Tuesday, November 2, 2021

New style of mask

 I know an awful lot of  people aren't wearing masks anymore, but we still are.  I found a new mask pattern that I really like.  It is by far the most comfortable mask to wear that I've tried so far, especially for a long period of time.   After wearing it for a couple of hours, I immediately went looking for the pattern.

The pattern that I found which seems identical even down to the sizing is from this youtube.  The actually printed pattern is here from a dropbox.  I have traced all four sizes and made the small, medium, and x-large so far.  

The small fits my three year old perfectly.  I would say it is meant for children 2-8 ish.  You can actually cut out 3 small masks from a fat quarter if you are very conservative with the fabric.  For all other sizes, you will only get 2 masks from a fat quarter.

Here is the grandbaby wearing hers.  This size mask also barely fits the bear cub, who is 12, but she is much more comfortable in the medium.

The medium size is probably meant for ages 9 to small adult.  It fits my (almost)14 year old fine, but my 10 year old feels it is too confining.  She will be more comfortable in a large, which is probably sized for most women.

The X-large is very comfortable for me and my husband.  I considered making an extra pattern for XXL, but I am not going to unless I find someone that needs a bigger size than this XL.  This was my first attempt, which came out fine and my husband has claimed, but I am using a different technique to insert the elastic for the ears.  I am now putting the elastic immediately after turning the mask inside out.

I will be making a bunch of these because they fit so well, maintain their shape, and are so comfortable.  I bought the nose wire and elastics on Amazon.  The Minnie fat quarter is one the grandbaby chose at Walmart (it was supposed to be for a hair bow).  The other fabrics were from fabric.com.  

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Simplicity 6895 version 4 and more of 6

Here is version 4 made for Darth Monkey when she was this size, but now worn by the grandbaby, who is very tall for 3 1/2.  This was the bear cub's favorite version of this dress, but for once it didn't seem to phase her that I put it on the grandbaby.  So I guess the bear cub likes her new version.


I couldn't get the bear cub to pose for me.  She was too interested in A Bug's Life.  

These girls love each other so much.

Next up are two more versions, but I don't know how long that will take for me to get to.  I can't just sit and sew as much as I used to and I wear out much sooner.  I am enjoying blogging my sewing again though and I do wish I had a sewing record of what I have done while I wasn't blogging.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Simplicity 5695 version 6

 Here is my Nerdlet in a size 8 version of Simplicity 5695.  I think I've made 5 others, but they are in size 5.  I practically had to tear the smaller dresses out of the bear cubs hands because they are her favorite.  

The reason that my nerdlet looks so uncomfortable is because she feels the dress is too revealing.  My nerdlet is a natural Victorian when it comes to fashion.  She actually gets upset when I let her sisters wear keyholes.  

I have two more of this dress already cut out and I hope to get them done in the current week.

This is the first one that I made and on this one I followed the pattern. This one is a size 5.  Like Kate I felt that the pattern results in too short a dress so I altered the pattern after this one, adding an additional tier.

Here is what I think is the 5th one.  On this one I added lots of trim and fancy stitches.  It was made for Darth Monkey because yellow is and always has been her favorite color.

I didn't work to hard to find pictures of the others that I made, but if they turn up, I will post them.  Also, at least one is in the wash, so I'll get the grandbaby to model that one.

Umpteenth version of McCalls 6875

 I have made so many versions of McCalls 6875 in sizes 3, 4, and 5. My girls lived in versions of this dress when they were smaller.  They loved it and so did I.  I even made the doll version once.

My bear cub still wear a lot of dresses as does the grandbaby who is living with me.  There are a number of size 5 dresses that recently have been passed from the bear cub to the grandbaby.  My 12-year-old daughter was still wearing size 5 dresses but as tunics and she was/is not happy that I have passed them on to the very tall 3 year old.  So it was time to make new dresses for her.  

The nerdlet is very happy with this dress also and it also fits her.  In fact, I was afraid that the nerdlet was going to be upset about the bear cub having it because she seemed to be getting attached to it as I sewed it and tried it on at every stage of its development.  The nerdlet rarely wears dresses anymore, so it made me pretty happy that she liked this one.  The grandbaby is also really eager for this dress to fit her and tried to get me to put it on her instead of Chloe this morning.  I know this super bright orange batik isn't for everyone, but I'm glad that my girls like it.

