Frequently "Masked" Questions : Sewing F.A.Q.
1. My package only has white fabric, but the pattern shows two different colours. Am I missing something?
At the beginning of our project, we kindly received a large donation of commercial white fabric and in the interest of time and need, we have opted to use it for both sides. Please note that the bolt was pre-cut and as such, you may have more fabric than is required to make the 20 masks. Any left over material can be returned in the bag along with your completed masks. Don’t worry, it will not go to waste.We are currently in the process of preparing our second round of donated fabrics. Our new kits will feature two colours of fabric (blue and white). The blue fabric will be on the outside of the mask, and the white fabric will be the inside liner.
Do I need to wash the fabric in my kit? Do I need to wash my finished masks?
No. Your fabric has been washed and cared for to allow for the 5% shrinkage. Your finished masks will also be sanitized again by Gibson’s before they are sent to our receiving agencies.
I am missing nosepieces. I only have 10 green wire pieces.
While we would have loved to pre-cut all the kit inclusions, in the interest of time, the packages have the green nosepieces in their original height (8 inches). Before proceeding with the pattern, please cut and prepare your required components (fabric, nose pieces, elastic/laces) as noted on the first page of the pattern. The nose pieces should be 4 inches long. As there is a wire inside, we suggest that you do not use your good sewing scissors to cut these nose pieces, but rather wire cutters or garden shears.
Can I cut the elastic? Mine looks different and thicker from the one used in the pattern.
Please do not cut the elastic. Due to COVID-19, many supply chains have been slowed or halted. As such, we received a few different styles of elastic bands from donations. We tried cutting, washing, and drying these elastics, and unfortunately found that they did not hold their integrity.
We currently have an order of ¼ inch elastic, which hopefully we will receive soon. In the meanwhile, if your package does have elastic, please do not cut it. Some may have received packages with 140 inches of thick black elastic – we initially thought this could successfully be cut in half, but have since learned that is not the case. Please contact WEMakeMasksTO@gmail.com to receive additional supplies.
Why does my package have laces instead of elastic?
We have received many requests for masks with ties for around the head versus masks with elastic over the ears. This option can be more comfortable for those who are wearing the masks for long periods of time, or who find the elastic option to be a smaller fit.
We received a generous donation of hockey laces, which we have found to be very comfortable and easy to sew with. While we wait for our shipment of elastic, packages are currently being made with laces.
I don’t have a serger or a zig-zag stitch on my machine. Can I still participate?
Absolutely! The first step of the pattern (where you serge or zig-zag stitch around the perimeter of the liner) is optional. As you will be sewing around the perimeter again later and the liner’s stitching will be facing the filter, you should not worry about this optional step.
What direction should the pleats be facing?
We realize that the pattern shows images with the pleats sometimes going up and sometimes going down which is confusing. Please ensure the pleats on the outside of the finished mask are facing downwards. Either direction is fine for the inside of the mask.
Where do I drop off my completed masks?
Please return any extra supplies along with your completed masks in the kit bag that was provided for you to Gibson’s Cleaners at 4241 Dundas St W (across from Bruno’s plaza). If you are able to drop off the masks Monday to Friday (9:00am to 4:00pm), please drive around to back loading dock where there will be a laundry buggy labelled “WE Make Masks TO.” You can leave you kit bag with the masks in the buggy. The masks will then be cleaned, packaged, and delivered to the organizations.
*For drop off NOT during these hours, please insert your kit bag into the 24 hour drop slot at front of Gibson’s. The three-digit code is 123.
I have extra fabric, but not enough elastic/laces and nose pieces to complete. What should I do?
If you are going to be doing another kit, please email WEMakeMasksTO@gmail.com to schedule your pick-up time along with how many additional supplies your require. If you will not be completing another kit, please return your extra fabric with your completed masks in the kit bag when you drop off at Gibson’s Cleaners.
I have some of my own fabric at home. Can I use that to make more masks as well?
As we have recently secured a substantial donation of fabric that we have been able to prewash, we prefer that only the kit fabric is used for the masks at this time.
Do you need more sewers?
YES PLEASE! We are receiving more requests for masks from other charitable organizations, nursing homes, and hospitals across the city. We would love to support as many people as we can, so please spread the word to your circle!