So after lots of request over the last few weeks I’ve put together a video of a face mask I’ve sewn up. I’ve been very hesitant about sharing this as I am a member of lots of sewing groups online and most, if not all of the people, who have shared any requests for mask sewing patterns or patterns of their own have been bombarded with criticism and opinions on how they don’t work etc etc.
For me, personally, I have worn a mask several times over the last few months whilst travelling in Malaysia and Australia, and I’m certainly not the only one. Once I would have stared at someone wearing a mask in an airport but on this trip, particularly on one of the earlier flights I was taking, I was the one being stared at without a mask. So, for me, I felt it necessary to have one. As soon as word of Corona/Covid got out masks were impossible to get, unless you paid an extortionate amount of money for them so I started playing around with a pattern to make my own. I have read copious amounts of articles on the advantages/disadvantages of same and what I want to make VERY CLEAR to everyone is that this mask/face cover is something I have made for my own personal use. I am not a medical person, I am not saying this is going to prevent you getting the virus but from having worn masks several times over the last few months I will say they absaloutley make you aware of how many times you touch your face and that alone is why I will continue to wear one when travelling. On the downside, as somone who has asthma, I will say I find them quite restrictive, if you are wearing it for a long time it gets very hot and I find it hard to breathe. That being said I feel better wearing one than not, especially when flying. I have chosen to make the mask with the elastic either side so you can loop it around each ear – for me I find that the most practical because I can remove it from one side if I feel like I need air, but it still stays in place. I’ve worn the ones that you have to tie around your head but I find they get loose and come undone, worst still fall off. There are a lot of tutorials out there showing you how to make these but many of them aren’t including the wire which I have included in mine. The wire is important as it allows you to secure the mask around your nose and not create gaps.
You will need:
- Cotton fabric (There is a minefield of information on what fabric to use online so I would suggest you google this and decide for yourself. After reading lots of articles I felt cotton was the best option for me, this is a good article about fabric )
- 1/4 inch elastic – cut two 21cm long
- Fine wire or a tie that you get with plastic sandwich bags.
- Sewing thread
- Needle (Or sewing machine)
Instructions to make:
Create a paper pattern by drawing a 19cm x 19cm square (This will be a cutting pattern with 1.5 cm seam allowance included) Download pattern here
Mark out the pleats by measuring down 5.5cm
Then at 6.5 cm , 9cn , 10cm 12cm and 13.5cm on either edge of the pattern
Mark out a section approx 3cm at the bottom of the pattern
Make sure to label TOP at the top of the pattern
Place the pattern on your fabric and cut two out (I used a calico cotton for the back of the mask and printed quilting cotton for the front)
Now mark out the pleats on both pieces of fabric and iron them in place.
Lay the elastic on top of the right right side of the fabric and hand stitch in place
Now hand stitch the wire into the top of the wrong side of the lining fabric
Then place both pieces of fabric right side together and sew all around with a backstitch (straight stich if you are using a sewing machine)
Make sure to trim the excess fabric around the edge before turning inside out.
Give it another iron and remember to stitch up the gap.
The idea of these masks is that once you have worn it you can boil wash it before using again. Again this is not going to prevent you catching any virus, this is something I have made for my own personal use and have had lots of requests for. Please seek medical advice. I have contacted the HSE asking if they have any guidelines on making masks and they responded with “