Local woman spending long hours sewing masks

Local woman spending long hours sewing masks

SCITUATE – Practicing social distancing does not mean that one cannot play a part in helping during the coronavirus pandemic, as Susan Lamoureux of Scituate proved when she joined many others donating time and supplies to sew cotton face masks.

Lamoureux has not stopped working to create cloth facemasks for anyone who wants one. She says she spends 15 hours each day sitting in a chair in her Scituate home surrounded by thread clippings and sewing masks.

She sometimes stops the work to make her family a dessert.

Though she gives priority to health care workers, Lamoureux said she is happy to donate masks to anyone who requests them.

So far, Lamoureux’s masks have reached medical care professionals at hospitals such as Women and Infants and Zambarano as well as nursing homes and first responder headquarters across the state.

She’s mailed masks to medical workers as far as Georgia, Maine and New Hampshire and neighboring towns of Pawtucket and Cumberland.

“I’m even paying to ship. I’m not asking for anything. I’m just making them and giving them to people who need them,” Lamoureux said.

What’s better, the cotton masks are machine washable and reusable.

She’s made more than 100 masks and has no plans on stopping. All masks are free, Lamoureux said. She said she couldn’t charge anyone for a piece of equipment they need for their health.

“I’m going to keep making them until there is no longer a need,” she said.

Lamoureux said she wanted to sew masks to help, but waited until she found a pattern approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an acceptable crisis response option when other supplies are exhausted.

To meet safety regulations, masks need to be 100 percent cotton and use two pieces of material.

An avid quilter, Lamoureux had scrap cotton cloth in her closet that she could use for the masks. Now in her 50s, Lamoureux said she taught herself to sew when she was 16 years old after receiving a sewing machine for her birthday. That summer, she sewed herself all her clothes.

While fabric has remained in good supply, with patriotic designs for first responders, she’s run out of elastic a few times.

She said she is trying to switch up patterns and designs so there is variety in each order.

“I’ve been able to do them non-stop,” she said.

Lamoureux said through the kindness of others, she’s received donations of materials and purchased bulk scrap material to meet demands. Luckily, people were as quick to respond to her requests for elastic as she was for requests for masks.

Lamoureux creates an assembly line to cut squares, place elastic and pin the project together before sewing the masks. She said she is quick at making them, with each taking around 15 minutes after cutting and pinning. She said she’s gotten faster at the work each day during her first week on the job.

Since she and her family are staying inside, Lamoureux said the masks are the best way to spend her time.

“It’s my way of giving back and saying thanks. To those who want to complain (about being home), I say get out there and do something good for your community,” she said. “I’m just doing my part, trying to help out, trying to stay positive.”

Lamoureux can be reached on Facebook, where she is taking orders as they come in.

Scituate resident Susan Lamoureux spent the last week and and half doing her part to help during the coronavirus pandemic by sewing and donating cloth face masks for first responders, medical workers, and anyone who requests.