Stay Home + Stay Safe: New Sewing Machine and DIY Fabric Face Masks

Good day everyone!

Welcome to the Millennial+Married blog.

In a previous post, I wrote about suggestions for staying positive and productive during self isolation. One suggestion was to find a hobby and I used sewing as one of two examples. I always wanted to pick up sewing, but had other things on my plate.

I ordered the Brother XR3774 Sewing Machine from Amazon. It was moderately priced and rated as excellent for beginners. It came with one set of replacement parts and an instructional DVD.

We don’t own a DVD player and our laptops don’t have a CD-Rom so I turned to YouTube to figure out how to work my new sewing machine. Brother has an official YouTube channel with short easy to follow tutorials about the setup of the machine, troubleshooting, etc. It took me fifteen minutes to string up my machine. Then, I cut up an old t-shirt and practiced a couple of stitch patterns; straight and zig-zag. It was simple enough so I began my first project: Fabric Face Masks.

Fabric Face Masks are recommended for use because of the existing medical supply shortage. Our frontline healthcare workers don’t have what they need to safely treat Covid-19 patients so the medical supply chain has shifted most of their focus to producing what they need in a short amount of time. For those of us who do not work in those critical areas and for non-healthcare workers, this means face masks are even more scarce.

I turned back to YouTube for a tutorial simple enough for newbies to follow. Youtuber HomemadeOnOurHomestead had one of the easiest tutorials with written instructions and a pattern to download.

As a newbie, it took me about an hour to produce each mask because I wanted to make sure I was following the instructions correctly and that all of my seams were secure. Fabric masks are reusable and I don’t want ours to unravel in the wash.

With the exception of the fabric, which I purchased from my local Walmart, all of my materials was shipped from Amazon.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Remember, Stay Home + Stay Safe.


The Novel Conornavirus: Local Happenings, Social Distancing, and Family Prep

The COVID-19 virus is a new strain of the Coronavirus making it’s way around the world. There has been a lot of panic and chaos, much due to the fear of the unknown. Because this virus is new to us, there are no vaccines available to provide immunity.

Local Happenings

My current residency has less than twenty illnesses with no deaths at this time. Officials closed schools until the end of the month and people are making preparations to stay indoors for a while.

Social Distancing…

Because of the highly contagious nature of the virus, experts recommend we all practice “social distancing” and limit our interactions with others to contain the spread. There is data from past pandemics to support the benefits of social distancing.

Flattening The Curve

The chart above compares two cities during the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. One city experienced higher numbers of fatalities because people continued to interact in large numbers. The other city intervened right away by enacting the “social distancing” method. As you can see, their fatalities were significantly less.

More Local Happenings

The stores are completely out of hand sanitizers, Lysol disinfectant spray, and Lysol/Clorox wipes. I notice more people are wiping down the carts at the store more than ever before. Also, people seem to be much more aware of public hygiene practices such as covering your cough and sneeze.

Preparation and Mental Health

My family has been following ALL of the recommendations by the CDC and WHO; social distancing, hygiene, our vaccines are up to date, etc. There’s not much left to do, but check for updates, then unplug. Watching the news is depressing right now and will drive you crazy. We are taking this time to catch up on chores, read from our 2020 booklist, and find some other hobby. There is a silver lining to this confusion.