My house has turned into a mask factory. I am hearing lots of people say it’s hard to make a mask. I have seen lots of different patterns and ended up taking bits of patterns and creating a mask that I think is pretty simple to make as long as you have the most basic sewing machine skills.
Step 1: you need a piece of fabric 9inches wide and about 13 inches long. You’ll also need two peices of elastic cut 7inches each. No elastic? Use a long strand of ribbon or shoe laces or what ever you have. Optional, but very handy is if you have a pipe cleaner or even better a long garden tie for a nose piece.
Step 2: fold the top down about one inch and sew. Notice I didn’t sew all the way across. This is so I can slide the wire in and out as needed once the mask is fully put together. On the bottom fold up a quarter inch and sew all the way across.
Step 3: if you have wire now is the time to add it. Look close, I have 8 inch garden ties which are like sturdy twisty ties. Slide it through the pocket and curl the ends to keep it in place. If you don’t have wire simply skip this step.
Step 4: fold the sides in one quarter of an inch. No need to pin, fold and work one side at a time.
Step 5: being sure to keep that side folded, now fold up the bottom so your fabric starts to resemble a mask….now it’s time to get out the pins!
Step 6: pin your elastic in place. Notice I’m only doing one side at a time…..this makes life easier.
Step 7: fold and pin the pleats. Doesn’t have to be exact. But the pleats are vital as this makes the mask fit closer to your skin which helps keep germs out of your face. Without this step the masks is near useless.
Step 8: repeat steps 4-7 on the other side of the mask. Now it’s time to get the sewing machine out!
Step 9: sew around the perimeter of the mask. But this part is vital, see my fingers? Sew from where my index finger is all the way around to my middle finger….but leave the space between unsewn…this will create a pocket. This pocket is where you can insert a filter if you have one. This is a very very handy capability of your masks! If you don’t have a filter do this anyway. We will go over filters at the end.
Step 10: I’ve sewn the perimeter leaving the space at the top opened to create a pocket. Tie those threads and trim them and you have just made your very 1st mask! By mask two or three you won’t even need to reference the pattern anymore, you’ll be able to make them on your own!
See how the pleats fold out creating a curve? This is what fits your face so much better than other types of face coverings! But most importantly please be sure this mask is over your mouth AND nose. Soooo many people have thier noses uncovered….germs can enter and exit your nose just as easily as your mouth. Leaving your nose uncovered you might just as well not wear a mask at all. Masks to get warm and hard to breathe…I have asthma, trust me I struggle wearing masks while shopping. Do your best to keep that mask on properly.
Here is the pocket! There’s a lot of options for filters. A coffee filter, tissue, paper towel. Basically something to create yet another barrier between you and others. I personally like the coffee filters. They fold up and slip right into this pocket. Do your errands and when you come home throw the filter away. Be sure you are washing your mask too. Wash in the regular laundry or by hand and air dry. I’ve even heard of microwaving them! This is why I made that 2nd step with the space left on either side. The mask can be turned inside out and the wire removed for microwaving for 1-2 min….then the wire can be slid back in and your mask is cleaned.
Children’s masks are the same steps, for kids about 8years and under have the fabric cut to a 7x 11 inch fabric. Children older then 8 should fit ok in an adult mask.
I’ve made hundereds of masks at this point and I’ve only had 3 men who don’t fit in them. So if you have men in your life with a wider head try using 9 inch elastic for thier masks. This seems to have helped them alot.
Good luck on your mask making!!!! Hope this pattern helps!