Thursday, March 26, 2020

Sewing Masks for Basic Protection

This blog is really about paper but given the times, I’ve been sewing masks.  So if you are a sewer and you ONLY need to how to sew in a straight line – this is a post for you. 

Super-fast, easy masks to protect yourself, family and co-workers. Note this is not an N95 mask suitable for health care providers!!

You can make 3 masks from 1 Fat Quarter! Break out your fabric stash – if you are a sewer you know have fabric.

These masks have an opening on the back (where your mouth is) so you can insert a filter. More on filters later.

Take a Fat Quarter (a piece of fabric that is ¼ of a yard but cut 18 x 22”), Cut out pieces 6 x 9.  So trim the quarter to 2 strips of 9 x 22 and then divide into 3 pieces of 6x9 and then the last piece 4 x 6 save this one.

Take 2 pieces of 6 x 9 and cut one in half so it’s 4 ½ x 6 – you’ll have 2 of these and they are the back lining that opens so you can insert a filter or a manufactured stiff mask.

Optional – you can serge the edges of the 3 pieces of fabric, I did this as I expect they will get washed a lot.

Take the 2 lining pieces and hem ½” on one of the 6” sides – do this for both linings.

Put your fabric pretty side up and layer on the linings the hem to the middle. Layer on the top lining. Now sew the linings to the edge of the front of the mask.

Press the lining so the wrong sides of front and back fabric are together.

Make 2 folds (pleats) that are about 1" wide and then press with a steam iron. 

Fold the ends of the mask, folding the front to the back to make a channel for your elastic.  Make the channel about ½” wide – do on both ends.

Insert about 10” of elastic, I could only get the corded elastic that is often used for jewelry making. I pushed a pencil in to open the channel and then used a safety pin to push the elastic through.  Knot the ends and the put the knot inside the channel (not just because it looks nicer but it’s more comfortable on the ears and survives the washing machine better).

Put the mask on and unfold the pleats, the top pleats face down, so the mask covers your nose and mouth. 

Easy – I created 18 of these pretty fast!

I hope you make some! Give them away to people facing clients or patients that are not in doctor’s offices or hospitals (e.g., physio, hairdressers, grocery clerks etc).

Stay safe (and sane!)
Happy sewing, MaryKate

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