Former Hixtonite’s First Live Stream Event is the Start of a Domino Effect

By Lori Johnson

For admitting that she had never done a Facebook live show, Michelle Deml sure handled it like a pro, as she demonstrated how to make masks, a much needed skill during these scary times. Michelle is an accomplished sewer and has been for many years. She had made several masks during this time of COVID19, even guiding her 5 year old daughter Emma in making them, and thought it would be fun to show others who didn’t sew how fun, easy, and welcomed the masks would be.

There has been a post making the rounds lately: If you’ve bought a fabric face mask or received one for free, here’s some of the things you should know: That fabric has a story. It was worth every penny. The sewer made it to help you but it’s helping them too. It will make them smile when they see you wearing it. It should give you hope for a better world. A lot of the above applies to the reasons why Michelle decided to do this.

A few days before the live stream, Michelle announced that a Mask Sew-a-long was coming and gave a list of materials needed--Basically-2 pieces of fabric (9x6), -2 pieces of elastic, -pins, -fabric scissors, -sewing machine. Not only did she invite those interested to sew along with her, she also offered to help those who might not have touched their sewing machines in years familiarize them with the parts they would be using during the sewing process. She also urged people to send in questions and comments they might have ahead of time so she could address them during the live stream.

And then came the show! Michelle showed poise and knowledge as she walked viewers through the mask sewing process. She went through the instructions at just the right speed to allow the viewers to work with and follow her. It was definitely a family production. Her cameraman was her husband Steve and her three children Emma, Anna and Jake made endearing appearances modeling masks and telling viewers goodnight which added to the live stream’s appeal.

The Sew-along was well received and the link is available for you at

Michelle was very pleased with the outcome of her first Facebook tutorial but not for the reasons you would suspect. “Modern technology has been a Godsend,” she said. “Here I am in Medford and miles away people were able to learn something new. Hopefully it will become a domino effect and they take the knowledge and share with others. Half a state away in Melrose, my niece Noelle tuned in and made sewing these masks her very first sewing project. The proud auntie continued, I'm super proud of her not only for tackling something after not having much sewing experience, but then turning right around and gifting them to family. She's a special girl!”

Her tutorial debut has generated more interest. On Wednesday, May 27, Michelle is planning another live class on how to sew masks, this time using T shirts donated by Thrivent Financial, which Michelle thinks is pretty cool. Jessica Berg, Associate Representative with Thrivent Financial, said “We’re so glad that Michelle was willing to work with us on this project. Our goal is to mail out 100 t shirts. Michelle estimated that two masks can be made with each shirt. Not only is she doing the sewing demonstration, but also how to make masks without a sewing machine. Once the masks are made, folks can distribute them to family, friends or organizations. We also have lists of places accepting homemade masks if someone doesn’t have a place for them to go. I can’t wait to dust off my sewing machine and tune in to Michelle’s lesson on May 27!”

T-Shirts will continue to be sent out while supplies last. Individuals and organizations who would like to request shirts can contact Jessica at 715-533-4795 or email

If a person can find anything positive to say about this pandemic of 2020, one thing would be how heartwarming it is when so many people have stepped up to the plate and are working together to help one another. Donations given, people like Michelle Deml who not only sews masks but teaches others, the others who in turn sew more masks and perhaps show others are added to the list of heroes who are making a difference during this difficult time. Gotta love that domino effect!


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