How to sew a mask

How to sew a mask

I know this is a popular topic right now, and I’ve seen tutorials for crocheted face masks, knitted ones, sewn ones, as well as with fabric bandanas, and elastics. After reading quite a few, I put together the bits and pieces, and figured out a way to piece them together that made sense to me

So let me start by saying that these are not hospital grade masks. They do help protect the wearer from spreading a virus, as well as offer some protection from breathing in particles. So, these are not for medical professionals, but the way I look at it is regular people like myself can use them so I don’t have to take a mask away from someone who really needs it.

I am also giving instructions to make these with an open top so a N95 filter can be inserted into the top. So that they can provide more protection to the wearer. The below is an Amazon listing for the N95 filters, just so you can see.

I started by picking some plain cotton fabric. I washed, dried and ironed it before starting.

I used a cardboard template to cut out two pieces for each mask. One out of plain white cotton, and one out of the patterned cotton. Both pieces measured 23x17cm.

Then I used my serger to serge around all of the edges. This step isn’t necessary, but I figured it would help them last longer, but if you don’t have a serger, just skip this step.

If you put a piece of wire or pipe cleaner at the top, it can be squeezed at the bridge of your nose to hold the mask in place, and limit the amount of air and particles that get in the top. So I found some nice, long twist ties that I thought would work perfect. I ended up using two twist ties in each mask.

I turned down the top hem of the patterned fabric and sewed the twist tie in

And I sewed down the top hem of the plain white fabric, about the same amount.

Then, I put the two layers of fabric, right sides together, lining up the finished edges on both pieces. I also pinned the elastic on both sides of the narrow ends, about a centimetre in looping from the top and bottom (See picture below) I pinned in between the two fabrics so when you turn it right side out, the elastic is already in place.

The two pins below are holding the elastic in place.

Then, I sewed around the sides, and bottom, leaving the top open. I clipped a bit of the excess fabric off the corners. Then I turned it right side out and gave it a quick iron.

I pinned a couple tucks in both sides, and tried to make both sides even. The reason you do these tucks is so when you put the mask on your face, it conforms to the curves of your face .

After I finished making sure the tucks were even and pinned, I top stitched around the sides and bottom to keep the tucks in place and I gave the mask another final iron.

That’s it, I purposely left the top open,so you can tuck in a filter and the fabric expands to cover your face. The twist tie inside lets you squeeze the mask tight around your nose.

I did do a bit of a production run! It’s much easier, and faster to make 10 at once, than make 10, one at a time. I also made little tags to go with the masks. Here are the results of my first production, most of which are already spoken for.

Here is a copy of the information I put with each mask. I basically gave instructions to wash first, the comparison to a N95 mask, and how to wear the mask.

I almost forgot, I did try out making a few smaller masks, hoping to make some that would fit kids, but I honestly have no idea how to size them, so I just trimmed off a couple centimetres off of each edge of the fabric.

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