“I am now on my third sewing machine”

How an amateur stitcher found purpose in making masks.

June 23, 2020 | | Pandemic Journals

RaDeana Montgomery found a pattern for a cloth face mask online and hasn’t looked back.

RaDeana Montgomery found a pattern for a cloth face mask online and hasn’t looked back.

My story is simple: How one non-medical face mask turned into 500.

When the pandemic hit, 60 per cent of my Orangeville business came to a halt. As a social media manager and videographer, the video component of my job ceased operations and my social media work changed. Some clients stopped, some cut back and some pivoted and created new businesses.

One day I saw a pattern for a cloth face mask online so I made one for myself to try the pattern. I used to sew a lot but stopped when my life got too busy. Recently I had started making fabric gnomes and offering them on my Facebook page, RM Designs Orangeville. Anyway, after two hours of trying to figure out the pattern, I created one mask.

I posted it on my page and suddenly friends wanted some. So the original deal was: I will make you a cloth face mask if you make a donation to charity. Then suddenly word got out I was doing this and a lot of people started contacting me. I started to realize that elastic and fabric were getting as hard to find as toilet paper. So I started charging but said that for every order I would make a mask for someone at SickKids or to donate to someone in the community. I make them in all kinds of patterns, including children’s prints, solids, florals, Canadian-flag designs and business logos. I also make graphics, including masks that read “Stay 6 Feet Away”. So far I have donated more than 50 masks.

I charge $5–$12 a mask, depending on the fabric and whether I added graphics. I am now on my third sewing machine. This has become a second full-time job as my regular business has now started to ramp up again. But I will keep going until no one needs another face covering or until Covid-19 is gone.

About the Author More by RaDeana Montgomery

Related Stories

Pandemic Journals

Introducing Pandemic Journals

May 20, 2020 | Tralee Pearce | Pandemic Journals

How we’re coping with unprecedented times here in Headwaters.

Pandemic Journals

Share Your Journal

May 20, 2020 | In The Hills | Pandemic Journals

Share your story with us using this Pandemic Journals form. Deadline is August 1.

“I knew I had to say ‘yes!’”

May 20, 2020 | Melissa Cianfarani | Pandemic Journals

How this Bolton emergency childcare provider helps frontline workers do their jobs.

“All my paid work is suspended”

May 20, 2020 | Jane Mountain | Pandemic Journals

This volunteer now makes grocery deliveries to seniors for free.

Orangeville nurse Tray Nevin came down with Covid-19 in April. Her husband and kids followed soon after. All are well now.

“I was sleeping 17 hours a day”

Jun 25, 2020 | Tray Nevin | Pandemic Journals

This Orangeville nurse contracted Covid-19 – along with her whole family.

“I’ve taken this time to focus on what matters most”

Jun 25, 2020 | Kate Perreault | Pandemic Journals

A Mono teen reassesses her idea of “normal.”

Vanessa Kreuzer and Terry Doel have had to reinvent Orangeville’s Lavender Blue Catering and Le Finis café during the pandemic.

“There was no time to wallow”

Jun 25, 2020 | Vanessa Kreuzer | Pandemic Journals

How the duo behind Orangeville’s Lavender Blue Catering are keeping Dufferin fed.

The Upper Credit Humane Society’s Heather Webber reports a rise in people willing to foster shelter pets.

“Very quickly, animals were placed in foster homes”

Jun 25, 2020 | Heather Webber | Pandemic Journals

Keeping both animals and staff safe was a priority at the Upper Credit Humane Society shelter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment you agree that IN THE HILLS magazine has the legal right to publish, edit or delete all comments for use both online or in print. You also agree that you bear sole legal responsibility for your comments, and that you will hold IN THE HILLS harmless from the legal consequences of your comment, including libel, copyright infringement and any other legal claims. Any comments posted on this site are NOT the opinion of IN THE HILLS magazine. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please report inappropriate comments to vjones@inthehills.ca.