Connecting local sewists with the healthcare and essential worker community

Let's sew masks to donate

Healthcare professional or frontline worker? You can request masks here.
Can you sew? Find out where to donate.

I have reached out to a number of recipients this week because I wanted to know how effective the project has been. I am very encouraged by the feedback! It's nice to know that our work is appreciated. There continues to be a need for hand sewn masks and every donation is going to a good home. Thank you all!   --Nancy

Why this website?

When I first got this website online at the beginning of April, the pandemic was in full swing in New York state and the shortage of personal protective equipment was dire. Hospitals and health centers were scrambling for supplies and any surplus was being sent to the front lines in New York city. My focus was to provide reliable information for people sewing fabric masks for local donation so that they could create and donate the type of masks that were most effective for healthcare professionals.

Along the way I received tips from people that were discovering new and better ways to assemble the masks. I received clarifications from the healthcare community about the patterns and materials that were most effective. As the month progressed I began getting donation requests on this site for front line workers at grocery stores, police departments, government agencies, and assisted living facilities. The order for all New York state residents to wear face masks in public areas took some by surprise and there was increased traffic to the site by people looking for information about making personal masks. I’ve done my best to keep the site relevant and useful.

Here it is May, and it’s hard to believe that masks are still in short supply. I figured that my site would have run its course by now, but it seems that reliable mask information is still in demand. This site will remain in place as long as it’s needed and for whomever needs the information. I continue to add tips for those making masks, and especially for those who are still willing to make masks for donation. I continue to accept useful information sent in by helpful sewists.

There is still a demand and every new mask is finding a grateful home. Stay healthy, follow the rules, and keep sewing!


Masks for personal use

If you are here looking for information how to make a personal mask for yourself or your family for everyday public use, you can try any of the designs here that are requested by hospitals and healthcare centers. But if you want to keep it really simple, the New York Times has an easy mask that you can make from household items. Another really good mask tutorial recommended by Calico Gals is here.


National Public Radio 4/22/2020:
Adding A Nylon Stocking Layer Could Boost Protection From Cloth Masks, Study Finds

Washington Post 4/8/2020:
Answers to your DIY face mask questions, including what material you should use

Globe and Mail 4/5/2020:
Sew much demand: Suddenly, homemade masks are a booming cottage industry

Washington Post 4/2/2020:
White House to urge Americans to wear face coverings in public to slow spread of coronavirus

Washington Post 4/1/2020:
Which DIY mask pattern should you use? Even experts can’t pick one to recommend