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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

everybody wins

last week, i was scrolling through instagram when something caught my eye:

we all know how much i love my tieks ballet flats.  and this post led to a page on their website that basically put out a call to anyone willing to sew up fabric face masks to be donated to hospitals that are accepting them.  for every 25 masks, they'd send a $50 gift card and for 50, $100.

i thought this was a great idea, but i also remembered packing up all of my cotton woven/quilting fabrics and putting them in the donation pile when we were boxing up all of our stuff before the remodel.  and so i just kept on scrolling and forgot about it.

until my co-leader buddy texted me to see if i'd seen the post.  she had already been working on making masks to donate, and she ended up lighting a fire under my ass to head into the garage to see if there was anything at all i could scrounge up.  after all, i hadn't really done any sewing in weeks and i did miss it...plus, i had nothing but time while on lockdown anyway.

after just a few minutes of digging around, i was super stoked to find that there were still a few pieces of suitable fabric that hadn't made the donation pile.  my elastic supply was pretty low and i already knew that because of the surge in mask making there was a shortage of it, but i figured i could still eke out at least 50 masks from what i'd found.

and not just any masks, but with the fun prints i'd found i hoped i'd bring a smile to the recipients' faces.

i busted out my quilting square and got to work on precutting all of the fabric out - two layers of woven fabric plus one of flannel for the inner layer.  it took a little while, but i eventually had enough cut out for all 50 masks:

this piece in particular was going to make one epic face cover:

to streamline the process, i went ahead and layered all of the pieces in the correct order, sandwiching the pieces of elastic inside and using clips to hold them all in place.  i only had enough clips for half of them, but it was a good start.

my serger came in really handy for the first part, and i was done sewing up all of the edges for all the masks in less than an hour.

of course, that was the easiest part.  next i had to trim all the stray threads, flip them all right side out, press them flat, iron in the pleats and topstitch them down.  while i only have a small corner of our room to work in, it was just enough to be able to set up my machines.

and with the ironing board buried deep in the garage, i had to improvise with my little bench, tossing one of our many throw blankets on top.

while the pile of masks looked a little daunting, i took my time and pushed through them one by one, and by that evening i'd managed to get through them all.

i played a fun game of "thread chicken," watching the spool twirl round and round as i sewed.  and look - i won!  just as i stitched up the final mask, i looked up and found this:

so here are some of my favorites out of the pile - these are the "friends"-themed ones, and the one with joey's face was just as comical as i'd imagined.

and hopefully there are some "big hero 6" fans out there who'll recognize the characters on this fabric:

per the instructions on the tieks website, i laid them all out and took a picture.

and then i found a box i'd just received that happened to fit them all perfectly inside, even with a plastic bag that would help keep the masks safe from any damage that might come to the box during shipping.

i was feeling a little weird about this whole thing - i'd love to say that it was a completely selfless act to help people during this whole crisis.  but it benefited me in a lot of ways - aside from earning that tieks gift card, i was able to use up a bunch of supplies that have just been sitting around taking up space.  not to mention, i got my sewing mojo back AND had a lot of fun while working on the whole project.

i guess we'll just call it a win-win situation.

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