I will be making more of this dress in this size and in the smaller size for the grandbaby, but first I have peasant style dresses that I have already cut out for the bear cub.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Pot Roast in Crock Pot

I needed to make a pot roast that would be good for my husband, Q, while he is currently dieting and wants no added sugar or carbs.  This is what I came up with for the package of chuck roast I bought from Costco.  It is so delicious.  I will say that the wine smell turned off my kids from wanting to try it, but they still liked it.

 5 lb (ish) chuck roast 

1 cup red wine

1 1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp Better than Broth Vegetable base

2 small onions chopped

2 pounds of chopped carrots or baby carrots

Fresh green beans

1 small can tomato paste

2-3 Tbsp Worcestshire sauce

1 Tbsp (ish) Balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons various spices (I went Italian)

1 tsp or so of pepper

Barely brown the chuck roast (I had two pieces in one package from Costco) on all sides in olive oil and cook onions briefly to pick up.  Place onions and carrots on bottom of crock pot.  Place chuck roast on top of the onions and carrots. Place as many green beans as fit in crock pot.  Mix next 7 ingredients and pour on top.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Turn to low and stir so the green beans are immersed in the liquid and cook another 2-3 hours.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Ottobre 1-2021-30

 The nerdlet attends a school with a uniform policy.  The policy reads, "Khaki Beige cotton or polyester twill slacks/ walking shorts, skirt or jumper, skorts, capri, and pedal pusher pants."  My nerdlet unfortunately is much thinner than even the adjustable waistband allows for.  She is now 13 and she has been wearing size 7/8 purchased uniform pants.  Even with it drawn to the last button on the elastic, it is loose around the waist.  This also means that there are a number of inches showing her ankles.  This wouldn't matter if they just looked like pedal pushers as listed above, but they look more like Steve Urkel pants.  Hence the need for me to make them.

I used Ottobre-2021-30 size 140 with no alterations.  They are meant to be leggings, but they are actually looser than most of the pants I see on the other students.  

I considered adding a side seam and pockets, but this particular child would use them and not empty them and I would have interesting loads of wash, so I opted for the less interesting-making pants.  I've actually made four other pairs for my bear cub and one of my nieces.  I didn't take pictures, but I probably will, at least for my bear cub, the next time they are worn.

The fabric is khaki techno knit from Cali Fabrics (I think).

She is happy with them.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Panda Pillowcases

It's been a while since I posted something I have sewed.  I actually feel the lack, especially when I'm looking for what pattern I used for a particular project or what size of something I made for my girls.  I don't know if I will keep it up but I figured I would at least post these pillowcases.

I made these two panda pillowcases for my panda loving niece.  Her birthday is this month and I don't think I've made anything for her yet.  I used my French seamed pillowcase method that I always use.  You can find it here.  I've made so many of these pillowcases and they last forever.  

This main fabric and the flange fabric is from fabric.com and it is surprisingly soft.  The trim fabric is from a local quilting shop and has gold flecks.  I used a 5 inch trim, which is bigger than I normally use, but I wanted the busyness of the two fabrics separated more.  

I almost always really like these pillowcases.  For something so simple to sew, it gives a lot of satisfaction.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Pro Mask Requirement Argument

As a mother that has 3 children in the NEISD school system, a Christian, and someone that has a degree in Biochemistry and a former investigator under contract and trained by the FDA, I feel like I have a unique viewpoint on why we should require masks in our teachers and children.  At the very least, even if we do not require masks, there needs to be a complete overhaul of health and safety practices in our schools to prevent infections.  I am unable to attend on Thursday and I know that this is long but I believe each point in it is valid and needs to be addressed and one of the problems with the people that are for mask freedom is that they are not reading the scientific data and studies thoroughly.

One of my girls goes to Nimitz STEM Academy.  The actual STEM teachers are all masking and almost all the kids.  It is telling that the teachers most familiar with science and technology choose to mask and make it not an issue.  If all of San Antonio were as educated and familiar with science, then it might be acceptable to have such an idealistic policy of allowing people to choose to protect themselves and others.

