Birmingham costume designer turned mask maker spreads joy with fashionable face coverings

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — One local costume designer is putting her creativity to good use making original face coverings during the pandemic.

April Bonasera graduated from the University of Alabama in 2009 as an apparel and textile major. She’s been costuming professionally for eight years now, and has even worked as a draper for the LA Opera. But her design focus shifted when the coronavirus crisis began. She’s been sewing masks every day since March 30, 2020.

“People tell me all the time when they see my posts on Instagram about masks, they’ll message me and say how they love seeing such creativity and passion, the fabrics that I use,” Bonasera said. “And it makes them happy.” 

Bonasera said she puts as much detail, care and love into the masks as she does her costumes. She uses a technique called “flat lining” to add body to her silks masks with silk chiffon filters. The material is selected to make for lightweight and breathable face coverings. 

“When you’re costuming a huge production, things have to last because they’re gonna be worn over and over again,” she said. 

Bonasera applies that same philosophy to making masks. She’s sold 2,000 masks so far. Some have been donated to Be a Blessing in Birmingham.

You can purchase Bonasera’s masks on her website.


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