Seamstress efforts assert ‘my way of helping’

Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Anne Mehringer of Ireland holds up fabric face masks she sewed to donate to those in the medical field at her home in Ireland on Monday.


Anne Mehringer is using her hobby to help those in the health care industry.

She spends her extra time at home sewing face masks.

“It’s something I can do to help out,” the rural Ireland woman said. “With the virus going on, doing this made sense.”

She isn’t the only one.

It seems that different seamstresses are trying to help the health care community by making masks for them to use.

It started from a post on Facebook. “Someone posted that Deaconess (Hospital in Evansville) needed a bunch,” Mehringer said Friday. “They posted a pattern for the masks. So I decided that I would make some.”

Deaconess did put out that call, but now has enough masks. The company has started a database on its website that lists health care agencies from all states, including Indiana, that need masks. There is also a place for agencies to add their request for masks. Individuals making masks can also sign up, to let agencies know they are available.

Visit the database here.

Locally, Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center is accepting masks, hospital spokeswoman Melanie Powell said.

“At this time, if community members have the supplies to make homemade masks at home, we are accepting these for certain patient use,” she said. “These can be dropped off at the information desk inside of the main lobby at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center.”

Mehringer said she started making the masks because she is able to do it and she already has the supplies. “I have lots of fabric on hand — like smaller pieces of fabric — and I thought that would be a good project to make use of the fabric,” she said. “Plus, sewing is something I like to do.”

Following the pattern, which she also found online, it takes her 10 to 14 minutes to complete a mask.

“It’s basically sewing two pieces of fabric together and then sewing elastic on the ends,” she said, “and then turning them inside out. And then putting pleats on the side. It’s not too difficult.”

Mehringer is willing to give others directions and tutorials on how to make them, if they’d like to start. She can be reached through her Facebook page or by email at

She, like the other seamstresses making masks, hopes to donate them to the places that need them. “For any medical people, hospitals or doctors offices that would like them,” she said. “I’m happy to make them. It’s something I can do for the good of our community, with all of this going on now. It’s my way of helping.”

The hospital is appreciative of the community’s support, with the masks and in other endeavors.

“The outpouring of love and support from the communities we serve has been tremendous and humbling,” Powell said. “Our caregivers have been the recipients of meals, sweet treats, and words of kindness and prayer. We thank those businesses and individuals who have thought of us and supported us in these challenging times. Please know that your support means the world to us.”

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