Donations of Sewing Supplies Needed to Keep Project Going

BELMAR, NJ — With new federal guidelines recommending the use of face masks among the general public, a small corps of Belmar volunteers making those cloth coverings has been busier than ever.

“I've been sewing for a few weeks now. I've completed over 200 so far with no end in sight,” said Sharon Russell-Fowler, who has welcomed the challenge with Patricia Hutchinson in producing fabric face coverings in a rainbow of colors and patterns. “Pat has also created about 150 for our community as we both are trying our best to create as many as possible.”

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The women have been supported by fellow mask sewers Cheri Russo, Terri Lynch and Elba Perez, who owns Every Little Heart Childrenswear Boutique in Belmar, among others. Those include Johanna Robinson, who has been hand sewing elastic pieces and buttons on headbands for nurses to attach to their face masks, rather than having elastic loops around their ears. 

In addition, many individuals are keeping the effort alive by donating much-needed fabric, thread, elastic and other sewing supplies.

In a related effort, John Hutchinson has been using his 3D printer to churn out more than eight dozen face shields that already have been donated and more than two dozen manifold parts to be used to split ventilators for hospital use.

READ MORE: ‘Facing’ the Threat of Coronavirus: Belmar Couple Turn Creative Talent into Helping Community

In addition to reaching out to local groups on their own, the sewers have been working with the Belmar/Lake Como Office of Emergency Management in getting the masks to people who need them most, including a recent delivery to the residents of the Belmar senior housing building on Eighth Avenue.

The home sewing corps is looking for more volunteers to assist in cutting fabric, piecing together and assembling the pieces, and sewing by hand and/or machine. “We have done quite a bit of research and are always looking for ways to continue to improve the masks we work on daily,” Russell-Fowler said.

The following supplies are needed to continue the community mask-making effort:

  • Matching buttons
  • Thread
  • Cotton fabric (prewashed)
  • Flannel material, sheets (prewashed)
  • T-shirts or men's dress shirts (prewashed)
  • Elastic of all sizes, but especially 1/8- and 1/4-inch wide bands
  • Sewing or dress pins
  • Sewing interfacing
  • Fabric filters for vacuum cleaners, air conditioners or furnaces (for example, 3M Ultra Allergan Healthy Living filter)
  • Food storage twist ties (found in food storage bag boxes) or plant twists
  • PLA filament in 1.75mm diameter for 3D printers

Items can be dropped off at the Belmar Municipal Building, 601 Main Street, where a collection center has been set up in the main lobby. The front doors are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


For more information on joining the effort, contact Cathy Goetz, editor of TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como, at

Also if you have a story you’d like to share with TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como that relates to keeping positive during these uncertain times, we’d like to hear from you.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.