When COVID-19 struck, many people who sew or craft either as hobbyists or professionals, went into face mask production mode. There was a proliferation of face mask patterns available for free on the Internet. Those making the masks shared images of their creations. They also shared insight into which patterns, fabric and supplies work best. There were write-ups on best fitting and most comfortable masks. Eventually, famous designers and clothing manufacturers got into business, along with cottage industry crafters.
I made several decisions. First, I was going to wait and let the market and others figure out what worked best. Second, I might make a few masks for myself that functioned both as a personal health solution, but also as a fashion accessory. Third, should I feel inclined I might make a few for friends and family. It wasn’t until my brother approached me about making masks for him and his family, that I made the fourth decision. If someone wanted me to make masks for them, I would do it for free, but request they donate to SAQA.
WHY THIS MASK?
A fellow art quilter shared on her blog the stunning masks she was making with batik fabric she collected over the years. I loved nearly everything about them. The face masks are fitted, include a nose clip, and come in several sizes which can be further adjusted by the wearer to fit their face. The pattern comes from PrettyHandyGirl.com.
MY PERSONAL TWEAKS
I never can resist adding my own tweaks to patterns. So, I adapted the mask to include all the features I believe are essential. That being said, these are not a substitution for industrial face masks and shields.
Those who must wear masks for long periods of time, quickly find that the material can be abrasive to the face. This is why my masks are lined with nylon jersey. It is less abrasive for long term wear. I use a two wire coffee bag tie as a nose clip. The ties are coated in plastic, allowing the masks to be washed. The double wire can be bent and unbent frequently, retains its shape and the clip stays intact. I use elastic cord, knotted at the end with a sliding plastic bead, for the ear loops. These fit comfortably over the ears. They also allow for a final tightening adjustment after the mask is in place. Finally, my masks come with a filter pocket should the wear want to insert a filter.
I recommend washing the masks in a lingerie bag using the delicates cycle. Hand washing the masks works, too.
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.