Frequently Asked Questions


I want to make and donate masks, how do I get started?2020-04-17T14:00:18-07:00

It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

  1. Complete the Volunteer Mask Maker form
  2. Make 25 or more masks using either one of the two Approved Mask Patterns
  3. Schedule a Mask Pickup 

Note: Please read through the entire FAQ before you begin sewing. Thank you!

How do I prepare masks for pick up? 2020-04-17T14:00:45-07:00
  • No need to wash and dry masks once they are completed.
  • Bundle masks in groups of 25 and place bundles in a bag.
  • Mark the number of total masks on the outside of each bag. (a black magic marker is best if you have it)
  • Schedule a Mask Pickup 
What pattern(s) can I use to make masks for donation?2020-04-17T14:01:11-07:00

We have curated two patterns made by doctors and nurses for health care workers, which have a pocket for a filter. The filter is the most important part. Click here to see the approved mask patterns.

Can I use a different pattern from the ones highlighted on the website?2020-04-17T14:01:25-07:00

We prefer you follow our Mask pattern choices we curated on the website. If you have a mask pattern that you like and it has a filter pocket, go for it and then please share at support@sewtosave.org. You can use an Olson pattern as long as it has a place for a filter. In the event that you have masks you would like to donate that do not have a pocket for a filter, there is a place on the Mask Pickup Form form to indicate that your masks have no filter pocket. While our mission is to support our healthcare workers first and foremost, we want to extend our help to other frontline workers in Oregon as well. Other frontline workers include grocery clerks, food banks, police, fire departments, restaurants, etc.

What fabric should I use to make the masks?2020-04-17T14:01:58-07:00

The fabric must be machine wash and dryable so they can be reused. Tightly woven 100% cotton is best.  If you do not have 100% cotton, please DO NOT go to the store to buy it. Some good alternate fabrics are cotton blends or 600 count pillowcases/sheets, no poly blends please. Use your discretion and think about what you would want to wear on the frontlines all day everyday. Pro-tip- wash (warm/hot) and dry(high) your materials before you begin cutting and sewing.

What material should I use for the ties?2020-04-17T14:02:19-07:00

Elastic is best! If you don’t have elastic, you can use cotton bias tape, string, new shoelaces or even candlewick. You can make your own ties from fabric but this takes an additional level of skill and more time. If you come up with a creative and functional way to make ties please share with us at support@sewtosave.org.

I’m out of elastic, can I use rubber bands for the ear ties?2020-04-17T14:02:35-07:00

No. When the masks are being washed for sanitation purposes, the rubber bands do not hold up in the washer.

Do I need to provide the additional filters for the masks?2020-04-17T14:02:48-07:00

No, health care professionals and first responders will supply their own filters.

Do I have to use a sewing machine or are hand-sewn masks accepted for donation as well?2020-04-17T14:02:59-07:00

Hand sewn masks are accepted for donation, just keep in mind the masks need to be very durable as they will be washed and dried daily.

How do I schedule a pickup of the masks that I have made?2020-04-17T14:03:23-07:00

When you have completed 25 or more masks – please fill out the Mask Pickup Form to schedule a pickup.  Once you have completed and submitted this form you will be contacted via text, please allow 1-3 business days for a response.

I need help with sewing or the pattern is confusing, what do I do?2020-04-17T14:03:40-07:00

If you have not been able to find a solution on your own after watching our two curated videos or following the pattern, please try searching online for tips. You can also make a post on our Facebook group asking your fellow mask-makers for help. If you are still having difficulties, feel free to email us at support@sewtosave.org.

Can I donate fabric, elastic or a sewing machine through Sew to Save?2020-04-17T14:03:57-07:00

Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate donations other than completed masks.  If you have items to donate to other sewers, we recommend that you post on our Facebook group what you have to offer on the Facebook page and then coordinate with people who want your items via private message.

What if I have a question, not answered here?2020-04-17T14:04:12-07:00

We had an issue with the support email that was set up. It is fixed now. You can email us at support@sewtosave.org if you have further questions. We are all volunteers and will do our best to respond to you within 1-3 business days. You can also go to the Facebook group as well. We have a wonderful community there who is supportive and helpful. One of our admins will be happy to help too!

What other ways can I support Sew to Save?2020-04-17T14:04:25-07:00
  • Give through our GoFundMe page, which will be set up soon.
  • Tell your friends and family about us and encourage them to start sewing, become a volunteer driver or help in other ways.
  • Like and share our media coverage on your social media pages
When will my masks be picked up?2020-04-28T12:12:19-07:00

Our team will be coordinating pickups once a week. Once you fill out the pickup form, you will receive a text from us during that same week to coordinate a pickup.


I would like to pick up and deliver donated masks, how do I get started?2020-04-17T14:04:39-07:00

Complete this form to get signed up as a Mask Delivery Volunteer, if you are able to pick up and deliver masks to doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals in need, Thank you! Once you have completed and submitted this form you will be contacted via text, please allow 1-3 business days for a response.

Will I need to drive my own vehicle to pick up and deliver masks?2020-04-17T14:04:55-07:00

Yes, in addition, we require that you have a valid driver’s license and car insurance. Please be mindful of wearing a mask and gloves and washing your hands and using hand sanitizer as you are picking up and delivering masks. We want everyone to be safe.


How do I request a donation of masks for medical and first responder use?2020-04-17T14:05:17-07:00

If you are part of the health care community or a first responder who is in need of masks, complete this form Mask Donation Request, please tell us how many masks you need and where the masks should be delivered. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response. Once you have completed and submitted this form you will be contacted via text, please allow 1-3 business days for a response.

Can I request a donation of masks for non-medical and first responder needs, like food banks, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.?2020-04-17T14:05:41-07:00

Yes, however, please note that we are first fulfilling the needs of our health care workers on the frontline at this time and we will do our very best to deliver masks as long as we have volunteers to make them. Our first priorities are medical professionals and first responders.

Are the masks washed before they are delivered?2020-04-17T14:05:54-07:00

No. We recommend that you wash and dry all donated masks before wearing them.

What’s the best way to wash the masks?2020-04-17T14:06:07-07:00

We recommend using a mesh laundry bag. Some of these masks are made with elastic ear bands and they can be delicate in washing.

What kind of masks will I be given?2020-04-17T14:06:18-07:00

We have curated masks created by a nurse and a doctor for nurses and doctors to use during the mass shortage of masks during the COVID 19 pandemic. These are the masks that our volunteers are making: Mask pattern which can also be found on our website. These mask patterns were chosen specifically because of the extra flap that allows a filter to be placed inside. Sew to Save does NOT provide filters for these masks. Please provide your own filter.

Can I request masks for organizations outside of Oregon?2020-04-17T14:06:32-07:00

At this time, we are just servicing the state of Oregon. If you are in a different state and would like to lead your own initiative, please contact our support team at support@sewtosave.org.