It's a little crazy that we are at a point where our healthcare workers are using handmade, reusable face masks. But it's the world we're living in right now!
I shared a how to on my Instagram stories, but I had a couple of requests for something a little more comprehensive and easier to follow. :)
What you need:
- Sewing Machine
- Straight Pins
- Safety Pin
- 100% Cotton Fabric (prewashed and dried on high heat without a dryer sheet)
- Tightly woven cotton fabric is suggested
- Elastic, ribbon, bias tape, or something you can use to make ties (1/4"-3/8" flat elastic works best, thick elastic bead cord will work as well)
- Paper Pattern (& a printer!) - print at 100% or actual size
- Optional: Wire for flexible nose piece
1. Print out the paper pattern and carefully cut out. I printed 2 to help make cutting a little faster.
2. Fold your fabric in half so that the "right" sides are facing each other (this will be helpful for sewing, especially if you are making several masks all at once). Using straight pins, pin the paper pattern pieces to the fabric through both layers.
3. Carefully cut the fabric around the paper pattern pieces. Then remove pins and paper pieces. This will leave you with two sets of 2 fabric pieces (still "right" sides together).
4. Using your machine's 1/4" seam allowance setting, if it has one, sew each set of 2 pieces together along the curved edge.
5. Using your scissors, carefully cut into the seam allowance you just created about every 1/2" all the way down on both sewn together pieces. Be careful not to cut into the thread. This will help the fabric curve and reduce bulk.
6. Open up both pieces and put together, "right" sides together. This step can be a little tricky, but stick with it and they should align.
7. You're going to sew the 2 opened up pieces together using the same 1/4" seam allowance. Start about a third of the way in along the bottom and sew almost all the way around the entire mask. You're going to stop about 1 1/2" away from the spot you began sewing and leave an opening.
8. Trim corners, excess fabric on the nose piece and any loose threads, then turn the mask right side out and press all your seams flat.
8a. If you want to include the flexible nose piece, here is where you will do that. With the mask laying nose side pointing away from you, you will sew a line about 1/2" down from top and about 3 inches long, in the middle of the top (nose piece) following the edge of the mask to create a channel where you will be able to add the wire. Also sew shut the side of the channel that is opposite of your opening, leaving one side open for you to fish the wire into.
8b. Cut a piece of wire about 3 1/2" long (you can use pipe cleaner or bread ties as well), fold over the sharp ends, then using the opening you created in step 7, fish the wire up through the mask and into the channel. Once in place, sew shut the last side of the channel to keep the wire in place.
9. Head back to the sewing machine, and again using the 1/4" seam allowance, sew ALL the way around the mask, making sure to close up the opening you left in step 7. If you included the wire nose piece in your mask, either be very careful when sewing past the wire, or skip over that part of the mask.
10. Fold over the right side of the mask to create a tunnel that you will use to hold the elastic or ties. Fold over approximately 1" and sew down along the same seam you created in step 9. Repeat on the left side of the mask. You should now have a tunnel on each side of the mask.
11. If you are using elastic, cut a length of approximately 24". If you are using ribbon, bias tape, or anything non-stretchy, cut a length approximately 36" and knot the ends so they don't fray. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic/tie to help feed it through the tunnels. With the face mask "nose side" up feed the elastic/tie up through the right tunnel, then down through the left tunnel. If you are using elastic, tie the loose ends together. If you are using anything non-stretchy leave them loose. They need to be a little longer in order to tie on around the head.
12. Repeat as many times as you'd like! Find a local hospital or doctor's office in need to donate extra masks to. If you are on Facebook, there are a lot of groups that are coordinating donations - just do a quick search!