Hello all, Mary Ellen here.
Some of this is a repeat of the article I wrote for our most recent guild newsletter. The additional things that I had submitted to the newsletter, that did not appear there, are included here. (BTW, after Friday’s pickup of masks our guild total is up to 3135!!!!!!!!!!!! You go, girls!!)
Be prepared, it’s a long post!
Linda Hunter was contacted by the Army Corp of Engineers, and she “enlisted” Annette’s help.
First is the letter to Linda that prompted this effort.
“I am the EEO Manager for the Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo and have an engineer who is deaf. If you know anything about American Sign Language, facial expressions are a big component of the language.Traditional face masks hide the face, presenting an issue for someone who reads lips and/or needs expression to understand what is being communicated. I found two sources for clear face masks but
I think it will take a while to get a box – understandably they are going to hospitals and health care workers. I contacted a student in Kentucky who designed and was giving them away in her community but she reached her goal and is not making them anymore. She did send me a tutorial (in the email below). Would you know anyone (singular or plural) who might be willing to take on making these for us (I am assuming we’ll be wearing masks for the next few months and will be back in our
offices possibly in May)? I need to provide masks for this engineer’s team to ensure she can communicate effectively with them. Or, would you have a suggestion on where to
send this specialized request? I’m hoping someone out there might be looking to sew something a little different- and very much needed. I will have to order the plastic sheeting and of course can provide fabric from my stash – and if my elastic order actually gets delivered, would provide elastic (but ties work well too).
She sent her request to the right place didn’t she? The Air Force Base has had their request filled now through the efforts of several guilds. Perhaps some of you can take on this request for more of our “helpers”. As Mr. Rogers said, “always look for the helpers.” I think we’re helpers too!
This is a set of instructions that Linda and Annette started with. Annette made a few modifications to the pattern. DHH Mask Project and Tutorial
Here are Annette’s notes on her process.
I cut out the paper templates, two pieces of elastic ( 6.5”), nose wire and fabric ( 6×9”)first. After a test by her, I changed the size to 7×9”. Draw a center cross on the wrong side of both fabric pieces ( to all edges), so I can line up the templates in the center of the pieces. Draw around the 4×2”, center with the lines on the fabric, draw the 3 1/2”, centering as well, cut the 3 1/2 “ line partially with my rotary cutter on all four sides, cut the rest of that line of the 3 1/2” rectangle and to the corners ( if you learned pocket plackets, it is like that) with small scissors. Iron back those four small seam allowances (wrong on wrong side). Sew down those seam allowances like 1/8” from the fold. Layer two fabric rectangles ( 6 x9, 7×9 ) so the ‘window’ aligns ( and the outer edges too). Sew around the outer edge with 1/4” seam allowance while inserting the elastic between the two right sides. Turn inside out.
It looks like the start of your regular masks with the ear loops, only with a hole For the insert cut 3×5” clear plastic and a 3×5” piece of your template paper. I was given the clear plastic from JoAnn’s that has the orange wrapper (it adhered to my plastic sewing extension and therefore slipped out of the designated opening, when I started to sew). I used a little sturdier one, light turquoise/blue wrapper. (note from Mary Ellen: if you also have trouble with the plastic sticking to your machine surface, here are three things to try. 1) place a piece of tissue paper below the plastic and stitch through the plastic and paper as one. The tissue will tear off easily once your seam is in place. 2) Cover your machine bed with several strips of blue painters tape. It will remove easily when you’re finished. 3) If the problem is with the plastic sticking to your machine’s foot, rather than the surface of the bed, modify the tissue paper or tape hints accordingly. Or you may have a teflon surfaced foot in your accessories and have never used it before!)
On the 3×5” template I draw a center cross, lay down and line up the 3 1/2” x3 1/2 “ in the center, draw around it. Cut on the 3 1/2” line, so you have a ‘window’ in the 3×5” one. Insert the wire, center, pin in place on one of the long sides. I sewed it in place in a narrow tunnel with both ends closed. Then: It is best to insert and sew the plastic before pleating the sides! Learned that 😉 Line the window opening of the template up with the hole in the fabric ( on the right side of the fabric ). Pin around the template closely on the outside on three sides (two long and one short). The pins will work as ‘guide’ when you insert the plastic. Otherwise it slips and slides. Adjust the other end of the plastic and pin the fourth side. I don’t pin through the plastic. Finger pin while sewing.
Make three pleats on each short side as in regular masks, add a a tiny double pleat in the middle under the chin for better fit. (Annette’s photos follow.)