The suggestion came from Daglan’s office of the Mayor — would residents of the village volunteer to sew face masks, to be worn during the current pandemic? You could choose to sew 30 masks, or 60.
For its part, the village would provide the materials and instructions. The volunteers needed spare time, a good amount of patience, and a sewing machine. Ever-keen to make a contribution, my wife Jan volunteered for the full count of 60.
The process took several days, and not a few fights with our sewing machine. But the job did get done — rather well, I’d say — and so here is a quick look at the process.
It starts with carefully measuring the fabric, and then cutting it to size just as carefully. Here is Jan starting work:
Next came the process of sewing together two equal-sized pieces. Jan chose to sew almost all around the borders, leaving an open space about an inch long, in one of the corners. Here she is at the sewing machine:
Next came the process of turning the sheets inside out, working through the gap in one of the four corners. This has something to do with having the stitches on the inside, rather than the outside of the sheets, when the mask is finally done. Jan explained this patiently to me a couple of times, although I never fully got it. In any case, my job was to do the inside-out turning for several of the masks, which I accomplished with all the delicacy of a gorilla knitting a sweater.
Lastly, Jan had to cut all the elastic bands to exactly the right length, and sew them onto the masks. Here she is, at the sewing machine again:
Once all the sewing was done, there were lots of loose bits of thread hanging down, and they needed to be snipped off. Again, I helped with the trimming, on perhaps half of the masks.
And then, at last, all 60 were sewn. We kept two of the masks for our own use, and Jan passed along the remaining 58 to our Mayor, Pascal Dussol. Job done!
Today’s final photo is of Jan herself, wearing one of her professional-looking creations. Applause, please: