Homewood sewing shop holds contest to make medical masks

Sewing contests for masks
Sewing contests for masks(Kelly Pankey)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 11:07 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WBRC) - A Homewood sewing shop is holding a contest to see who can make the most masks for medical professionals to help protect them against the coronavirus.

The Smocking Bird, located on Linden Avenue, is asking their customers to sew masks that will be donated to healthcare professionals in Birmingham. The masks won’t be used for surgeries, but for patient encounters, Smocking Bird owner Cobbie Llewellyn said.

The Smocking Bird is a sewing shop on Linden Ave. in Homewood that has been in business for 40...
The Smocking Bird is a sewing shop on Linden Ave. in Homewood that has been in business for 40 years.(The Smocking Bird)

Whoever makes the most masks by Friday, March 27 will get a $100 gift card to the store, which sells fabric, patterns and other sewing materials.

“We knew that a lot of our customers are stuck at home with some extra time, so we decided a good way to get people involved is if there’s an incentive, so whoever sews up the most will get a gift card,” Llewellyn explained.

“I know a lot of people have stashes of fabric at home, it doesn’t take much fabric,” she said.

Llewellyn estimates it takes most people about an hour to cut out several patterns from the fabric, and then only about 15 minutes to sew each mask. The masks should have fabric ties instead of elastic so they can fit more tightly to the healthcare workers’ faces.

These “droplet masks,” aren't sterile enough to be used in surgeries, but they can still help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Medical professionals nationwide have been concerned about the shortage of masks for those who will be treating patients with COVID-19.

Llewellyn said any type of fabric can work for the masks.

“People are doing all sorts of prints and fun things, even patriotic fabric,” she said.

The medical masks can be made out of any fabric.
The medical masks can be made out of any fabric.(The Smockingbird)

Llewellyn has owned the Smockingbird for the last three years, but she said it’s been a Homewood establishment for 40 years.

Llewellyn learned to sew from her mom when she was a child, and she rediscovered her passion for sewing once she had her own children, including a set of twins.

When her kids were little, Llewellyn said she was “stuck inside for about two years, kind of like now,” she laughed. “Sewing was my therapy and outlet.”

Smocking Bird employee Kelly Pankey said she received the pattern for the masks on Sunday morning and is planning to start sewing masks from old sheets.

“It’s great for individuals to contribute and for small businesses to continue. Ultimately, we want to help those who are helping us, the medical community who are really on the front lines,” Pankey said.

You can find the pattern for the masks on The Smocking Bird’s Facebook page here:

The finished masks can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Smocking Bird, located at 2831 Linden Avenue in Homewood. The shop is still open, and they are taking online orders at www.thesmockingbird.com and call in orders at 205-879-7662.

The contest ends Friday, March 27 at 2 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.