Face Mask and other PPE Sewing Resources

We hope you will find this information useful as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Please note this post is dated April 30, 2020. We will update as often as we can, but safety and health recommendations have been constantly changing throughout this pandemic, so we cannot guarantee that all of the information below is correct. If you have a question or notice that anything in particular seems out of date or incorrect, please contact us at dcmodquilts AT gmail DOT com.

Some patterns our members have used:

  • MADE Everyday comes recommended as an easy pleated pattern in several different sizes; we've linked to the one with knit fabric ties.
  • Sweet Red Poppy has a fitted pattern similar to Craft Passion's. You can also find a pleated pattern on her site.
  • Deaconess is a health network with its own mask pattern and has options for both elastic and fabric ties.
  • Johns Hopkins approved mask -- some sewists found this one tedious, but this is the only pattern that Hopkins will accept for its employees; does not use elastic. Suburban and Sibley hospitals are Hopkins affiliates and are also collecting this type of mask.
  • Craft Passion's pattern comes in different sizes and is recommended by DCMQG alumna and Navy nurse Meli Mathis.
  • Missouri Star Quilt Company has two very simple patterns, one with elastic and one with fabric ties, that are good for personal use
  • Fancy Tiger Crafts has its own mask pattern plus a long list of great resources and tutorials.
  • Your own design! If working from patterns, it may take a couple attempts to find a mask you like. If you're just sewing them for personal use, the fit is the most important thing, so play around with different patterns and don't be afraid to make your own version. (Really, if bandannas are now considered adequate, anything you make at home will be just as good or better.)
  • Sew Very Easy's scrub cap tutorial lives up to its name, and luckily the video is fairly short!
  • Lea Goes Green has updated her scrub cap tutorial, which Capital Caring hospice network recommended to us.
  • Rob Appell has a scrub cap pattern that doesn't require elastic. This scrub cap is also a skull cap for bikers; do with that what you will.
  • Doodabug has a free printable bouffant pattern (similar to scrub caps but usually with elastic all around to hold up long hair).

Some groups that have requested PPE:
  • Bread for the City provides food delivery, COVID testing, and many other services to low-income area residents. They are in need of masks and scrub caps, which can be mailed or dropped off to: Volunteer & In-Kind Manager, Bread for the City, 1525 7th Street NW, Washington, DC  20001
  • Let's Breathe is a new nonprofit created specifically to address area PPE shortages, founded by a brother and sister who are affiliated with Falls Church Episcopal. Learn more here.
  • United Planning Organization needs about 100 masks for workers who provide care to the homeless through transport to shelters, addiction treatment, and assistance with enrolling in government services. It seems they will accept any pattern. DCMQG member Barbara Haupt is on the board of their affiliate organization, UPO Inspire. Masks can be sent directly to the organization at UPO, Attn: Andrea Thomas, 301 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001.
  • Calvary Women's Services is a local women's shelter in need of 100 masks, and will accept any pattern. DCMQG member Cassandra McKee is a former board member; contact us for information on where to send donations.
  • Capital Caring is a local hospice network we are working with to donate sensory quilts and also help them with their most urgent request, scrub caps. Contact us for information on where to send donations, and use the tutorial here.
  • Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, MD is in need of both scrub caps and bouffants (usually for workers with longer hair to put their hair up). You can use the same tutorial we linked before for scrub caps, or this free pattern for bouffants. (Note: these patterns both require small amounts of elastic.) Contact us for information on how to donate.

Some local craft businesses that are collecting and distributing masks:
  • Three Little Birds has been doing an incredible job educating, collecting, and distributing. They are accepting mask donations outside their store every day from 12-4pm. Click here for more information.
  • Domesti{city} in Baltimore has set an ambitious goal of donating 50,000 masks to Johns Hopkins, for those making the Hopkins mask. If you're following a different pattern, they're also collecting thousands of other masks for first responders and other groups that need them. Click here for more information. 

Some instructions you may want to include when sending masks to friends and family:
  • Wash after every use.
  • When in public, do not keep taking the mask off and putting it back on.
  • Not for use by anyone under 2 years old.
  • Keep a plastic bag with you for storing the mask after taking it off if you are not laundering immediately; if it's in the bag, don't take it back out and rewear it.
  • If you do not have access to a washing machine at home, handwashing in a bowl or sink with hot water and laundry detergent will work just as well.
  • Keep track of which side of the mask touched your face.
  • Do not wear if it is uncomfortable or needs constant adjustment -- you will end up touching your face, which is counterproductive.
  • This mask may slightly reduce your risk of infection when in public for essential activities, but if it the activity is not essential, STAY HOME!!!!!!

Some alternatives you can offer to those requesting masks if you've hit your limit. Kindly tell them you have too much on your plate and then:
  • Send them a tutorial on how to make masks without a sewing machine.
  • Inform them that many home sewists are selling masks on Etsy.