• Olivia Bowman

Sewing & COVID-19

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

If you know how to operate a sewing machine during this pandemic, it is both a blessing and a curse. I received dozens of messages for face mask requests, DIY tutorials, fabric, supplies, and "business advice" on how to monopolize an Etsy account to sell PPE gear. Every sewist knows the annoyance of family asking you to fix their zippers, jackets, and projects that tend to zap your creativity- rather than support it. Multiply that times PANDEMIC!

My friends and family (with the best intentions!) did not understand the stress that questions, and requests placed on my already frazzled being. On March 31, I was tasked with the opportunity of a lifetime, combining my passion for garment design with a life saving effort. I have been designing, and prototyping hospital gowns, with my mentor Dr. Lang and the support of UDRI/FASTLANE (a manufacturing solutions organizations) for hospitals in and around Dayton, Ohio. We worked around the clock to determine the fastest method of gown production, source materials that are going extinct, locate and partner with manufacturing facilities nearby, and then re-design (5+ times) to accommodate manufacturing in order to produce between 5,000-10,000 hospital gowns per day. In just 9 days. WE DID IT!

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