SEWING INSTRUCTIONS 

Note: You can also CLICK HERE to download these instructions and print them if you prefer)

Welcome to the “Hour of Need” team!!! We are a growing volunteer army working hard to provide masks totally free-of-charge to the brave women and men on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19

While DIY masks are not as effective as N95s at blocking viral particles, they have been shown to have efficacy. The masks you make just may save lives.

The masks you make will be delivered to:

  • Hospitals, medical centers, private clinics, pediatrician’s offices, etc.
  • First Responders
  • Nursing homes
  • Social service workers and the homeless and vulnerable, underserved populations
  • Other essential services

NOTE: WE HAVE URGENT, PENDING REQUESTS FROM HOSPITALS AND FIRST RESPONDERS IN THE LOUISVILLE AREA, AND WE NEED TO PICK UP MASKS FROM YOUR DOORSTEP ASAP! THANK YOU FOR RESPONDING QUICKLY!

GET STARTED NOW

If you have quilter’s cotton or t-shirt cotton fabric, on hand, you can get started now. Here is pattern with instructional videos that we are currently using.

PATTERN

We are currently recommending our stitchers use this pattern

  • This design is most frequently requested by medical care professionals.
  • It is easy to make and will fit over a N95 mask, prolonging its life.
  • It may also be worn on its own for protection

PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU ARE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH A DIFFERENT PATTERN – THAT IS COMPLETELY FINE!  There are a lot of different and good patterns out there. The best ones – some of which we’ve posted on Facebook – are coming from hospitals. The CDC posted one in 2006, and there have been improvements and improvisations since.  Including this one. And this one. If you’re stitching masks from recommended cotton fabric and a pattern from a reliable media or government source, that is great! They will work! And we will deliver them to places of need!

FABRIC

We will continue to update this section if more effective materials become available.

  • 100% 2-ply cotton is the best fabric choice.
  • Fabric should be tightly woven, new or very nearly new.
  • Fabric should be laundered before and after sewing – to allow for shrinkage and to ensure fabrics are clean.
  • Do NOT use vintage, stretchy, knit, used towel and sheets, clothing, filters, vacuum bags, interfacing.
  • When masks are delivered to hospitals and other institutions, they will be sanitized upon arrival.

BEST PRACTICES

We will continue to update best practices here based on feedback from hospital staff who are already using DIY masks created by volunteers just like you.

  • Make sure that you use one color on the inside of the mask, and different color on the outside of the mask. It helps the wearer to avoid potential re-contamination.
  • Use grosgrain ribbon for the straps. If you do not have that on hand, you can cut 1-inch strips of fabric and fold them into four 1/2” by 15” ties, or use bias tape.
  • The ties should be 15-18” inches long
  • Please avoid using hair bands, hair ties, rubber bands.
  • Please avoid using any metal in the mask including: twist ties, wires, pipe cleaner. This will make the masks easier to sanitize and avoids and issues with potential metal allergies.

More detailed information on best practices, materials to avoid, FAQs.

More information on useful fabric options.

IF YOU NEED MATERIALS

If you need materials, please use the REQUEST FABRIC FORM on the website or the hotlink in this message. A fabric pack contains 2 yards of cotton fabric in two different color. Grosgrain ribbon, bias tape and thread will be included if we have it available.

If you receive a package of fabric from us, in an abundance of caution, we suggest that you launder the fabric first.

SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS

Our drivers will leave bags with materials and pick up bags with finished masks at your doorstep. Please do not greet them. They practice strict social distancing in order to protect you and the community at large.

PICKUP

Please use the REQUEST MASK PICK UP form when you have at least 40 masks ready. The form is hyperlinked here or on the website. If you live in the greater Louisville, KY area, we will send a driver to pick up the masks from your doorstep. Our ethos is to maintain social distancing practices and keep everyone involved as safe as possible.

If you are outside of the greater Louisville area, for now as we are working on other shipping options, you will need to mail your package to us at:

Hour of Need
1616 Gardiner Lane, Unit 202
Louisville, KY 40205

OUTPUT

The sewers who have vetted these patterns, estimate that 20-30 masks can be made in approximately three hours-time. With hope and enough volunteers, we can soon be delivering thousands of masks per week.