Our feel-good sewing stories of the month PLUS how to make your own face mask
Sewing is a valuable skill that’s being used by numerous communities across the UK to help both frontline workers and victims during the Covid-19 crisis.
We’ve picked our top 3 feel-good stories of the month that show community crafters taking up the needle and thread to help those in need.
Plus, scroll to the bottom of the article to find out how to make your own simple non-medical face mask using household items!
1. The North West Cumbria Scrub Hub
Hundreds of volunteers in Cumbria have banded together to sew PPE for health workers on the front line.
If they sound familiar, it could be because the group secured a feature with ITV News earlier this month, gifting them some much-deserved exposure.
Sellafield worker Claire Riley set up the group, which is now made up of more than 300 members. Their primary focus is to make and distribute protective clothing, but the positive effects of the group extend even further - its members have found that the work provides a sense of purpose and helps keep spirits high during the crisis.To learn more, or if you’re from North West region and would like to get involved, visit their website
2. The two teachers on a mission to comfort NHS heroes
Caitlin McReynolds-White, a lecturer at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, was moved by pictures of frontline workers suffering bruises and cuts due to extended periods wearing surgical face masks.
In response, Caitlin has been creating re-usable headbands that take the pressure off the masks behind the ears. The sustainable bands, which can be washed and reused, also keep the hair out of the face during prolonged periods.
Similarly, business teacher Catherine Daw has been putting her sewing skills to amazing use by making hundreds of bands that have been distributed to hospitals in her local area.
More information on these ladies’ wonderful efforts can be found in Sky News’ feature piece .
3. Sewing 4 Kingston
This group of avid sewers have reported an overwhelming community response to the crisis, and provide people with the chance to volunteer for a good cause even while socially isolating at home.
Sewing 4 Kingston is a group made up of almost a thousand people, despite being less than a month old. The group, like those above, sew essential gear for workers on the NHS frontline.
As of April 24th, the group had delivered 4800 items, including thousands of bags, 500 headbands, 600 earsavers, and over 100 scrunchies. And that’s not all - their work is expected to continue into summer, with a backlog of over 2200 items pre-ordered already.
To learn more about Sewing 4 Kingston, check out their interview with the Surrey Comet
Make your own non-medical mask!
If you’re inspired by these stories and want to get started on a project of your own, you could follow the instructional videos from the guys at TimeOut to make your own non-medical* face mask. You won’t need any specialist equipment to get started - just an old T-Shirt, pair of socks or paper towel. Or if you would like to jazz it up a bit you could make a wonderful Liberty fabric mask!
*As of now, there is no conformation these masks will work against the spread of infection. They are non-medical grade masks!