LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The careers of many professional Cosplayers are put on halt after the Coronavirus pandemic cancelled major events, like Comic-Con. With additional down-time and tons of fabric without any use, some in the local Cosplay community decided to make a difference. 

During this time, many people are working from home. Some professions, like cosplayers, receive their main source of income from events. I spoke with a local woman who decided to put her talents to other use by help meeting the shortage supply of masks for essential workers.

“I had some fabric that had all these cute little characters on it. I’ve never made anything with it so I said what better way to use it then during a crisis,” said Brigette Rose, a professional costumer and cosplayer. 

Rose has spent the past decade designing costumes. Aside from her gig as a radio host and blogger, her two worlds have collided to bring hope through every stitch. 

“A lot of times, Cosplayers like me are the only ones that are kind of doing the old-fashioned thing of sewing their own stuff. I feel like it’s a lost art and this is one of the times it’s going to be able to shine and people will be able to do it to do some good,” said Rose. 

Now over 4,000 people are doing just that with a Facebook initiative called, ‘Sew You Care.’ It began in Bossier City with her friend Jessy-Broughton Gillespie, who is also a professional costumer. 

“When there is an unprecedented problem, we come up with an unprecedented solution. This is what that is. It’s people who said, ‘Yes I have a sewing machine. Yes, I have fabric. I can do this.’ And they did,” she said. 

The cotton masks are pre-washed and then washed again after being sewn. They are homemade and not suitable for medical grade protection. They act as a second barrier. 

 “A lot of these masks that people are sewing they have pockets in the back. So nurses can take this, cut the strings off, slip it inside of there and now they’re able to extend the life of their masks,” said  Broughton-Gillespie. 

It’s a dire need of protection that even Cosplayers are able to contribute to and have fun with at home. 

With overflowing support, Sew You Care has already distributed over 12,000 masks. 

“We’re being reached out from people in South Africa, Germany, Italy, and the UK, that are saying, ‘Hey, how are ya’ll doing this? Teach us so we can be ready,'”  Broughton-Gillespie added.

Currently, the movement needs more seamstresses. If you would like to participate, but don’t know how to sew, the group is also giving tutorials on their page, ‘Sew You Care’ on Facebook.  The initiative now has 19 chapters in 17 states. Their latest project in Acadiana is to make 200 masks for an ICU in New Iberia that’s in need.