30 Mar 2020

What are you Making at home?

Vicky Twomey-Lee Dublin Maker Update

If you haven’t heard already, Dublin Maker festival 2020 has been postponed to Summer 2021 due to COVID-19 and the Dublin Maker team discussed and made a very hard decision, but the community’s health and safety comes first.

Here’s our announcement . It might be a bit 😢 but you never know… if this COVID-19 virus is under control and things start to go back to normal, maybe we can consider running a smaller Maker-focussed event. 🤞

💡Do check out the newsletter with the announcement,there’s a few ideas on activities and projects to do while you are at home.

For the last two weeks, there’s been a lot of disruptions in varying degrees, and first and foremost, I want to say it’s amazing what the health workers and staff from various sectors who are keeping things ticking and going are. 👏👏👏

It’s an extraordinary period of time we are in right now, and for those who feel they don’t know how to contribute (besides #StayingAtHome), there’s been a hive of activities and call to actions to help support and provide PPE to health workers from sourcing face masks and printing 3D print face shields. Although last update on PPE, it seems that the Aer Lingus plane touched down in Dublin on Sunday afternoon over the weekend. 🙌

We all hear about the shortages of face masks, and I’ve come across HKMask and there’s a great site collating all the info from the Facebook posts. I wanted to make one myself. Anyone can try this, no matter what skill level you are at sewing.

First time making a fabric facemask, to familiarise with what to do, I hand-stitched it.

I’m not great at sewing myself, so I decided to hand stitch my first facemask following the instructions and accompanying youtube video. It took longer than expected but it was straight forward enough. For materials, I used clothes I didn’t want any more from the back of the wardrobe, in this case, an old conference t-shirt for the lining and a shirt for the shell (might as well include spring cleaning). Here’s a pic my first attempt with embarrassingly terrible stitching, see pic on the left.

First time using sewing machine to make my own fabric face mask.

The following afternoon, I decided to approach my new sewing machine which was bought a couple of months ago, I’ve never used one before, hence the reason to hand-stitch initially, so as to understand what I need to do. I used the offcuts from the old conference t-shirt from the day before for the lining and another shirt for the shell. After much stop and starting due to thread entanglement, and pulling apart the bits and pieces to re-thread the bobbin, and thread breakages (I used a cheap thread, note to self, don’t use cheap thread), I made the facemask on a sewing machine for the first time. (See pic on the right)

Showed my mom (over whatsapp) as she use to be a seamstress and said it was a great effort for someone who never used a sewing machine before. 💪 And all I need to do is keep practising sewing straight lines to get use to the machine. Moms are the best. 🥰

With my added knowledge and confidence boosted, I made a bigger version of the mask on the sewing machine the following day. I used another old conference t-shirt as the shell, and still using the other t-shirts offcuts for the lining. I’m getting better, here’s the resultant facemask, see pic on the left.

And I’m planning to make more, and hoping to get faster doing it. I also have plans to make a t-shirt blanket, there’s certainly a lot of straight lines to sew, so I’ll definitely get my practice in as well as freeing up the wardrobe space of old conference t-shirts including ones I haven’t worn in a long time. It’s also a nice way of keeping the ones I like.

I’m a big fan of Animal Crossing New Horizons and folks have been very creative from elaborate decoration of rooms to making incredible costumes to the more fun and sociable “high stakes musical chairs“. If you don’t want to use the in-game custom design app, you can try this free online editor, save and share your designs via QR codes. That in turn can get imported into your own game and others can get it also for theirs. What’s more, I love the in-game items that you come across, especially the electronics, crafting and the pedal kits (as pictured in my room in pic below 😊).

My Animal Crossing New Horizon's home with electronic, crafting, and pedal kits on the table.

🤔 Are you making anything at home, or have an idea in mind?

Or if you are interested in getting involved with the Open Source Ventilator Ireland, or help with 3D printed face shields via 3D Printing Ireland? But please don’t do what this astrophysicist did with magnets! 😱😂

👉 By the way, the folks printing the face shields are looking for clear acetate sheets (binding covers) or clean transparencies. If you can help, they have a slack group you can join and contribute what you can.

🌈 💬 Sharing is Caring!

Please share your #MakerAtHome projects (even ongoing ones) with #DublinMaker via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even on LinkedIn. 🤖🛠✂️🗜🖌

💡Other resources and ideas:

And here’s some words from The Doctor. 😊

StayHome and keep safe & well.

/// Vicky, Maker Advocate

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