Love in the Time of Corona: Day 11

This quarantine thing isn’t that much unlike being a stay-at-home-mom with small kids, only the kids are a lot easier. But harder.

Teens are easier than little kids because they can entertain themselves but harder because you might not like what they are doing. But the other stuff, that’s the same … including the heavy lifting, the being on your feet, and that exhaustion at the end of the day. One thing it isn’t is boring.

I haven’t done any significant sewing or cooking in a few years, largely because I was working, but I’m embracing it with élan. Right now I’m making face masks because you can’t buy them. I have been coughing for several weeks and can’t go anywhere, I feel awkward about even being outside. Fortunately, there are SO MANY tutorials out there.

I did my pleats differently, though.

It is known that wearing a mask won’t keep you from getting sick but the latest studies suggest that a great deal of infections are passed on by asymptomatic people. Perhaps the greatest good would be for everyone to wear masks, especially the people who aren’t showing any signs of infection.

I just happened to have some really cute hipster fabric that I bought for an outfit for Bartleby but never got around to making.

Bias tape ready to go

I brought my sewing equipment over from the big house and it feels good to have this part of my life in my own home. I don’t watch much TV these days but I really like working on something with a show on in the background, like folding pleats and adding the bias tape. It lets me watch something without feeling like a lazy POS.

I made five masks today and have 11 more waiting to be pleated and finished.

They are kinda fun to make and I enjoy the knowing glances that we crafters give when we spot each other wearing our masks. It is immediate intimacy.

What kind of fabric is that? Is it doubled? Oooh, yours has a pocket? I didn’t think to use fusible interfacing. I like the way yours goes over the chin. I used bias tape because elastic is hard to find. Etc.

And I’ve been hearing calls to home sewers (awkward heteronym) to aid the fight against COVID-19 by making masks. Sign me up.


I read an interesting article on the efficacy of home made masks from a person that works at a filtration company. The author tested many different types of DIY fabrics (pillowcases, scarves, t-shirt material) and came to the conclusion that a densely woven fabric (like a pillowcase) was the best, and even better when doubled up.

The downside to thick, doubled fabric is that it is harder to breathe through. This is true. My masks are pretty bomber and I noticed that it was hard for me to angry walk with Sideboob this morning. I mean, I did it, but I had to ask her to slow down a bit.

Social distancing, y’all

We went fairly early this morning. It seems that the thing that most of my close friends have in common is they are morning people. At 7ish it was pretty quiet at our usual spot. An hour later the people started to show up. You can bet I will be at the trailhead at 5am when it’s light out.

Do you know who sucks at social distancing?

Also more cooking is happening like when the kids were little. I’m still trying to sneak vegetables into their diet … I made meatballs with zoodles.

The kids don’t love zoodles but I do. I took the sting off by making apple strudel dumplings. I only ate half.

The boys have been attending Scout meetings virtually, I’m hoping they work on their merit badges and knock out as many Eagle Scout requirements as they can during this downtime.

Of course they don’t see the opportunity in having all this free time and give me the stink eye when I dare to suggest they do something productive.

The political side of this crisis is maddening. I feel like I’m watching the Republican party like they were the band playing on the deck of the sinking Titanic. I actually had to stop for a second while Sideboob and I were angry walking and talking about politics this morning, which makes this even funnier to me.

I’ll be sending mine in tomorrow morning.

7 thoughts on “Love in the Time of Corona: Day 11

  1. Hey! So excited to see your mask and I’ve already found the Youtube tutorial and I’m going to try making that kind. I have kind of a pointy nose and I think those might work better than the ones I’m making. You can see me and my version here:

    That’s my weekly online grazing magazine. We just switched to subscriptions after 7 years of doing it for free. I just couldn’t find any more grants to cover it. I’m happy to give you a free subscription. It’s all about good grazing practices and how to be a good steward of the land, so not maybe your thing. But you’re welcome if you want.

    Also, thanks for all these updates. Every time one of your pieces pops into my mail box I get all happy. “Vivienne is here!” Thanks!

    • Your masks look great! I love the idea of repurposed T-shirt’s, both from an economical and aesthetic standpoint. My nose feels a little squished in masks, yours look comfortable.

  2. I always love reading your posts. I forgot to comment on the last one because I pm’d you instead of talking about why I am on a roll for creating. That is so interesting about how it is harder to breathe with double layers, especially sheets. I know from years of sewing with sheets(mom worked in Bath & Bedding in Bullocks when I was a teenager)that they are pretty solid and you have to use certain needles. So it makes sense if you think about it. I wasn’t sure if t-shirt fabric would work for masks? I have lots of t-shirts with the front part removed(sewed it on to other t-shirts) For us it would be ok but I was thinking of sending them to places that need them.

  3. I agree with Kathyvoth above – I get so excited when I get a Viv blog post notification in my gmail! Love your writing!!

    • I’ll have to keep it coming. I figure that in 10 years this will be an interesting chronicle of a very strange and frightening time.

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