Do You Sew? Join Our Helping Hands Campaign!
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Do You Sew? Join Our Helping Hands Campaign!

Apr 21, 2020


For frontline healthcare workers, wearing a protective gown and masks is vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

A few weeks ago, staff at the Los Angeles Jewish Home began to realize that there was a shortage of disposable gowns. And, prices were skyrocketing. "We cannot pay sixteen, eighteen dollars for a disposable gown that before COVID cost 34 cents each," Molly Forrest, the Home's CEO and president recently explained to Forbes.

Kathleen Glass, executive director of the Home's Eisenberg Village campus, came up with a solution.

Inspired by her husband's suggestion, Glass and her colleagues began sewing long sleeves onto traditional hospital gowns. In one day, they were able to sew 40 gowns in the Arts and Crafts room at Eisenberg Village.

Now we're asking our friends and community members to join our "Helping Hands" campaign to create long-sleeve gowns. In addition, we still have a need for face masks.

To help with gowns, please contact our Volunteer Services Director Stacy Orbach at 818-774-3116, or Stacy.orbach@jha.org. Orbach will coordinate the gown distribution, as the gowns will need to be picked up from her by volunteers who are sewing on sleeves.

Masks can be delivered to Jeff Gall, Los Angeles Jewish Home, 7150 Tampa Ave., Reseda, CA 91335.

How to Sew Sleeves onto a Gown

Watch this YouTube video, with Glass narrating the instructions.

And here are the step-by-step instructions:

Assemble Sleeves First:

  • Align the long and short ends of the sleeve piece and pin into place.
  • Sew long edge together to create a sleeve, inside out.
  • Create a casing (tunnel) for the elastic around the wrist end by folding the material around the wrist 1/4 inch, fold again to create an approximately 1/2 inch channel for the elastic, pin in place.
  • Sew along the top edge of the folded channel. Leave a 1/4 inch opening to insert the elastic band.
  • Insert the elastic band, use a safety pin or other implement to push into the channel
  • Sew the ends of the elastic band together and sew the 1/4 opening closed.
  • Now that the sleeve is put together, the last step is to sew the upper arm portion onto the opening of the gown short sleeve end.
  • Turn sleeve right side out
  • Turn gown inside out
  • Insert sewn sleeve inside of inside out gown sleeve until the edges to connect align-pin together
  • Sew edges together
  • Pull sleeve right side out and the job is done!

Waist Tie Extensions

  • Align the long, thin piece of material with the already existing gown ties.
  • Sew along the edges to create a gown tie extension. (2 waist tie extensions per gown)

Tip: Assembling/sewing the sleeves all at once may be helpful, then moving on to sewing them onto the short sleeves of the gown. If you need guidance or trouble shooting, please call Sandra Hess at 619-972-8188.

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