Life has changed for most in the past week and a half. Lowell High School Sophomore Jordyn Vriesman has spent some of her time out of school making masks for the medical community because she wanted to help out in some way. As long as her supplies last she is dedicated to keep up with production of masks and donating them to those in need.
A Love for Sewing
Vriesman has always had a love of creating outfits out of fabric. “When I was younger I would take my baby blankets and drape them around me to make dresses. As I got a little older I would take bedsheets and make creative dresses by draping them a certain way and securing them with safety pins.” she says of her childhood. When she was in 8th grade she made her own dress for a dance she was attending. This was the start of her eagerness to sew clothes.
Vriesman sold knitted and crocheted during a past Christmas Through Lowell. With the proceeds from her sales she purchased a box filled with fabric from the Franciscan Life Center. She jokes that some teenagers get excited about shopping for clothes while she is eager to buy fabric and patterns.
With a huge passion for making costumes, Vriesman was involved behind the scenes in the high school’s recent musical Freaky Friday, which was only able to run for one weekend before mandates on the number of people who could gather in one location were put into place. She helped choose some of the costumes as well as altered anything that was too big or too small. Her favorite part was working on Katherine’s wedding dress and making the veil for that costume.
During this scary time, Vriesman has seen others helping in some way during this time of change in everyone’s life and wanted to contribute in some way. Her mom, Wendy, looked online for information on how to make masks, which are in huge demand. “This was something that I could do to utilize my talents and interest while helping others. Plus, I have ALOT of time on my hands with not being in school.” comments Vriesman.
Vriesman has currently made 30 masks and plans on continuing as long as her supplies last. Some of the masks she has made have been sent to the other side of the state to one of her mom’s friends who is a respiratory therapist and others have been picked up by friends who have family members in the medical community. She’s looking to help anyone with a need. It takes about 10-15 minutes for Vriesman to make one mask.
Vriesman feels medical staff needs to be kept safe and healthy so they are able to care for others, calling them the real heroes. She’s also looking to help people like her mom who has a compromised immune system as well as the elderly safe. Additionally, she’s thankful to everyone who has donated to her cause, saying without them it wouldn’t be possible. She also calls on other sewers to use their skills to help fill a massive need.
Those in the community who would like to donate supplies to Vriesman can email her mom, Wendy. Currently she has a good supply of fabric but is in need of ¼” flat elastic and furnace filters. Her supply needs will continue to change so it’s best to send an email to see what is needed and how to arrange getting items to Vriesman.
At some point Vriesman will go back to making her favorite thing – dresses. But for now she’s dedicating some of her social distancing time to make masks, doing what she can to fill a need during this time. Her actions are just one example of how the Lowell community is coming together to help others.
Photos courtesy of Wendy Vriesman and used with persmission.