What Are You Stitching?

25th September 2020

Be it by necessity or choice, stitching together one’s own face mask has suddenly risen in prevalence. The fact that elastic is often in short supply, and that good, strong, cotton fabric is flying off the shelves stands testimony to that. 

Those within our very own needlework community have not just been making your ordinary everyday masks however; they’ve been making them with all of the skill, talent and flair that comes with being a needle artisan. Here are a few examples to enjoy.

Ann Garrett

‘I’ve hesitated about sending the attached photo several times, showing how I’ve turned the sensible necessity of homemade face masks into fun.’

‘Am I making the most of a crafty opportunity, or am I daft?’

No, Ann, you aren’t daft at all! In fact, you are using your talents to create something truly beautiful out of something so utilitarian and necessary. You should be rightly proud.

Sara Zander

‘My EGA chapter enjoyed a Zoom class about making and decorating protective face masks. Velma Williford taught us about different mask patterns and their differing advantages.’

‘We were challenged to embellish either a home-made or commercial mask for showing at the next meeting.

I chose to start with a ready-made mask from www.tiebar.com after a friend lauded its comfort, excellent fabric and elimination of eyeglass fogging.’

‘My embellishing included hand-dyed lace, Swarovski crystals, natural freshwater pearls, a metal bee charm, vintage heart buttons and pressed glass leaves. Being careful to only pierce the outer fabric, not the lining or filter pocket made the stitching slow and laborious. I was happy with the result.’

We could only imagine how proud the wearer of this beautiful mask would be Sara. What a great idea for decorating an already excellent design.

Joyce Chanak

‘I thought you might like to see the mask I made in April. The mask is made of leftover Japanese Lawn fabric from a child’s dress. The lining has a large pleat so it stretches nicely and fits to the face very well.  It was so time consuming, I only produced one!’

‘I use it to cover another mask, or alone. When our mask season ends, I plan on hanging it on my sewing room Christmas tree as a reminder of these difficult times.’

Both practical and lovely, Joyce. Smocking was always designed to give a good fit, so you’ve adapted the technique very well.

Sara Faddy

‘I recently found a piece of pleated fabric left from a previous smocking project. My smocking group were talking about making masks so I thought I would smock mine.’

‘Vertical smocking was perfect for the sides and left a comfortable area across the mouth and nose. A narrow band of regular smocking made for a comfortable upper and lower edge.’

Waste not, want not – you’ve found a fabulous use for a previously pleated piece of fabric, Sara. Well done!

Have you ever turned your embroidery skills and passion for decorating towards making practical items? Or have you ever made yourself stand out from the crowd by putting your needle and thread to good use? Perhaps you’re a whizz at finding practical uses for leftover bits and pieces? Whatever it is that you love and whatever occasion you rise to, we’d love to hear about it. Send us pictures of your work and a bit of information about the project and your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

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