For The Love Of...,  Sewing

Sewing Tutorial – DIY Face Mask

I am sure you have seen many mask patterns out there and everyone seems to have their favorite.  This one is mine – I have tried others but keep returning to this one.

Disclaimer: this face mask is not meant to replace the surgical face mask, it is a contingency plan for those who do not have access to surgical masks in the market. Proper use of a surgical mask is still the best way to prevent virus infection. But the CDC is now recommending that everyone where hand made masks when they go out – this will help stop the spread of germs by not sharing your own.

Why do I like this one?  It opens really wide and easily covers from my eyes down to below my chin.  You can put a bendable nose “clip” in it but I don’t have anything that will work for that and they are perfectly fine for our family’s needs without it.  Plus it is alot quicker to cut out.  The adult is 9 inches x 8 inches and for a toddler 7 inches by 7 inches.  No fancy shapes – just rectangle or square.  It is easy to cut out alot of rectangles quickly.

To begin you need two rectangles of a cotton fabric.  I am using one of this aztec design and one of bright orange.  I would have preferred red but didn’t have red – work with what you have.

Now it is recommended that you also include a layer of flannel for the best protection – or two if you sewing machine can handle it.  Mine can only handle one layer.

Although I do think this is a cute flannel pattern – it really doesn’t matter what you choose since no one will see it.  You want it simply for function not beauty.

Sew the flannel piece to the back side of one of the cotton pieces.  Make sure it is the back side of the cotton but it doesn’t really matter what side of the flannel is facing in or out.

Take a second away from that for now.  You need tshirt yarn – unless you are fortunate enough to have elastics but even then I will tell you why I prefer tshirt yarn a little later.  To make tshirt yarn you find a new or used tshirt – anything will do.  You can’t use any sewn seam – cut them all off.  I use every bit that isn’t sewn – neckline, short sleeves and of course the body of the shirt.  Cut into 1 inch strips.

Stretch that out.  When you stretch it out, it rolls into itself and takes on yarn like qualities but much more flexible than real yarn.  Cut to lengths of about 16 inches – you need four per mask.

Place the two cotton fabrics “right sides facing”. In my case the aztec pattern if facing orange.  My orange fabric doesn’t really matter which side is in or out.  Pin the end tshirt yarn into the four corners between the layers with everything that isn’t pinned – balled up in the center out of the way of your sewing.

Once you have pinned the layers together, start sewing.  You can sew all the way around but remember to leave a gap of about 2 inches on one side so you can flip it right side out (you are sewing it inside out).

Once you have it turned right side out – tuck the open area in and sew along the edge all the way around your new rectangle.  After you finish those edges you will start to make your pleats.  The pleats are essential – they allow the mask to open all the way up and hug your face in a way that you have maximum coverage.

Simply pull the fabric up then fold it down and pin.  You can put two or three pleats in your mask.  I tend to do two but it is entirely up to your preference.

Sometimes I sew the pleats down with one row of stitching, sometimes with two.  Two is better but sometimes I am in more of a hurry – your preference.

Now – why do I prefer tshirt yarn?  Because I have two options.  I can easily wear the mask with the string tied behind my head and neck.  But if I simply knot the string (and tshirt yarn un-knots very easily) then I can also easily choose to put it behind my ears and very comfortably.

If you’d like another great mask alternative, check out my friends option at StuckAtHomeMom!

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