Face Mask/Gown Update #5

Update on Face Masks and Gowns

Thank you to all those who are sewing masks.  I sent the pattern and instructions to many people who responded to Update #4.  Feel free to share this pattern and instructions with anyone.  My major shipment of elastic has not arrived yet, however I do have a fair amount here - wider and needs to be cut down but that works.  Today we tried to cut the ribbed elastic, that does not work, it frays.  The KNIT and BRAIDED work just fine.  Thank you to those ladies who donated elastic to us to distribute.  Some is as wide as 2-3 inches and after cut down will make many masks.  If you still need the mask pattern, email me at EllaMillerToy@aol.com and I will reply with an attachment of the pattern and instructions.

Update on the gowns.  I have 3 fabrics that are being evaluated to make gowns, a muslin 68x68 thread count, one that is 76x76 thread count, and a tighter seersucker fabric.  We have the pattern patched and transferred to red dot pattern fabric.  Dena is making a prototype from seersucker.  Soon as we know which fabric the facility wants we will let you know. 

I received a message from SMH looking for handmade surgical masks and gowns.  Yes they may not provide the same barrier as the N95 masks, but something is better than nothing.  Keep on doing what you are doing and eventually I believe there will be an FDA approved handmade mask.  Sarasota Memorial Hospital has set up a dropbox where masks and gowns can be deposited during regular business hours Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm.  Park in the private lot west of Building C, accessible from Floyd Street while dropping off supplies.  They request we NOT share the dropbox location publicly.  So I hesitate to put the location in this newsletter.  Anyone who wants the dropbox location can email me at EllaMillerToy@aol.com and I will forward the dropbox location to you.  If you want the face mask pattern email me and I will reply with the attachment.

To contact SMH about donating medical supplies, email HealthConnection@SMH.com or call 941-917-7011.  So there you have two contacts asking for anything that can be produced.  SMH is saying there are lots of face mask patterns out there, use what you have and if you have made any, just put them in the donation dropbox.  If you are unable to get to the box, can drop off the SMH donations at Alma Sue's and we will drive them to the dropbox.  Reminder, we are open Tuesday - Friday from 10-3.  Closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  If you need anything outside those hours, can email EllaMillerToy@AOL.com.  If we are inhouse sewing and shipping we will hear the phone at 941-330-0993 but if not here won't hear the phone!

Here is another item - we ship daily and use United States Postal Service and FedEx primarily.  If you have something to ship, feel free to use our shipping service.  We can even supply you with boxes.  The Priority envelopes and boxes from USPS are free of charge and we have a good supply of them.  FedEx also provides free shipping supplies.  We charge a modest fee above the postage to pay for shipping labels and printer ink.  So if getting to the post office is not convenient for you, or you don't want to wait in a crowded line, just bring your package to Alma Sue's and we will ship it for you. 

This just in - Teresa was at Hobby Lobby looking for supplies and she reports they just received a big shipment of elastic.  So there is another elastic source.  Buy for yourself, or buy and put in the elastic at Alma Sue's to hand out to all the great sewing ladies.  My big shipment has not arrived yet, hopefully next week - in the meantime we still have a supply from our notions wall and from donations brought to the store.  A hearty thank you to all those who donated supplies to hand out.  I was just thinking, our mothers and grandmothers were "Rosie the riveters" now we can be "Susie the sewist."

  Keep on doing what you are doing.  I grew up in a community that pitched in when someone was sick they brought in meals, if there was a death in the family the churches pitched in and provided food for many days for the extended families.  If someone needed a new roof and couldn't afford one the community banded together and got it done.  If a family was going through hardships, school clothes and pajamas for the children were sewed or purchased and magically appeared on their porch.  So thanks to all of you and keep on doing what you are doing.   

Thats all for now until I hear something new.  Oh I did want to say that Northcott fabric company has offered free fabric to make face masks and I am in contact with them to source fabrics for masks and gowns.  Haven't heard that yet from all the other companies who are offering discounts so we will continue to buy!  We can remember that when all of this is over - who did what in a time of need.
More later as it develops.