Sewing Face Masks

Face masks became mandatory here in Victoria about a month ago, so I decided it was time to join the many sewers making masks at the moment.
There is many patterns and tutorials already on the internet. I have tried a few of them.

Two of the patterns I have tried you can find here and download for free. Another one you can find here. The last link has several free patterns and I used pattern A730 Face Mask. There is also many tutorials and patterns on Youtube. One of my favourites is the first pattern in this video tutorial, where you make your own pattern from a circle using a large lid or dinner plate as a template.

If you wear glasses all the time like I do, a nose bridge is very helpful. There is also many suggestions on how to make these yourself on the internet, or you can order actual ones too of course. I used pipe cleaners that I had at home. They are not perfect but good enough.

I found that the easiest way too attach them was to sew them to the wrong side of the lining along the top edge using a triple zig zag stitch. I placed a 4″ (10 cm) length of pipe cleaner 3/8″ (1 cm) from the edge of the fabric.
If you use a piece of metal or actual nose bridge you have to make a casing to avoid the risk of the needle breaking.

Elastic was out of stock everywhere here too. I was lucky enough to have some at home. I also used t-shirt yarn that I had at home from a previous project. It is soft and comfortable, not as stretchy as normal elastic but works well. I also read somewhere that you can make it from an old t-shirt by cutting 1″ wide strips along the grain and stretch them, which will make the edges “roll in”.

Home made masks might not be the most comfortable thing to wear and there is not one pattern that the works for everyone. The masks I have mentioned here is of course not suitable in a medical situation.
Personally I think that surgical masks should be saved for people working in medical and carer jobs, they are also expensive for the average person, at least here.

Here is a picture of some of my family. My three older children have moved out and I haven’t seen them for weeks due to lockdown rules. Needless to say, but I miss them a lot.

Until next time, happy sewing and take care!

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