While Amanda Walsh has been sewing clothes for her 8-year-old daughter Alivia since long before the pandemic, her sewing skills have most recently been expanded to create custom face masks. With Amanda’s help and expertise, Alivia learned to sew her own masks and recently gifted each of her 21 classmates with a personalized face covering.
“It was difficult at first to learn, but I’m getting the hang of it,” Alivia said of sewing masks. “My mom likes the masks to be perfect. The hardest part of making the mask was actually sewing it and putting in the nose piece, because you have to get it just right. If you sew over the metal, it sounds like you’re going to break the machine.”
Alivia, who is in Mrs. Adkins class at Lakewood Elementary, created the masks with her mom and grandmother’s help. The custom masks coordinate with Lakewood’s space theme for this school year, and each mask is personalized with the student’s name.
Amanda and Alivia, who reside in Boutte, came up with the idea to make the themed masks for her classmates as their Christmas present from Alivia. Alivia’s grandmother helped in the process by adding each students’ name to the masks so that the students don’t get them mixed up by mistake.
“My classmates were really excited because the masks actually fit their face with the earpiece adjusters and nose clip,” Alivia said. “I wasn’t expecting my mom’s masks to become so popular, but everyone is getting her to make fun masks. My mom works at East Jefferson Hospital and everyone there gets her to make masks.”
Alivia said she and her mom also sew their family members masks so that they can match each other when they go places.
“It stinks having to wear a mask, but if we have to then we want to make it fun,” Alivia said.
Alivia helps her mom pick out the fabrics they use for the various masks, and her mom lets her use the scrap pieces of fabric to practice with and make cat toys out of.