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Improved CDC mask pattern

Million Mask Project

Hi everyone!! Word is getting out about the CDC approved facial mask pattern. Ladies are signing up for the Million Mask Project, and Joann’s just sent out an email that kits are available online, and you can drop completed masks off at their stores.

Close to My Heart

My one sister is an MD. Big shout out to Dr. Allison Lamont. She has confirmed that they have NO PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). When I learned of this, I quickly went to work making masks.

HEPA Helps

What I didn’t like about the existing mask pattern is that it is just two pieces of fabric sewn together. Granted, something is better than nothing at this point, but this is my sister we’re talking about!! I wondered if a HEPA filter would filter out any viruses. I researched and, yes, a HEPA filter filters out some germs. HEPA filters catch 99.97% of all material down to 0.03 micron in size. They don’t catch everything, but they do provide protection against some viruses. This is progress!!

I, therefore, altered the CDC pattern to make it sEo a piece of HEPA material can be slid into a pouch. This makes it so the medical professional can remove the piece of HEPA material after work, launder the mask in the hottest water possible (the sanitize cycle on the newer front load washers is best), dry it, then put the HEPA piece back in for their next shift at work.

Enormous Demand

This does, however, mean that each medical professional is going to need a few of these to get them through their work week. I sent my sister 8 yesterday, and am fast and furiously making 50 more for her immediate colleagues.

For the HEPA material, I am using vacuum bags. You can buy it buy the roll, but it comes from China and costs $641 to ship. So, I bought HEPA vacuum bags. I will cut the vacuum bags into pieces 5.5″ x 8″ and insert into the pouch found in the videos below.

Improved CDC mask Tutorial

Here are the set of videos I made on how to make the improved CDC facial mask. Enjoy, and stay healthy my friends. Thanks for all your efforts!!

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Sewing Revival amidst Closing Fabric Stores

While I have long been a committed sewist, my time for it dropped dramatically when I went back to school in the early 2000’s. I had only visited Yardage Town a couple times, usually for ribbon, and never bought any apparel fabrics there.

Two weeks ago, learning that Yardage Town was closing, a friend and I visited the Vista location. I can’t tell you how much I wish I had a reason to make a special occasion dress. Their fabrics are BEAUTIFUL. Yardage Town has a considerable selection. And, just like the article says, the chain stores do not carry most of what Yardage Town offers.

In the 80’s, being a student at Purdue University, I frequented Neuwelt’s fabric store in Lafayette, Indiana. I bought some of the fabric for my wedding gown there the last time I visited in 1992. Sadly, Neuwelt’s closed not long thereafter.

Moving as I had to Orange County, Californ, I found and developed a very serious love affair for Left Bank Fabrics in Newport Beach. My retirement fund and bank account would look SO much better if I’d never discovered that place. Gorgeous French brocades running $300/ yard, beautiful Italian wool suit fabrics at $125/ yard. I never bought as much there as I wanted to, but I did buy some. I still have some of my gorgeous Left Bank Fabrics fabric that I have not yet sewn up. When I went back to school, my wardrobe needs changed, and I found no need for the silk jacquard prints I still have. Not wanting to waste the fabric, it still hangs in my craft room closet, some 25+ years after I bought it. Since I am no longer in college, I am hoping occasions will arise that justify me making a dress or blouse from that fabric. Sadly, Left Bank Fabrics closed over 20 years ago. Its been a bike shop for a long time.

I bought most of my wedding gown fabric and laces from House of Fabrics. They, too, closed, and most locations became a Joann’s. While I love Joann’s, they no longer carry the fabrics I made my wedding gown of. Just Saturday, I was lamenting this with a friend of mine. We decided a trip to LA’s garment district is in order. I guess the good part of all these fancy apparel fabric stores closing is that my bank account will no longer suffer. With none of the gorgeous fabrics nearby, I won’t be tempted to buy and “age” my fabric, as I have in the past.

I am told that M&L fabrics in Santa Ana, a place I now recall visiting over two decades ago, still has a fantastic selection. I guess a road trip to OC is in order as well.

Happy sewing!!!!!!

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KANVAS Cheers Fabric Arrives!!!!

I did a Stupid Thing

Four years ago, it might’ve been closer to five, I attended the Del Mar Quilt Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds north of San Diego, CA. Wisely, or so I thought, I allocated myself a budget for the show. So, by the time I feasted my eyes upon this fabric, my budget was nearly spent. I only bought a half yard.

KANVAS Cheers fabric pink background with cherry red wine glasses in diagonal pattern
A truly Sandy fabric …

What the heck was I thinking? Had some anti-sewing aliens taken over my body? This fabric is so ME!!! It is so Sandy. Remember that scene from, “Legally Blonde,” where Reese Witherspoon proclaims fuchsia as her signature color? Yeah. This color scheme is darned near mine. I have set my eyes upon this fabric in the ensuing years, I have kicked myself a thousand times for not buying more. Between the wine glasses full of cherry red wine on the pink background, this fabric just screams of ME!!! What possessed me to buy so little?

And so began a several year quest to find more of it. Fabric, as you may know, has a shelf life. It is like milk. It has an expiration date. What is in one season is not in the next. Fabrics get released and discontinued all the time. This is why sewists have such a considerable stash: we see fabric we love and have to have, and know we must buy it now, lest it be discontinued and unavailable again.

I have searched repeatedly for this fabric. With a smaller pattern, a half yard would be plenty. It could be used as a blender with so many other fabrics. But, with a print this large, anything I would want to do with it would ruin the effect of the print. Arrrrrrrggggghhhhh!!! I simply must have more fabric.

Although it had been five years, my quest continued. This last Monday, I struck gold. A lady in Pennsylvania had four yards available for less than normal quilt fabric prices. I bought all four. It arrived today. And I have already smoothed it against my face, smelled it, admired it, and run my fingers over it. This is good fabric. This is the fabric I wanted.

Now all I have to do is wait for Vogue patterns to go on sale 70% off again at Joann’s so I can make the perfect skirt and top combo for warm summer days at wineries.

Sewing Mends the Soul. Happy Sewing!!!!!

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Indiana Teen turns Prom Dress into Career

You never know where your talents will take you. I can’t count how many special occasion dresses I have made myself over the years – including designing and making my wedding gown and the bridesmaids dresses. This guy is from Pendleton, Indiana – not very far from where I went to high school.

Teen Can’t Afford Dream Dress, So Her Prom Date Teaches Himself How To Make It From Scratch

I teach custom sewing classes at my home sewing studio in Oceanside, California. I serve the communities of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos, Encinitas, Rancho San Fe, Escondido and even down to Poway, Rancho Bernardo, and San Diego and La Jolla. With over 50 years experience behind a sewing machine, I am sure I can help you sew the creation of your dreams. Call me at 858-848-0860 to schedule your appointment today.