Kenai employee sews face masks for community members

Community News


Paige Lewis-Dykema, advanced administrative assistant, in Kenai, Alaska, turned her love for sewing into helping her community protect itself from the coronavirus.

As of this post, Lewis-Dykema had made and donated nearly 200 cloth face masks for others in her community, with plans to continue.

“My love of sewing and quilting stemmed from my high school home economics class,” said Lewis-Dykema. “Since then, I have created countless different types of sewing projects including quilts, backpacks, stuffed animals, clothes, curtains, etc.”

When the coronavirus reached Alaska in mid-March, Lewis-Dykema researched what other states were doing for additional protection and discovered that people were wearing cloth face coverings, and some people were making fabric masks themselves.

Wanting to help, Lewis-Dykema bought several dozen different fabrics, elastics and interfacing (the inside parts that act as the filter) and started sewing. The masks that she makes have two layers of interfacing inside and are machine washable. She selects from a variety of colors and patterns, which makes it fun for people to choose their own. Lewis-Dykema has given the face masks to friends, family members and coworkers.