 PM. They will text or call you after they leave the materials so you can go retrieve them.
If you need more guidance on making masks please read below.
We have looked at a bunch of patterns and collected those, that we feel are the best.
Most clinics are requesting the basic surgical-style cotton masks which are easier to make. They are rectangular, pleated masks (also called the Blue Cross Blue Shield/Deaconess pattern) and you can see the pattern and video here: https://www.sewgoodgoods.org/face-mask-covid-19. Here is another tutorial for the Deaconess design.
More experienced sewers may want to make the U of MN facemask with filter pocket instructions (pattern attached) and wire (Please note that twist ties, jewelry wire, floral wire, and unfolded paper clips can be used for the wire called for in this pattern.) https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/diy-face-masks-during-covid-19.
There is a video tutorial for this face mask on Facebook.
Some of the hospitals are requesting masks like the U of M design where there is a pocket for a filter to inserted. Please label your bag of masks so we know to reserve these masks for these special requests.
There are also some great videos online of different designs. Many Sewists are sharing these via Facebook at Boomerang Bags Minneapolis or at Sew It for COVID, which is a Colorado based group if you want to look at those sites for tips and ideas.
This is also an ever changing subject, but generally 100% cotton fabrics that are dense and tightly woven are better. Flannels, 600count pillow cases or sheets, and quilting cotton is said to work well. Basically if you hold the fabric up to the light you want to not see a lot of holes through it.
All fabric should be washed and dried on hot to preshrink and sterilize it before sewing.
For masks you want at least two layers of fabric (three or four if your needle can handle it and you can still breathe through the layers) and the two sides of the mask should be DIFFERENT FABRICS. This is not a fashion decision, this is so if the person takes the mask off, they know which side goes to the outside if they have to put it back on.
Clinic and Health Care Facility Request Form:
We hope that soon there will be enough real masks for all our Health Care workers and that soon our efforts and attention can be turned to other matters. But until that happens, if you hear of a clinic that needs masks you can have them enter the information here https://bit.ly/MasksforHealthClinics and we will do our best to get them the protective face covering that they need.
For more information on COVID-19 and the CDC recommendations please visit here.