Finding a good mask to fit your face was probably not on anyone’s to-do list for 2020, but it has become one of our main concerns. Every face is different, so every mask needs to be a bit different, or at least easy to mold, to provide the right fit. The right fit matters because once you get the correct mask doing errands and working with a mask on is a lot easier.
At Craft Warehouse we’ve watched a lot of mask making videos and looked at many patterns. We really like this Sew Easy pattern book with 8 patterns and appliques for creating masks. You can also get the book in a bundle that we have created with college and sports fabric while supplies last.
We have a pattern we recommend that is pretty easy and very effective at keeping you safe. It also has a great video that will take you through the whole making of the mask (see below). Even people who have little sewing experience should be able to make a mask with this video. You could even try hand-sewing one if you need to.
Fabric for Masks
New research shows that the most effective homemade face masks are those made with tightly woven fabric and providing a good seal along the edges.“Quilting cotton, with two layers stitched together, turned out to be the best in terms of stopping capability,” said Verma. “For minimizing the chances of transmission, it is important to use masks made of good quality tightly woven fabric, as well as mask designs that provide a good seal along the edges without being uncomfortable.” (source)
100% cotton weave quilting cotton has been determined to be the best for making masks. At Craft Warehouse we have a large selection of quality quilting cottons. Lots of fun, pretty, and unique prints, as well as solids, are available. We also carry cotton flannels, which you can use for the inside layer as the video recommends so it’s a little softer on your face, but it’s not necessary.
You can find 1-yard cuts in our online store that are great for making masks. We also have elastic in black and white, and nose bridge strips that can be bonded to the fabric with heat and can help make the fit around your nose better (essential if you wear glasses).
Designs for Masks
The pleated mask in this pattern is easy to make and works well because it allows you to pull the pleats out to be bigger or smaller, making it somewhat customizable. There are also dimensions included in the pattern for a child-size mask.
For some people, the pleated mask feels too small in the nose area. Because of this many prefer to make a different kind of mask. This free pattern, offered by The Crafty Quilter is a little more complicated to sew, but not too much that a beginning sewer couldn’t do it.
There are other patterns online and in the pattern books, of course, some recommend filters, some have a different shape. We encourage you to try them all until you find the right fit for you.
Cotton fabric should be washed, and ironed if needed, prior to sewing. Have an iron ready so you can iron down pleats as you work.
Masks should be washed after each use. You can machine wash and dry (it won’t shrink, because you have already pre-washed it) or hand wash. For this reason, it’s good to have a good supply available. Especially if you are leaving the house every day.
Masks are Here for a While
As much as we would prefer it were otherwise, it looks like masks are a part of our life for a while now. It’s a simple step we can take to keep ourselves, our family, and everyone we meet safer.
Videos on how to Make Masks
Instructional Video via The Turban Project
Pattern for Versatile Mask
Video on How to Make a Versatile Mask via The Crafty Quilter