Sewing Fabric Gowns

Thank you for your interest in sewing fabric gowns for healthcare personnel caring for others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gown sewing patterns from Iowa Department of Public Health.

Sewing Fabric Masks

Thank you for your interest in sewing fabric masks for healthcare personnel caring for others during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to watch the evolving landscape of healthcare and the world as whole with the COVID-19 pandemic, we realize that accepting help from our community partners in different ways is invaluable.

Your time and talent can greatly impact our ability to care for our community members and help ensure our safety as we do. Fabric masks offer the benefit of being able to be washed and reused. When Pella Regional moves to using fabric masks, each healthcare worker will need to change their masks several times during their shifts as the masks become soiled or damp-for maximum protection.

We are not worried about looking stylish, but we are concerned about functionality. Non-matching fabrics, thread, binding strips are just fine, but a well sewn mask with no frayed edges, missed seams, or “holes” is important.

In order to make sure the masks are as safe and as effective as possible. We ask that you consider the following points:

  • Please use the following pattern to ensure proper fit and function. They offer a filter pouch in which a disposable filter can be placed to increase their effectiveness.
  • Recommended fabric for the outer portion of the mask includes heavier, non-stretch fabric such as denim, duck cloth, canvas, twill, or other tight woven fabric.
  • Recommended fabric for the inner lining and filter pocket can be other cotton, cotton-blend, non-stretch fabric. It can be thinner and softer, but again recommended minimal or non-stretch.
  • Polyester or other less breathable fabric will not work as well, due to moisture produced with breathing.
  • If using denim or other fabric that is being “recycled” please be sure it is clean and in good shape. Worn or dirty fabric will not be protective.
  • PLEASE prewash all fabrics and dry at high temps as they will have to hold up to that for the future. This also prevents these masks from shrinking when they are washed.
  • Elastic should be in good shape, with plenty of stretch and of an appropriate size to fit over the ears. 1/16 in round cord or 1/8 inch braided work best.
  • If elastic is not available, fabric ties can be sewn on the mask. There will need to be 4 ties (one tie on each of the 4 corners). Ties should be approx. 1/4 inch in width, sewn in such a way that there are not frayed edges, and long enough to be tied into a bow on the top of the head (for the top corner and behind the head for the bottom corner).
  • The 3.5X4 inch plastic coated bendy strips across the top of the mask are important to allow the user to bend the metal to create a close fit over the nose. Two 4 inch plastic coated twist ties work well. Paper twist ties do not hold up to washing.
  • Extra wide double bias tape can be purchased. It is also easy to make if you prefer, or if supplies are limited. There are instructions and videos online on how to make the bias tape.

Pella Regional Health Center will supply the filters for the masks.

Completed Masks/Gowns

Enclose completed masks/gowns in a closed plastic bag or closed plastic box.

Drop off the masks/gowns at any of entrances at Pella Regional.

Email with questions.

Have Questions?

For medical emergencies, dial 911.

If you are well and have general questions about 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), call the Iowa Department of Health hotline at 2-1-1, or go to to learn more.

If your symptoms are worsening, please call to speak with a nurse: 641-621-2200.

Additional Resources:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

COVID-19 Travel Recommendations

Before traveling, view the geographic risk assessment of COVID-19 transmission published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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