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Sew for a Cause

Help Others with Your Sewing Skills!

There are many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others with your sewing passion.

Updated 4/7/2020 10:15 am

Our mask effort is solely out of the generosity of our local sewists and for our community who can not shelter in place during this time.  We are not selling any masks. We have had several requests for these masks and we will continue to fulfill them.

Meriter/Unitypoint approved pattern & Info for donation: Meriter is no longer accepting masks. 

SSM Health Pattern & Info for donation:
Cotton Mask Pattern:
Blue Wrap Pattern:

Froedtert has an official mask  - link here:  
Official instructions from Froedtert Hospital/Medical College of Wisconsin for Masks

Milwaukee Children's Hospital is looking for these:

From UW: "...
There has been overwhelming response to our email request on the sewing of masks. At this time, we will not be able to use volunteer support in this area. Since we sent out our call for people to sew, we have started to instead work with manufacturers who can rapidly produce masks that meet the requirements necessary for the protection of our healthcare workers. We are extremely grateful for these offers and would love to accept your help in other ways."

From Agrace  Drop off or mail masks for Agrace to 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison or 2901 N Wright Rd, Janesville. -Use these patterns:   or

What we are doing

Several local nurses and healthcare professionals have asked for this sewn mask to prolong the life of the N95 mask.  Fabric masks DO NOT provide protection from the COVID-19 coronavirus. These masks are intended for healthcare professionals who are versed in their potential use for their needs.  The pattern is NOT ours, and is not for sale or profit-we do not own this pattern.  Here is the link to follow for instructions. It has been suggested to use a quilting cotton or batik.  Something a little dense, but not stretchy.

Tip: We found it helpful to press our long strips for the top and bottom binding before stitching it to the mask!
Picture of the A.B. Mask for a nurse, by a nurse by Jessica Nandino
We had some trouble printing the JPEG from Instructables. So we have created a PDF for you to print the pattern piece, again the instructions are above.  

You can drop off the masks here at The Electric Needle.   We have a drop box available now 24/7 - it is called  "depository" and it is to the left of our front door.   

drop box imageWe have several contacts to distribute the masks.  

Thank you so much for all the sewists who have donated so far - we have run them all through the wash - after tying the straps into slip knots.   We have begun distributing the masks and requests keep pouring in - even from an ER in ALASKA!   

Due to your generosity, we have delivered masks to the YWCA, Various EMS teams, Hospice workers, the VA, and other small organizations in our community.    The response has been one of gratitude and if you have dropped off masks, we are working hard to get them to those who will use them and I'd like to pass along a personal "THANK YOU" to each and every one of you.  

If your local - Dane County Wisconsin - organization is looking for the type of mask we are asking to be made, please e mail us at

If your organization is looking for masks and you are not local - or if you are looking for info for your local area for sewing masks, we found these two resources:

Stay well.

It has been suggested that you also Contact your Congress People: 
(a) Request the US Department of Health and Human Services release N95 respirators from the National Stockpile to states hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.
(b) Request the President invoke the Defense Production Act to require respirator manufacturers to increase production of N95 respirators and other more effective protective equipment such as powered air purifying respirators. 
Boomerang Bags ~ Giving Unwanted Fabric New Life!

Join like minded people in diverting fabric destined for landfills and create reusable tote bags, and start conversations about limiting single use plastic.

We are looking for people to source, prep, and sew the fabric into bags.

Check out the link above or stop by the store for more details! We're an enthusiastic new group, and we'd love to hear your ideas.

Project Linus ~ Providing Security Through Blankets.

You can sew NICU blankets for Project Linus at the Electric Needle. We appreciate if you can bring 2 pieces of new, unwashed flannel 1.25 yards each.  If you would like you can reserve one of our Pfaff classroom machines.

We also accept donations. Various blankets are needed every month ~ sample patterns are available through the link above.  For assistance, please stop in to the shop.

The Sewing Machine Project ~ Mending Communities, One Sewing Machine at a Time.

If you have a working sewing machine that is just taking up space, it can be put to good use through this local organization! We are a drop-off location for the Sewing Machine Project. Feel free to bring your donation machines to our shop to be inspected and passed along to this great organization.

The Hat Ladies ~ Making Hats for Causes and Those in Need Since 1997.

Volunteers are needed for cutting pieces, staffing, and sewing at various events during the day, evenings and weekends. Even if you don't sew, you can help out with this wonderful organization. Please contact us for more information.

The House Quilt Project
~ Brighten Lives with Art Quilts.

The House Quilt Project makes small art quilt wall-hangings to be given to U.S. veterans returning from service abroad. The Project was established in June of 2010, to assist Furnishing Hope, who works with designers to create interior rooms and entire houses for veterans and others in need.

The Battle Cap Project ~ Helping those going through Chemo

Find out more here!  Sewists needed.

American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillow Case Challenge

Calling all quilters, sewers and crafters! American Patchwork & Quilting is challenging you to join our efforts to Make a Pillowcase, Make a Difference. Every pillowcase can make a difference in your community. A pillowcase can provide comfort for a cancer patient, hope for a foster child, encouragement for a battered woman, or beauty for a nursing home resident. Sample patterns available through the link above.

Little Dresses for Africa

Little Dresses for Africa is a non-profit, Christian-based organization which provides relief to the children of Africa. Simple dresses are made out of pillow cases and distributed through the orphanages in Central Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy. Sample patterns available through their website. Just click the link above!

Mikayla’s Grace, Inc.

Mikayla’s Grace is a 501c3 non-profit to support families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at Madison Area hospitals by providing NICU care packages and angel memory boxes that offer both practical and emotional support for the parents.  Mikayla’s Grace is in need of more volunteers to make the hand-made items for the angel memory boxes.  This entails making small baby gowns, booties and hats.  Please contact Mikayla's Grace through their website for descriptions and even some patterns.

Ryan's Case for Smiles (formerly ConKerr Cancer)

Ryan's Case for Smiles is an organization that makes pillowcases out of cheerful fabric for children sick with cancer and other serious illnesses to brighten up their hospital stay. You can get involved by making pillowcases, see their website for pillowcase directions and specifications. You can also donate fabric and funds to help this organization. This is a great project to get involved in, especially for beginning sewists as well groups looking for an easy and worthwhile sewing project!

Temporary Store Hours:
Monday - Friday 10-4
Saturday 10-2

 call 608-422-5449 text 608 831 3770

4281 West Beltline Hwy
       Madison, WI 53711