Keep calm and cover up with these locally made fabric face masks

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The CDC now recommends donning a cloth face covering, like ones made by Roseville-based All Things Mish (pictured), when out in public places. Photo courtesy of Michelle Marra.

If and when you need to emerge from your shelter-in-place cocoon, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends wearing a cloth face mask—particularly in places where social distancing may be difficult (like at grocery stores)—in an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Sporting a DIY mask from a T-shirt or bandana (researchers have found that masks featuring a double layer of cotton work best), or one of the washable, reusable coverings of quilted fabric or scuba material that local designers are furiously sewing to meet demand, would be a good addition to the other preventative measures now ingrained into our daily lives. From the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera’s band of merry costumers to local streetwear designer Samuel Rose Parkinson, our region’s newly minted mask-making masters have got you—and your face—covered.

R. Douglas Custom Clothier

Starting May 11, this Sacramento-based bespoke menswear designer will reopen shop and start offering face coverings made from its signature cotton shirting fabrics—currently in four designs, including blue-and-white micro-floral and green camouflage—and outfitted with adjustable ear straps, bamboo lining and a pocket for an extra insert. Head to R. Douglas’ downtown location near 12th and J streets, where you can purchase one solo ($15) or treat yourself to a new shirt or suit for a free one, or order one over the phone for curbside pickup. $15 per mask; custom garments start at $129. 1020 12th St. 916-438-9455.

R. Douglas' face masks feature adjustable ear straps and a soft bamboo liner. (Photo courtesy of R. Douglas)

R. Douglas’ face masks feature adjustable ear straps and a soft bamboo liner. (Photo courtesy of R. Douglas)

All Things Mish 

Between shifts as a cardiac sonographer at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, Michelle Marra sews double-layered face masks in her Roseville home for her Etsy shop All Things Mish. Made of super soft cotton quilting fabric, Marra’s whimsical masks are printed with everything from sexy red lips to largemouth bass to sock monkeys. If you prefer something that goes with everything, Marra also makes monochrome coverings in colors like black, light blue and purple. $16.95-$18.95.  

A sock monkey mask by All Things Mish (Photo courtesy of Michelle Marra)

A sock monkey mask by All Things Mish (Photo courtesy of Michelle Marra)

The Atrium

In mid-March, when the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera postponed the remainder of its 2019-20 season, lead costume designer Sheilagh Macafferty and her Sacramento Costumers crew stopped stitching pieces for the company’s production of The Barber of Seville, and started crafting cloth face masks instead. The coverings come in four types—from your basic double-layer cotton ($8.75) to the Good Seal version ($15), which was designed by a retired nurse practitioner and comes with a non-woven filter layer—and are made from on-hand fabric in the costume department, so you could get anything from animal print to magenta tartan.The masks are sold through Sacramento nonprofit The Atrium, an arm of Up Kindness Inc. that is hosting an online shop selling masks from local creatives. Prices vary.

Bespoke by Samuel Rose

Local fashion designer Samuel Rose Parkinson is temporarily pivoting from his bespoke streetwear, which blends traditional textiles and edgy prints, to crafting cloth face masks in his atelier in R Street’s Warehouse Artist Lofts Public Market. Rather than looping over the ears, Parkinson’s masks—made from stretchy, heavy-duty fabrics like neoprene, the scuba suit material—have straps that snap behind the neck and over the head for a snug fit and weightless feel. $10.

Little Bandit Masks

Oak Park jewelry maker Meg Holbrook started making COVID-19 masks last month to help raise funds for the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. (She’s already sold about 100 of her cotton masks outfitted with braided elastic cords.) Thinking of her 11- and 4-year-old kids, Holbrook specializes in “not-so-scary,” kid-friendly coverings, featuring everything from Marvel heroes to rainbow elephants. $13 for single; $26-$55 for multipacks.


In response to the pandemic, skater-wear brand Official—launched by Sacramento-based designer Jason Maggio, who also founded rugged outdoor apparel company All Good—has created MaskOn, a line that specializes in face masks. The inventory ranges from utilitarian nano-polyurethane coverings—which come in colors like neon green, heather gray and rose pink—to disposable KN95 versions (suitable alternatives to the highly sought-after N95 masks). $9.95-$14 for single masks; $19.95-$59.95 for multipacks.


Paris Macedon’s Oak Park-based clothing brand OTSS (Only the Strong Survive) is crafting made-to-order face masks for kids and adults with patterns like the Ethiopian flag, a bold checkered print, or a simple phrase to show your feelings about this whole coronavirus ordeal—”Yuck.” To order, send the designer a DM on Instagram or Facebook, and while you’re at it, check out her comfortable work-from-home wear, including logo joggers and galactic hoodies. $10 for kids; $25-$35 for adults. Direct message on Instagram and Facebook

Pitter Patterned's fabric masks feature pretty pleats for extra protection. (Photos courtesy of Jennifer Kesler)

Pitter Patterned’s fabric masks feature pretty pleats for extra protection. (Photos courtesy of Jennifer Kesler)

Pitter Patterned

Roseville-based Jennifer Kesler usually uses her quilting skills to craft organic cotton baby blankets (fans include Chrissy Teigen), but these days she’s cranking out face masks in high-quality quilting fabric. (Her first batch of 80 masks nearly sold out in less than three days.) The kid- and adult-sized double-layered face coverings—which feature a formed nose piece for optimum fit and a pocket to insert a filter for extra protection (coffee and tea filters or even paper towels will do the trick)—and solid colors like dark khaki, and patterns that are both starry and floral. $7.

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