Park City resident’s love of sewing helps community during the COVID-19 pandemic
Orders for hand-sewn masks can be submitted to Sallie Rinderknecht by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parkite Sallie Rinderknecht has sewn cloth masks to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in Park City since April 1.
As of Monday, Rinderknecht has made more than 300 masks, and, by selling them for $10 each, is ready to donate more than $3,000 to the Christian Center of Park City to help community members who have felt the impacts of lost work due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
“I had heard on the radio that the Christian Center was in need of donations, and I thought I could help,” she said.
Rinderknecht is also currently working to fill 100 more mask orders, including some for the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, she said.
“I’m on their board, and they asked me to make some masks in preparation of them opening back up to the public,” Rinderknecht said.
The mask sewing started with a request from Rinderknecht’s grandchildren, who live in Los Angeles.
“When this pandemic developed, they called and said, ‘Nana can you make us some masks?’” she said. “So I did, and after I sent masks off to California, my other daughter, whose family lives here in Park City, said, ‘Well, what about us?’”
The mask-making expanded from Rinderknecht’s immediate family when her friend, Emma Hoffman, co-owner of Harvest restaurant, heard about the masks.
“Harvest has been doing curbside pickup, and Emma asked me to make some masks for her staff,” Rinderknecht said.
A few weeks ago, Rinderknecht heard that the Christian Center of Park City needed donations and thought donating money from mask sales would be a way to help, she said.
Rinderknecht enjoys making the masks because she’s been sewing since she was a child.
“I come from a big family, and my mom made our clothes for us, and things just took off from there,” Rinderknecht said. “I’ve always liked sewing, knitting and making things for other people.”
Throughout the years Rinderknecht would make beach bags, Christmas stockings, napkins and place mats to give out during family reunions, and she started a business in San Diego called Kindercapes a little more than 10 years ago to make superhero capes for children.
Since moving to Park City in 2015, Rinderknecht has made her capes as silent auction items for Recycle Utah and Park City Education Foundation fundraisers, she said.
Rinderknecht has also sewn items including costumes and other accessories for the Figure Skating Club of Park City, because her granddaughter, Amelie Stein, is a member of the club, she said.
“One day, Amelie and her friend Bryn Roberts came over and asked if they could sew,” Rinderknecht said. “So we started putting together headbands, and we started making more when the other skaters saw them.”
The headbands were the start of Stein and Roberts’ business, Ice Bunnies, which donates a percentage of the sales to the Park City Ice Arena, Rinderknecht said.
“The two girls sewed for nearly two years in my workshop as Ice Bunnies,” she said. “And last spring, when the Ice Arena hosted a competition, the organizers approached the girls to make something they could put in a goodie bag.”
Because of her years spent sewing, Rinderknecht has collected the bolts of cloth and materials that she now uses to make masks.
“I could not have imagined a better use for the fabric than to serve the community,” she said. “We have felt very welcome ever since we moved here, and this is a way for me to give something back.”
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