I Made a Mask!

Since the idea of wearing mask has been mooted, I have considered making one. However the big question was what sort?

Never one to make a hasty decision, I looked at the suggested options. There was the no cutting, no sewing, version using a scarf that you folded but I didn’t have any suitable scarves, so that was out. The cutting up a T-shirt method. Well I have plenty of old T-shirts I could use but once I saw two different ways of doing it that seemed a problem. How to choose the best method?

There was also a method sewing a rectangle of cloth, well I should be able to do one that needed sewing; I even had my sewing machine out after making my last phone case. But I didn’t need a mask yet.

Then the government started talking about wearing masks in certain situations  and they even gave suggestions. So I looked. But their sewing version used square pieces of cloth, Oh dear! Was a square better?

A few days later, when my next door neightbour kindly went and bought me some milk, I saw that she was wearing one that her sister sent her, she said, which was shaped and looked really good.

Then I read a post about somebody else having made a shaped mask which contained a link to a YouTube video. I spent almost an hour watching the video, most unusual for me because I normally avoid videos when on-line, preferring photographs and writing. Made copious notes and decided that that was the one for me! my notes

There was a suggestion to cut up pillow cases but all my pillow cases are poly-cotton and I need them, so I went and found my scraps of cotton material left from making my trousers.

I decided to make one from the material of the trousers I was wearing at the time because it is such a happy fabric.

But first I had to make the pattern so I got what I needed together.what I needed

The suggestion had been that you draw the curved lines freehand, having been told how far from the line the centre was. Well I knew I couldn’t make a good job of that so, remembering what I had learnt in Geometry, all those years ago, about how to find the centre of a circle through three points, I got out my compass and used that.

Cut out the pattern.

pattern pieceThen found the fabric. trouser materialBut I also needed another fabric for the lining.

I got out the material for my plainer trousers and some of the curtain lining material I had used when mending my chair cover other materialand decided that the trouser material would be better against the face.

So I pinned the fabric to the first material pattern pinned on materialand afterwards the other lining pinnedand cut out the four pieces I needed. four pieces cut outPinned them together in pairs, right sides together. four pieces pinnedSewed the seams.four pieces sewnI was actually quite pleased and was pleasantly surprised that I had managed this well.

Now it was time to clip the seams seams clippedand get out the iron,before pinning the other edges togetherother edges pinnedand sewing. all sewing doneNot quite such good sewing this time.

Then you had to turn them the right side out, give it an iron and add a row of stitching to make a casing to hold a piece of wire.right side outI couldn’t find the purple thread I had used when making the trousers; wasn’t even sure I hadn’t used it all up, so I was using the white the machine was threaded with. (I don’t have much cotton except white and black at present.)

Now I needed a piece of wire. I unfolded a paper clip as had been suggested unfolded paper clipbut it seemed much too stiff, so I went in the garage and found this piece of garden tie. garden tie

I had the same problem threading it through as the woman in the video 🙂 but eventually it was done and all I needed was to add some elastic.

Luckily I found that I had some, though, here again, not a great deal.

And so I finished the mask. completed mask

I also made an ear saver from Wild Daffodil’s free pattern. ear saverHowever when I used it, the elastic was too tight. The elastic was not too uncomfortable around my ears, though the mask sits a little too near my eyes. I think the tops of my ears are to high!

Here I am wearing it. mask worn

The next day I tried some new elastic that I had.

cord elasticCut a longer piece than the other elastic and tied two knots in the end to make it easier to sew in securely and gave one side a try with the ear saver. Since this seemed better I replaced the elastic both sides. I found for best fit I needed to shorten the elastic a little new elastic on maskbut I will leave it like that for now.

Here is the new fitting. mask wornIt feels more comfortable like this. slight side viewNot that I think I will ever really enjoy it.

I then I went on to make another one for my daughter.

She asked for a sober outer. (Well she might have to wear it for work.)mask for daughter and I managed to find a little turquoise thread for the top stitching.

However she did say to give her a fun lining because the mask is reversible.

So I gave her parrots, on rightparrot on right sideand left sides. parrot on left side

Not sure if to leave her to add the wire and elastic herself – we’ll see!

If you are interested

Here is where you will find the video – Face mask sewing tutorial: Create a fitted face mask with changeable filter | Creative Bloq

And here is a link to the ear saver pattern – https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/ear-savers/

20 thoughts on “I Made a Mask!

  1. You did a lovely job with the mask. I think they are both good looking enough for public wear.. My daughter made the sort of square one and used material to make the ties behind the head.. Helps keep the ears from being too involved. My sons grabbed those for their work cause one had been using the elastic ones and really didn’t like them even with the ear savers.. When I shop , I see so many different styles. I like your materials.. Makes them happy mask which will be better if there are little ones around.- not as scary as some of the more somber ones.
    Do take care , wear your mask and wash those hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I made the mask to wear for going shopping which I hardly ever do, as I have other people who kindly get me things. Not sure when to risk going back to visiting the supermarket myself. but it will be handy when I do. my latest version with the elastic is okay but if you have ties are they elasticated or just like ribbon?

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  2. Just like bias tape (made from your material). No elastic and yes tied in the back. She ran hers down the sides of the mask leaving these huge tails – one on each side- so can tie in back .. and the ties them selves could be cut for what ever kind of tie fit the person wants.. short or long.. So tie tops and tie bottoms… but only 2 actual strips made from the material She also made the mask to fit from ear to ear and not mid face.. They cover from nose to under the chin quite well.. Now that metal in the nose was and still is an issue.. may be able to get better wires now that stores are starting to reopen.
    Be cautious with your adventures into the world but please don’t let your self stay in the house all of the time.. Go for walks or shopping .. Here they have big dots on the ground to indicate 6 feet and they have aisles marked to go in one direction only and it is an interesting experience. Some folks are not quite socializing but not afraid to talk to each other either.. I guess you would say the friendly folks are trying to make the best of a lousy situation.
    We are opening our above ground pool this weekend and are in phase 2-3 with the social interaction part.. My daughter has invited several co workers over- Sunday we will have one of the ladies and her daughter and then Monday ( a holiday here) , we will have a different coworker over. It will be nice to see a few folks using the pool like it needs to be used..

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    1. I am going for walks and try to keep as far away from people as I can! Some routes can involve very few encounters thankfully. Thanks for info re ties. I’ll give my daughter a choice. Having a pool sounds fun.

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  3. Your masks are great, they’d do well here. We are obliged to wear masks EVERYWHERE, apparently even when you’re walking or driving on your own….. We have recently been “allowed” to exercise between 6 and 9 every morning, but if you’re jogging or cycling you still have to mask up.
    There are a thousand new mask makers advertising on ig and facebook. I have made a few but am over it now !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the link.
    I think the NHS masks have different elastic in type and length, which is why they need the Mask Bands. The nurse I made them for says the elastic is always too long for her and the masks fit better to the face with the bands and save the ears. Why they can’t design a mask fit for purpose for key workers is beyond me!

    I love the fabrics you have used and your mask looks great. I would hate to have to wear one to work in though!

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    1. I have found the mask is more adjustable to fit with the longer elastic and ear saver. So that’s what I did for my daughter too. Since she will be working from home most of the time she will only need the mask one day a week when she goes back to going to Cambridge.

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