ITHACA, N.Y. –– The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines suggest that the general public use cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

As such, local sewing supply store SewGreen has received “essential service” status from New York State for sewing machine sales and service, with curbside pickup or delivery.

Owner Wendy Skinner is working alone at the store, which carries fabric, yarn, and sewing supplies. She will take in machines for tune-ups and has inexpensive new sewing machines for sale.

Skinner modeling a homemade mask

In addition, Skinner has created a walk-up window display of cotton and other materials for homemade masks. She is currently in the process of putting together kits, to be sold for around $3, and pre-made masks to be sold for around $1.

Customers can stand outside and select what they want by phone. Their purchases are bagged and put on a table outside for no-contact pickup.

“The big thing right now is making cloth masks,” said Skinner. “I wanted to make sure we could provide the supplies people need. It’s window shopping in the most literal sense.”

To order masks and materials, call 607-319-4106 or reach out via email. 

SewGreen will donate one yard of cotton to anyone making at-home face masks.

Skinner is also donating her skills as a sewing machine technician to help keep volunteers’ machines in good working order at Cayuga Medical Center’s mask-making workshop on the Cornell campus.

SewGreen is located at 112 North Cayuga Street in downtown Ithaca. No-contact shopping hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Sunday.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at