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GCC Mask Sewers UNITE!

Gustavus Mask Drive

We are looking to outfit the whole town with cloth masks!

You may have read in the news recently, the WHO and CDC are recommending mouth coverings and masks. Even the state of Alaska issued a statement recommending cloth mouth coverings. Here is the state’s recent Health Alert 010–Recommendations Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings.

So, the goal is to sew up enough masks to outfit the community of Gustavus! The purpose of this email is to get some resources and information out into the community and bring sewers together to accomplish this goal.

I will include a few websites with easy to follow instructions and YouTube tutorials. Know that there are a lot of options online, I chatted with Travis today and he said the firehall does not have a specific need for a specific design. He reiterated that the idea behind a cloth mask is more about keeping your germs to yourself and reduce face touching.  Karen has talked with Lisa at the clinic and she also said there is not really a preference in style, but to make children and adult sizes.

Masks do not replace hand-washing and social distancing but they are a great way to help keep your germs to yourself when you have to go out.

So, as you sew away, some resources to get started:

  • Masks ideally should be made of 3 layers of tightly woven cotton, or two layers with the option to insert a disposable filter. 

  • Use two different colors or patterns so masks have an obvious front and back so it is not accidentally reversed against your face.

  • Cotton sheets are a good potential source for fabric as they are typically a high-thread count, just make sure they aren’t really worn.

  • Flannel is no longer recommended as it is a looser weave and its fluffiness can trap germs.

Sewing instructions for a simple mask:

Erica Made downloadable PDF instructions and her corresponding YouTube Tutorial.

New York Times article with instructions for a simple sewn mask.

Sewing instructions for a mask with a filter pocket:

Instructions for a simple mask with a filter pocket can be found here.

One item that works well as a disposable filter insert is those blue shop rag style paper towels.

The CDC has a nice brief article, Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19,  with a couple of homemade mask ideas.

If you are interested in more styles, such as a more shaped mask, there are endless tutorials and free patterns online. You can also check out the Facebook Group called Million Mask Challenge- Creating Masks for Healthcare Workers and Caregivers. This is a public group and has lots of ideas.

Wearing and caring for a cloth mask:

  • Ideally the fit should be snug but not too tight.

  • Make sure you cover both mouth and nose.

  • The wearer should not allow moisture from breathing to build up as it provides a good medium for germs.

  • Masks should be alternated to allow for frequent laundering. 

  • Wash with detergent and hot water and dry on a hot cycle.

  • If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face.

Do you need fabric?

  • Connie Darnell and Danielle Patrick both have extra fabric if anyone needs any. 

  • Kimber Owen, Deb Woodruff, and Bekah Mitrea all have sewing machines that they are willing to lend out for this purpose.

  • Travis has a bunch of sheets from the community chest that were from Glacier Bay Lodge that are pre-laundered.

  • Just get ahold of someone if you need supplies and make plans for safe drop-off or pick-up.

Gustavus Drop-Off Location:

A tote will be placed at the library for masks to be dropped off. They will then be washed, bagged up, and distributed to locations where people can grab them. Colleen has offered to pick them up, wash, and get ready to distribute, thank you! PLEASE, do not take masks from the drop off bin, they will be made available in other locations and distributed after they are washed.

600 Masks

Our goal is 600 masks! As colleen updates me with how many we have I will post it on facebook and can send an email to this group of sewers as well!

I can serve as liaison if anyone has questions or need anything! 

Happy Sewing,

Bekah Mitrea

Home – 907.697.3049

Cell (texting) – 616.834.1514


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