By Joanne Rodgers
Julie Fletcher Carpenter has sewn over 1,500 face masks from her small sewing room at her Miller Lake residence. She donates the masks to the community for free, but will accept freewill monetary donations for the local Food Banks and Bruce Peninsula Hospice. Her aim is to cover every face on the Bruce. She is a strong advocate for wearing a mask in public to protect each other.
Julie starts her day at 6am and works until 9pm on most days, with breaks for meals and when customers come to the door to collect masks. Her “Mask Production” involves her husband Dan, in charge of ironing, plus neighbours Barb Roberts who pins the mask patterns and Terry Roberts who cuts the masks out. It takes approximately 20 minutes to make a mask and she sews about 50-60 a day. She says her sewing room is littered with masks at all stages of production.
Julie has always loved sewing; and making masks allows her to “give back to the community.” She started making masks in late December for family, friends and neighbours. Masks were delivered to every mailbox on her street. Masks were donated to the PSWs at the Golden Dawn, to the Clinics and residents. Anyone needing a mask can request one, free of charge.
She makes the masks in three sizes: small, medium and large. They are 3 layered cotton, with a pocket for a filter and are reversible. She recommends a mini sanitary pad for better moisture control but a coffee filter or a paper towel can be used. The male users prefer to use a blue shop towel and she offers masks in dark colours to suit their masculine sensibilities. She will sew special order masks with a headband and buttons for those that need to wear masks all day.
The community has been very generous in supporting her venture; Julie says she has not spent a dime of her own money to date. Gail Littler and Dennis McLaughlin donated the first 40 yards of fabric; Tim Hayes and Sandi Holst donated money for additional fabric; and Tim paid to service her sewing machine. Resident Pam Mielhausen went to Wiarton, purchased and donated elastics; motel owner Deb Mosiuk donated 100% cotton sheets; and many others donated supplies needed. Julie has used 80 yards of fabric so far. Nancy Alleyne collects and delivers masks to Lion’s Head and Wiarton for those that cannot drive to Miller Lake.
With the donations for the masks, Julie has given $500 each to Tobermory Food Bank, Lion’s Head Food Bank and the Bruce Peninsula Hospice. She plans to keep sewing as long as there is demand.
Contact her via Email ([email protected]) or Facebook (http://facebook.com/julette.carpenter)