Unmasking the mask in 77 days

It’s been 77 days since lockdown began and I started sewing the humbling, yet daunting,face mask and seen a wave of different mask patterns. It’s been 77 days before I finally made peace with the face mask and made a full circle back to settle in peace.

So what bothered me about sewing the face mask?

Is it the fear attached to it, or the inner rebellion I felt every time I had to sit and sew the little itty bitty piece of fabric together? Or the box pleats? Or meticulously threading the elastic with a loop threader?

As I started analysing my feelings a few days ago, wearing the ominous little piece of cloth, I realised it’s my utter desire for perfectionism. For perfect binding and straight stitches. Forseams that meet each other meticulously. And the dread of what a masks symbolises made me procrastinate rather than sit behind the machine, and move around like a child with ants in my pants.

The idea of wearing something that hides my expression of emotion was daunting. And so, as this week began in lockdown level 3, I opened Bella Donne Bridal Boutique with a mask on my face, but no luck for classes yet.

I could not help but wonder how my seamstresses, wherever they were and whatever they were doing, would look wearing these little pieces of fabric that pinch our ears like apricots. I miss each and every one, and look forward to seeing them again after this Covid storm passes.

We have since had a good few laughs while sewing face masks – thinking of the bra mask, shoe mask and plastic mask, and that food cannot go through a shield mask. Then there is the zip mask and all the lessons on how to take off the mask.

May you all sew one of these little numbers that joined the league of underwear. May they be colourful, fun and joyful, putting a smile on people’s faces.

May every mask that has been sewn be an armor of protection and a blessing.

Peace be to the mask!

5 June 2020