About Karen

“It looks like we are going to be wearing masks for quite some time, they might as well be fun!”

I don’t know about you, but this Pandemic has definitely changed life as I know it. The majority of my custom designs are geared towards performers and special events. When NYC shut down I sensed it was just the beginning of a shift, especially in nightlife, performing arts, and of course celebratory gatherings like weddings.

My first instinct was to make myself some masks for necessary outings like grocery shopping. Then I realized how many people were stuck at home, with not much to do, and I thought, “why not create a tutorial, very basic, so everyone can make their own fabric face masks?!”

A lot of research went into the making of the tutorial ~ what is the best fabric to use, how many layers, how protective are they, breathability, what materials would be available because we are all stuck at home… etc. Through the months a lot more information on protective face masks has become available and I try to stay on top of it all. The one main thing I do know is that it is better to wear one!!

There are a lot of fans of my work who preferred to kindly support and buy them from me so I decided to get creative. I’m using my self-designed printed cotton based on my original illustration and watercolor art, hand-painting big smiles on cotton sateen, and now I’m diving into my collection of brocades and other vintage fabrics and trims that I have been saving from my decades-long design work.

I must point out these are not hospital grade masks. Each mask is made of at least two layers of tightly woven cotton, has adjustable 1/8" elastic ear loops for a comfortable fit, and made as sustainably and safely as possible in New York’s Lower East Side!


To view more of Karen’s past design work visit ~ karenfleischdesigns.com
Learn to hand sew your own mask ~ YouTube mask making tutorial

Photo of Karen Fleisch by Anka Itskovich… @the_line_up
Photo of Kelley Swindall by Erik Vervroegen… @kelley_swindall
Models… Jannan Simon and Stephen Tomac
Site design by Sue Candia… art@duckinc.com