'It's therapeutic:' Elm Grove woman reflects on 1 year of sewing masks

In the year since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, many things have become part of daily life. At this point, we all have quite a collection of masks---many made by local people with a passion for sewing. One Elm Grove woman hasn't stopped as the need for masks continues. 

Most nights, you'll find Janet Day at her sewing machine.

"It’s sort of therapeutic," said Day. "I come down here after everybody’s gone to bed. I’m a night owl, so I could be down here until 1, 2 o’clock in the morning. That’s kind of my jam."

Her basement is a mask-making zone. Her first was made as part of a mask ministry program at Unity Lutheran Church. 

"We just started cranking out masks at the start of the pandemic, and then my sewing machine conked out, so I thought, 'Well what am I going to do?'" said Day. "I thought, 'You know what? Let’s make a business.'"

She quickly sold enough to pay for the sewing machine and then some. 

"It really sort of took off, and just from this basement huddle down here," said Day.

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As summer turned to fall, and the mask mandate stayed, Day made masks for each holiday, never guessing she'd be making some for St. Patrick's Day.

"This is my Rudolph the red nose reindeer mask for kids," said Day.

She said she plans to keep sewing as long as there is a need -- her way of stitching together the community.

"It’s sort of isolating being sheltered in place and not being able to reach people," said Day. "This is one way of doing that."

Day also learned how to make her own website to sell her creations.