One of my girls attends Bradley Middle School.  If you look around the school, a large number of children and teachers are masked, but a smaller, but very significant number of school personnel and student were not.  If it was simply a matter of not wearing a mask that would be one thing, but they are not keeping their distance from other people and they are not practicing any sort of preventative practices.  They are touching everything and everyone in sight after touching their faces and rubbing their eyes.  School counselors are not wearing masks in areas where students and parents and other personnel have to also sit and work.  These areas are not being cleaned and sanitized before other people need to use them.  Numerous studies have been done on the viability of viruses.  On porous surfaces, studies report inability to detect viable virus within minutes to hours; on non-porous surfaces, viable virus can be detected for days to weeks. Also, When a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 has been indoors, virus can remain suspended in the air for minutes to hours.  Wearing masks consistently and correctly can substantially reduce the amount of virus indoors, including the amount of virus that lands on surfaces.  Also, the hard fact is that there are many 10 and 11 year olds at the middle school that cannot yet be vaccinated.   

None of the children at the elementary schools can receive the vaccine.  It seems criminal to put them in school with no distancing and no masks.  I decided to homeschool my 10-year old because at Thousand Oaks elementary, the desks were placed grouped in 5s with all children facing each other just the narrow width of two desks apart.  If one were to plan to spread the disease, the only better plan would be to have hug and kiss before seating themselves.  This is an excellent set up for learning but during this pandemic there needs to be prophylactics to protect the learners.

Masks are their only protection, and when only one mask is used by the unvaccinated person, the protection offered is much lower than when both are masked.  If a poor mask is worn by an unvaccinated person, then the protection is pretty minimal.  With the quality of the mask increasing, so does the protection.  When the other person is also wearing a mask, the protection increases by orders of magnitude.  There is an argument that the virus is small so that it goes right through most masks, but what that argument is missing is that most of the time the virus is suspended in a droplet that will be blocked by the mask.  In addition to the masks preventing Covid infections, it is even more effective in preventing other infections, especially bacterial pathogens, like Strep throat and other respiratory illnesses.  RSV is growing along with the Delta variant and it is even more dangerous to babies and young children.  In fact, during the last year and a half, two flu viruses have become extinct which had never happened before in written history.  

Schools in Georgia have tried to make the masks voluntary and most individuals were masked and vaccinated.  Despite this, counties in Georgia are having to shut down schools completely except virtually because less than a week after opening in the Ware County School System 679 children were quarantined and 167 students and teachers tested positive.  Not learning from this exact thing happening a week ago in another state makes no sense, especially when 4 Texas school districts have already shut down due to Covid outbreaks.

I would just like to remind the board that people are infections weeks before symptoms.  Also, according to current data, the delta variant of this virus, which is what is mostly what is being seen currently, is at least as twice as contagious and results in an even more severe illness.  It is also infecting and hospitalizing more younger individuals.  Covid deaths in the US according to CDC data which is not up to date include 87 children under 1 year of age, 44 children ages 1-4, 121 children 5 to 14, and 1062 people 15 to 24. It has taken 354 children up to age 17 so far and the number is growing faster all the time.  And these numbers do not even include the children that have become sick, been hospitalized, or simply have permanent damage of some sort of another, which also happens frequently.  My personal belief is that not one child's life is worth poor safety practices during education.  Even if your number is bigger than that, I would hope it is small.

This is not fear mongering but a temporary response to an emergency situation.  Those of us that are advocating masks to protect our children are not asking for permanently forcing everyone under the sun to wear masks inside and out whenever they are around anyone else.  If everyone had isolated and masked and used aseptic technique the first two weeks after Spring Break March of 2020, there would be no more Covid 19 and certainly no Delta variant.  It is this resistance to not wanting to change anything for even two weeks that has allowed this to spread and catering to the group of people that has caused this in the first place is not going to help contain this now.

I know that the Governor's office is threating a fine for not falling in line with his policy and I believe it is worth the financial cost to enforce masks.  The articles from newspapers would imply that this fee is $1000.  I will personally pay this myself if this is the case, and I believe that the school should place the lives of our children should outweigh even a much great cost.  I also believe that using funds to allow for virtual schooling is worth the cost.  I even offered to pay for a telepresence robot for my children and this idea was rejected.  It would cost nothing for the school and would not require extra teachers to use.  Refusing to allow this makes no sense other than to force my children into the risk area.

