Do you feel intimidated when you see the face mask patterns on Facebook and YouTube? I do. Some of them are hard for me to understand. Sewing directions are difficult to write, even when you have plenty of pictures to show. So, I combined the ideas of my two favorite mask tutorials, and added my own spin. If you’re like me, you need a mask tutorial for dummies.
When the CDC recommended wearing masks to guard against the spread of the corona virus, I had just given away my huge roll of 1/2″ elastic to a friend making masks for the health care workers in my town. Although I had plenty of cotton fat quarters to choose from, my options for attaching the mask were limited. I used ribbon on my first one, and elastic cording on the second one. The elastic cording was adjustable and stretchy. I liked looping the elastic over my ears much more than tying two sets of ribbons. The kitty cat mask with the elastic cording is the one I’ll be focusing on for this tutorial.
Materials for Face Masks:
- cotton material- I had four different cotton fat quarter pieces (two 13′ by 7″ pieces of material per mask)
- bias tape- 6″ by 2″
- 6″ piece of pipe cleaner or floral wire for the optional nose wire (not pictured)
- ribbon, elastic cording, hair ties, or shoe strings- elastic is even better, 1/4″ or 1/2″ if you can find it. Most stores are sold out right now.
- fabric scissors
- sewing machine
- basic sewing supplies
- a good, printable pattern for the face mask can be found at Craft Passion or Hello Sewing
Put wrong sides together and cut 2 pieces for the main fabric, and two pieces for the lining. Leave a 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around, except at the ears. Leave a 1″ seam allowance here. The instructions on the other blogs suggested making the liner layer with no seam allowance at the ear. Clearly, I did my own thing, and made both sections the same. Remove the pins, then put the right sides of the fabric together and sew along the curve. This would be a great time to cut a 6″ piece of bias tape.
Clip the fabric along the curve up to the seam on the main fabric and the liner, so that your face mask will lay nicely on your face. Do not clip the seam!
Iron the clipped seam down on both the main fabric and liner. The above picture was taken while I was making the first mask.
Pin the 6″ bias tape to the right side of the lining, then sew along the bottom edge of the bias tape.
This is where I digressed from the directions. I took the main fabric and folded the ends over two times, then sewed it. I thought it might be easier to sew the ends of each layer seperately.
Next, I folded the liner ends over two times and put the elastic cording inside. Then, I sewed the ends.
Pin the liner and main fabric with right sides together, then sew a seam along the top and bottom. Don’t sew the ends where the ears are! Leave this part open. You’ll have a pocket on each side of your mask, where you can insert a coffee filter, a piece of a clean, unused vacuum cleaner bag, or anything that can serve as a disposable filter. Hopefully we’ll receive updates from the CDC regarding masks and preventing the transmission of the corona virus. Turn the fabric right side out, then iron. You’re all done!
Since you made it this far, I’ll show you how I made the first mask. I sewed a 2′ length of ribbon to the liner on each side. It was simple, but it’s kind of a pain to tie the ribbon over your ears and behind your neck. See the yellow bias tape? That’s where you slip the 6″ piece of pipe cleaner for the nose wire. I don’t know if I will ever use a nose wire or not because my mask fits great without one. Supposedly the nose wire gives you a tighter, better fit. I’ll have to try it once I find my pipe cleaners. Stay safe! Wear your mask if you go out!
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