WSYR: Local teacher helps medical field employees one stitch at a time

Rachael Witter at Sewing Machine

"I’m definitely glad to help."

Sewing has been a longtime hobby for Utica College graduate student Rachael Witter and her passion quickly turned into a community need in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I didn’t know that it was such a big need, like I’m definitely glad to help. I actually got all of this fabric to make scrunchies in my downtime, and I’m like I can use all of this to make masks,” Herkimer High School Teacher Rachael Witter said.

Witter is enrolled in Utica College's Teacher Apprenticeship Program.

In just 3 days, she has already made close to 100 masks.

She’s been reading over the Center for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines and ironically, had all of the fabrics and supplies ready to sew right in her own home.

“What I’ve been doing is using for the inside it’s called snuggle flannel and it’s actually for baby blankets. It’s a real tight-knit cotton fabric for the inside and for the outside, it’s just 100% cotton fabric. This is what I would use to make scrunchies and it just so happens I had a lot of that snuggle flannel laying around,” said Witter.

The masks are washable and reusable and come in adult and children sizes, but they don’t look like your typical medical mask.


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