I know it is not feasible to keep every child 6 ft apart in every NEISD school, however, I do believe it is possible to keep the masked children and masked teachers 6 ft away from all unmasked individuals.  If you really believe it is the right of young children to decide whether or not to mask, you should believe in the rights of other young children to choose safer practices.  Another possibility is to group the two separately.  They can choose which group to join.

A person's freedoms don't have the right to infringe upon others freedom to be healthy and safe.  This is a public health issue, beyond the individual, to keep the collective healthy. Not wearing a mask or having a vaccine affects other people.  Yes, people should take personal responsibility, but children have not thoroughly learned this yet and they don't have the knowledge to make an education decision either.

The school boards second goal reads "NEISD will maintain safe, supportive, and equitable environments for our students."  The last goal reads, "NEISD will foster a culture of health and wellness among our students, staff, and community."

In closing, the regrets for forcing masks and seeing nothing will be low.  The regrets for allowing children to choose and having kids die will haunt you for life.  For those deaths, the people who did not do what they can to prevent them are responsible.

Thank you for your time in reading this,
Kimberly Hughes

Studies on the Covid virus on surfaces:
  1. J. Biryukov, J. A. Boydston, R. A. Dunning, J. J. Yeager and e. al., “Increasing temperature and relative humidity accelerates inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces,” mSphere, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. e00441-20, 2020.
  2. A. Chin, J. Chu, M. Perera, K. Hui, H. L. Yen, M. Chan, M. Peiris and L. Poon, “Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions.,” Lancet Microbe, vol. 1, p. e10, 2020.
  3. A. Kratzel, S. Steiner, D. Todt, P. V’kovski, Y. Brueggemann, J. Steinmann, E. Steinmann, V. Thiel and S. Pfaender, “Temperature-dependent surface stability of SARS-CoV-2,” Journal of Infection, vol. 81, no. 3, pp. 452-482, 2020.
  4. Y. Liu, T. Li, Y. Deng, S. Liu, D. Zhang, H. Li, X. Wang, L. Jia, J. Han, Z. Bei and L. Li, “Stability of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces and in human excreta,” Journal of Hospital Infection, vol. 107, pp. 105-107, 2021.
  5. S. Riddell, S. Goldie, A. Hill, D. Eagles and T. W. Drew, “The effect of temperature on persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on common surfaces,” Virology Journal, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-7, 2020.
  6. N. van Doremalen, T. Bushmaker, D. H. Morris, M. G. Holbrook, A. Gamble, B. N. Williamson, A. Tamin, J. L. Harcourt, N. J. Thornburg, S. I. Gerber and J. O. Lloyd-Smith, “Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1,” New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 382, no. 16, pp. 1564-1567, 2020.
Studies on transmission in the air and the use of masks:
  1. R. L. Corsi, J. A. Siegel and C. Chiang, “Particle resuspension during the use of vacuum cleaners on residential carpet,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 232-238, 2008.
  2. R. M. Jones and L. M. Brosseau, “Aerosol transmission of infectious disease,” J Occup Environ Med., vol. 57, no. 5, pp. 501-508, 2015.
  3. S. Zheng, J. Zhang, J. Mou, W. Du, Y. Yu and L. Wang, “The influence of relative humidity and ground material on indoor walking-induced particle resuspension,” Journal of Environmental Science and Health, vol. 54, no. 10, p. 104, 2019.
  4. E. P. Vejerano and L. C. Marr, “Physico-chemical characteristics of evaporating respiratory fluid droplets.,” J. R. Soc. Interface , vol. 15, p. 20170939, 2018.
  5. L. M. Casanova, S. Jeon, W. A. Rutala, D. J. Weber and M. D. Sobsey, “Effects of air temperature and relative humidity on coronavirus survival on surfaces,” Appl Environ Microbiol, vol. 76, no. 9, pp. 2712-2717, 2010.
  6. J. T. Brooks, D. H. Beezhold, J. D. Noti, C. J. P, R. C. Derk, F. M. Blachere and W. G. Lindsley, “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 February 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7007e1.htm?s_cid=mm7007e1_w. [Accessed 12 February 2021].