Creating in crisis!
All summer long I was deep-side-of-the-pool into making bags, standing in hot sun on a super muggy day trying to get some simple (but good) photos of bags I had already put together or planned to decorate. In my mind I was already thinking of winter and what I'd have to show next.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago and I was just happy to not be knee deep in snow. I would look things up throughout the day, then heading back to work through testing materials, and researching design combinations until it was time to warming up by the fire.
I was sketching, painting, and planning purchases for the next season of designs. My biggest concern was making sure that what I put together would last in the wash, in the sun, and in the car seat next to you without spilling all over at every stoplight. Thinking about how someone carries their bag or how it fits over their shoulder, and which side they carry it on took up a big part of my daily mind wandering. Little did I know how little of that I would be doing for the next few (possibly several) months. In just a few weeks everything changed...as you already know.
With one simple message from a family friend asking if I would be able to make a few fabric masks for her and her family, I was on my way to turning my whole business into something totally different. From that others quickly asked too, then more and more. Soon I was picking up something completely unexpected, making it as quickly as possible, and making sure that it looks and feels like something I would want for myself.
So just like that, my family, friends, and anyone else that knew I sewed was contacting me to see if they could get one, or two...or ten...then 20....then 30 at a time. I took a look around in all of the boxes and bins I had stored from other projects and sorted through all of my fabrics to see what would work for these new requirements. Most had been stored in my sewing room from past projects, current ones, and what I could get my hands on as quickly and safely as possible. I didn't want to take any chances so I looked at what I could get locally or already had to start with.
For the last few weeks we have been working hard to keep up with all of the requests for these 100% cotton, triple layered marvels, that somehow will be made and shipped or delivered in like (you know) a day, fit everyone of all ages, and oh yeah, look pretty too. LOL. So what could I do, but throwing myself into researching fabrics, elastics, lining materials, and get to sewing...FAST!
From that moment on, I haven't stopped. I spend every day (I mean EVERY DAY) making as many as I can as quickly as I can. I knew that I wouldn't be able to do everything on my own and luckily my oldest daughter has been able to help me stay organized and keep up with requests...for now that is.
From the beginning I enlisted my husband to run the errands and pick up fabric and supplies (which he didn't mind doing and was happy to help). Today, I had to ask him to step in to help with getting back with people since I just can't keep up with cutting the right colors and patterns, ordering more, and sewing everything at the same time. Material prices have spiked, availability is constantly changing, but I just keep making what I can. I know that it's more important to make sure that I can get them in people's hands, and I've already shipped to friends from Florida to Vancouver.
I'm not sure how much longer there will be a need for us all to wear them, but for now I'm happy to do my part in helping who I can. I know that there's just no way I could sit at home with all of this going on and not do something to help.
Where this is all going in the future, there's no way to know. But, what I can tell you is that I haven't forgotten about the designs I had in mind for the upcoming season, so if I can't get to them this year I'll just be putting them together next year. Plus, I'm sure that by then I'll have a bunch of other things I'd love to add as well.