Sewing cloth masks for those in need

Singaporean youths Beatrice Wong and Vegas Lee made about 400 cloth masks for the 'Masks Sewn With Love' community project.

Winny Wint Htae

Published: 6 May 2020, 12:26 AM

During the circuit breaker period, Beatrice Wong has been busy sewing cloth masks while staying home.

Together with her mother and younger brother, Beatrice started sewing masks since January for the beneficiaries of charity organisation, Helping Joy.

Later in April, she started sending some of her masks to Masks Sewn With Love, a community project that aims to sew 50,000 cloth masks of various sizes for family members, friends and those in need.

Since then, she has been mailing her handmade masks to Masks Sewn With Love in batches, which were later donated to low income families.


Beatrice’s brother helped to sew the mask layers together. PHOTO CREDIT: BEATRICE WONG


The 16-year-old student was inspired to sew cloth masks for the less fortunate after noticing long queues outside a pharmacy while shopping at a mall.

“I thought of the people who need masks more than others. As the demand for masks was often more than the supply back then, I took the initiative to make the masks myself,” said Beatrice, who has managed to sew about 200 reusable cotton masks to date.

It also helped that Beatrice has some sewing experience. She has been making handicrafts such as keychains and baby blankets, which she sells on her Facebook page, My Ah Ma’s Attic.

The process of making the masks was more tiring than Beatrice had expected. She recalled doing lots of checks before sewing, such as sourcing for suitable materials for the masks.

Beatrice recalled: “To be honest, sewing masks actually trains my patience. If the line is not straight, I will get frustrated and I will have to redo the whole process again. Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”

Another young Singaporean also stepped up to the challenge to make masks for those who needed them more.

18-year-old polytechnic student Vegas Lee runs a clothing shop on Instagram where he sells handmade patchwork pants. His experience in making clothes came in handy for this project.


Vegas Lee showing off a pair of his handmade pants. PHOTO CREDIT: VEGAS LEE


He decided to help his parents to sew masks after coming across the Masks Sewn With Love project online. His parents, who own a local fashion design studio, had the materials for the masks ready, which made sourcing for cloth less complicated.

“After following the sewing guide posted by the project, we mailed them to be distributed to the needy,” said Vegas, who sewed about 200 masks with his parents.

Ultimately, Beatrice and Vegas hope that other youths will feel encouraged to help their community however they can, even if they don’t have sewing skills.

For Beatrice, taking initiative is the first step to helping the community: “I have met youths who want to do something good for the community, but they don’t really know where to start or have time to do it.

“I would like to help them by guiding them on how they can help out in the community.”

Vegas added: “I think youths can start out by helping out at home and then gradually extend their help to their school, friends or the community. There are lots of places looking for volunteers.”

If you would like to donate extra masks to the campaign, check out Facebook group Masks Sewn With Love for more information.

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