Since resources are running low, it has become popular to make home made masks out of fabric. The CDC recommends the use of at home face masks (like bandanas or scarves) used in combination with a face shield as a very last resort. While these are in no way the same as N95 or PPD masks to protect against coronavirus, some health care workers have been requesting them to be used as a last resort. Here are some links that have been shared with me about the effectiveness of home made masks:
- This was one of the first articles to go viral asking at home sewers to make the Deaconess Mask.
- My sister (a doctor) sent me this article that has a disclaimer that fabric face could actually be more harmful, but could also be a visual sign of our sacrifice during this time.
- My best friend Jo sent me this article which is a study that was done to show what home made items are the best for filtering (spoiler alert, 2 layers of 100% cotton was the winner).
- A Taiwanese doctor recommended a pocket version of a mask that can accommodate a non-woven filter like a vaccuum bag. This is how I’m modeling these DIY masks.
As always, please educate yourselves and make your own informed decisions about masks. I tried a few different mask designs before settling on this version that is the easiest to make with the least amount of materials. This style features:
- Easy, straight stitches for beginners
- Straps that tie around the head for a custom fit
- Pocket to fit a filter
- Wire insertion for comfort over the nose
- 10″ of fabric cut by the bolt (14″ to make 2 masks)
- wire (twist ties or pipe cleaners work well)
- Sewing machine and scissors
1) Cut your fabric
- To make the mask, you will need 2 rectangles, 9″ wide and 6″ tall.
- Cut two 2″ straps the full length of the bolt, so 44″ all spread out, or 22″ folded in half. You can also use ribbon for this.
2) Finish the ends of the bottom of both rectangles by folding under twice and sewing
3) Put right sides together and sew the top of the mask.
4) (optional) Add a wire by placing it in the middle of the top seam in between the layers.
5) Close up the mask and top stitch the top seam. Top stitch means to sew a line right on top.
6) Pleat the right side of the mask by folding and sewing right on top. You should have about 3 pleats per mask and the side should end up to be about 3″. It doesn’t have to be precise.
7) Pleat the other side of the mask by starting at the bottom, matching the folds of the mask on the opposite side, folding upwards, and sewing over.
8) Now we’re going to create the strap, also called bias tape! Taking one of your 2″ strips, fold under the very end of the strap (red line). Fold the strap lengthwise to find the midline (blue line), and fold both edges inward to meet the middle (green line).
Then fold the entire strap in half again so you essentially have the 2″ strap folded in fourths. Top stitch the strap along the edge so it stays together.
9) Once you get near the middle, sandwich the side of the mask in between the bias tape and sew in place.
10) Continue on to finish sewing the edge of the strap. When you get to the end, fold under the edge, and sew the edges together.
11) Repeat the process for the opposite side with the second strap.
That’s it! You’ve made a mask in just 11 easy steps using only straight lines. Told you it was easy! If you have headband elastic, you can also use that in place of the bias straps with about 30″ lengths. Here’s also a photo of the pocket where you can insert your filter.
If you have any questions, you can find me on instagram @littlegraythread where I have a step-by-step tutorial saved in my highlights.