Knoxville seamstress sewing masks out of cloth for customers and hospitals


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Shortages of protective medical wear like gloves and masks are being reported all over the country.

Here in Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order to postpone non-emergency health procedures to conserve these supplies.

There is also a push for businesses that do not need them now to donate them to hospitals.

Dr. Keith Gray said at a press conference on Monday that UT Medical Center currently doesn't have shortages of PPE- or personal protective equipment. This includes masks, gloves, and other protective clothing.

Dr. Gray says they expect they could see a surge in cases and that's when they could use more equipment.

"When we recognize what we are short, it's too late. So, we are preparing as if we are going to see an escalation of the burden of disease in our community," said Dr. Gray.

They might have found a local supplier- Seamstress Susan Capps sells her designs online. When she heard there was a need for them, she got to work. She started selling them online through Etsy.

Now she is looking for sponsors to help pay for the supplies so she can donate them to local hospitals. A local company Girl Boss donated to her cause. She was able to make a dozen to donate in their name.

"When I can do something to help others it's really empowering and fun and the rewards are just so much better," said Capps.

She's hoping more people will sponsor hospitals who need masks. Her husband works at the hospital. She says it means a lot that people are concerned with their safety fighting on the front lines of this pandemic.

She hopes that the fun designs of the mask will make people smile and feel secure.

If you'd like to contact her to buy one for yourself of donate to her cause you can find her at or give her a call at 240-604-3317.

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