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karen lozner of karens school of fashion ny nj featured on the new york times

They Had Big Plans for the Lockdown. This Is What Happened.

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As the pandemic drags on, some of us who had grand plans for self improvement as we sheltered in place are tearing up those to-do lists.

Indeed, Sewmark Sewing Machines, a store in the garment district, sold three times more machines this spring than a year earlier. Karen Lozner, 51, the founder of the Karen School of Fashion, noticed in March that fueled by fears of a shortage of masks, people began signing up to learn how to make them. And some, like Mr. Kallo, she said, “are staying with it. While they’re not working, they figure it might be nice to learn how to fix their pants.”

Or maybe, to expand their waistband for the extra “quarantine 15” pounds that some have packed on despite early stabs at exercise.

In April, interest for yoga classes surged, with about a third of sign-ups being first-timers, said Tori Milner, 48, an instructor at the Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York, which went online after closing its Manhattan and Brooklyn studios.

Originally posted on Sept. 25, 2020 by C.J. Hughes on NYTimes.com. Read the full article here.

School moves from making fashion to face masks

School Moves From Making Fashion to Face Masks (APP.COM)

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Typically, students at Karen’s School of Fashion spend their time learning the ins and out of dress sewing and design.

But with her classes transitioning online during the coronavirus crisis, owner Karen Lozner decided another task would take priority: making washable cotton and polyester masks for health care professionals.

“First and foremost, we need to protect our doctors and those in the medical field,” Lozner said. “If you don’t take care of the doctors, how are they going to take care of the sick?”

Karen’s School of Fashion has locations in Marlboro, Little Silver and Manhattan. About 25 to 30 students, ranging in ages from teenagers to adults, will each make about five masks at home by the end of the week, she said.

Lozner, who opened the business in 2012, designed the masks herself. They’re made from cotton on the outside and polyester on the inside. Last week, she showed students how to do it.

“If we don’t have the supplies at hand, we made them out of whatever supplies we had at home,” Lozner said. That could mean pieces of fabric from cotton sheets and polyester from pillows.

The masks are not the same as the sought-after N95 masks in demand right now, but they are helpful for other uses, she said. “They do offer some protection,” Lozner said. “We’re not making any claims they are N95.” But they can be worn over a N95 mask, she added.

She also made sure they can stand up to being washed and sterilized, Lozner said.

Masks made by Karen's School of Fashion (Photo: Courtesy of Karen Lozner)

Masks made by Karen’s School of Fashion

She has already distributed masks to the doctor’s office and will send out more when her her students have them ready.

“I don’t think people really understand how deep this and how much we are all in this together,” Lozner said. “We can make a difference if we do this together.”

Originally posted on App.com by David P. Willis: dwillis@gannettnj.com.

KSOF Has Gone Virtual: Our Response to Covid-19

KSOF Has Gone Virtual: Our Response to Covid-19

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Dear friends,

Out of concern for the health and safety of our customers, all classes will be temporarily moved online via Zoom until further notice.

How KSOF Online Classes Work

After registering for a class, you will receive a confirmation email like usual. Then, 24 hours before your class’s starting time, you will receive another email from Karen with an invite to your online Zoom class along with additional information on how to join your class.

For any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Karen Lozner directly via email at fashionschoolnj@gmail.com.


What You’ll Need for Your Virtual KSOF Classes

All students will need the following products prior to online classes:

  • Sewing machine – Buy From KSOF and receive a 10% discount + 2 – hour sewing machine class. Use Code JUKI for discount. BUY NOW
  • Ruler (1ft)
  • Hip curve
  • French curve
  • Straight-edge ruler
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Pin cushion
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • 1 yard of fabric (depending on your project)

What’s New At KSOF

As many of you have probably heard, doctors and other healthcare workers all over the country are in dire need of masks. I’m making 35 of them today to help my student’s dad who is a doctor and only has 5 more masks left!

So for the next 2 weeks of classes, we will all join in an effort to help the healthcare teams in our communities as we learn how to make a mask. By putting our fashion skills to the test by learning how to make masks for your own use or the use of others, we are serving a common good. And while these will not be medical-grade masks (*see below from CDC web site), they can still serve a purpose.

Know that we will be joining fashion designers from all around the country that are doing their part by dedicating efforts to this cause.

The supplies you will need for this project are:

  • all sewing supplies
  • 1 yard of cotton or polyester fabric (bed sheet, t-shirt, pillow case, etc.)
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • pins
  • scissors
  • polyester stuffing (can use from a pillow that you don’t need). You will need this polyester stuffing (filler batting) by 2nd week of class.

* Per the CDC web site…

HCP use of homemade masks:

In settings where face-masks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.

Also, we have had to cancel the Tuesday’s Open Studio Day starting immediately due to the health concern of staff and students. And due to the government lock-down, we will remain closed on Tuesday’s until further notice.

Thank you for your continued support.

Stay healthy!

Karen Lozner

KSOF | Karen's School of Fashion Sewing and Fashion Design in NY and NJ