Using fabric remnants and a borrowed sewing machine, I taught myself how to make a face mask

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Using fabric remnants and a borrowed sewing machine, I taught myself how to make a face mask

By Angela Venable

My name is Angela Venable and I live in the Conyers area. I am one of many people who are fortunate enough to have access to a sewing machine. Thank you to my friend, Akosua Tait, for allowing me to borrow one of her Singers to make my masks.

While sheltering in place with everyone else, I found some remnants from Joanne Fabrics in my garage storage. I got the sewing machine and started making six masks. I wanted to make up a batch because I had gotten sick several weeks ago and I didn’t want to risk contracting COVID-18. I also wanted to avoid all of the pollen. I wanted something that I could wash and reuse.

During my construction of the masks, I felt that ties, instead of elastic straps, were a better option. Elastic ties can pop or stretch out of shape. I also liked the fact that I could wash my masks after each use.

I faced many challenges while making the first mask. The first challenge was that I don’t know how to sew. So I went along with what I thought should happen. When that didn’t work, I called my mother, who is a seamstress.

The second challenge was measuring the mask so that it would stay put. The third challenge was re-threading the bobbin and then replacing the bobbin to get the stitch to hold in place. That bobbin was the biggest aggravation. The last challenge was the reinforcement of the mask. I wanted the mask to have a lining inside to further filter out pollen, particles, and anything else that may want to slip through.

It took me four days to make the six masks. They turned out very well and I’ve received several compliments. The thing I like most about my masks is that the ties are long enough to tie around my ponytail and they match. This was an unexpected hair decoration.

Angela Venable is an illustrator, videographer and playwright. She works in the Communications Department for the City of Stonecrest.

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