Skill Deficit Unmasked

I want to help. I really like helping. It makes me feel good. That may be very selfish of me: helping because it makes ME feel good, but that’s the truth (I am still abiding by the “Stay At Home” mandate, so the truth is not setting me free). When the plea for homemade fabric medical masks went out, I thought “I have a sewing machine and I have fabric so this is an opportunity for me to help and to feel good.” I perused many DIY mask patterns before settling on one that would only require materials I had on hand. The pattern was simple, so I was very surprised when it challenged my skill set (and intellect).

I printed the pattern, read through it, folded the paper pattern to make sure I understood the concept, and made a mask. Initially I misinterpreted the folding instructions, but I did not let that deter me from my mission (I decided my “prototype mask could be used by me if an order to wear masks in public was implemented). I did, however, put everything away, deciding to wait until the next day to try again. I awoke the next morning, and after completing my morning chores, again tackled mask making. I began by watching numerous YouTube videos on DIY mask making, all of which proclaimed the ease of construction as well as the minimal time required. With a better understanding of the folding aspect, I set about cutting fabric, folding and sewing. A mere 14 hours later, I had completed ten masks. I felt so good. It was after midnight, so I decided to wait until morning for the required pre-donation wash and press.

As always, I favored function over form.

The next morning, I learned a valuable lesson when I opened the washing machine to move the masks to the dryer (using gloved hands which had been dunked in bleach water so as not to contaminate the newly-washed masks). I should have secured the ties on each individual mask before washing.

It took a very long time to untangle these masks using gloved hands.

Once the masks were dry, I again immersed my gloved hands in bleach water, removed the masks from the dryer and prepared to iron them (sandwiching them in freshly washed and dried dish towels so as not to contaminate them – the germ phobic DIY mask handling was not included in the instructions, but rather a contribution of my own mania). Once the masks were ironed, I contacted one of the people who had put out a request for DIY masks and she reluctantly agreed to accept mine. I feel so good!

Ten completed DIY medical masks.

4 thoughts on “Skill Deficit Unmasked”

  1. Hey, you were a day early! Don’t think I didn’t notice . You must be confused, like I have been … all week. On Wednesday, I was sure that it was Thursday & all day yesterday I thought it was Friday. It’s hard to keep up with things like that under these circumstances .
    Good for you … for pitching in.
    If you run out of 🧻 I’ve got some.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Questions: why did she reluctantly agree? And is it necessary to put the word “inside” on the mask. Does it really matter which side covers mouth & nose?


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