UP woman sewing, sending masks to healthcare workers across the nation

Coronavirus

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (WJMN) – Many Yoopers have come together these past weeks to make masks and other supplies for healthcare professionals. One eastern Upper Peninsula woman is making and sending them to not only Michigan, but many other states as well.

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“It’s nice to help because sewing doesn’t really become that handy anymore. So it’s nice to be needed,” said Julie Allen, the owner of Sew UP Style Company.

She usually makes scarves and other accessories for her shop on Mackinac Island. However, last week she started making medical masks after being contacted by her friend who is an ER nurse in Sault Ste. Marie. Allen is the only sewist at her company, however, she’s had to hire on two other people just to help fill all the mask orders that keep coming in. The company is shipping homemade masks all over: Minnesota, Florida, and Michigan (just to name a few).

In the U.P, Allen has donated masks to War Memorial Hospital and an animal clinic in Sault Ste. Marie. Alongside Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe.

Related: Wisconsin Coronavirus: Bellin Health asking community to hold off on sewing masks for now

As orders keep coming in, Allen took advice from healthcare professionals to make sure her masks are usable and comfortable.

“I made them so anyone can use whatever type of filter they want to use. I told a lot of people vacuum cleaner bags, but basically anything, even coffee filters, will add an extra barrier. And I made them into the shape of N95 masks so they would sit over them like a cover,” said Allen.

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