This is the time when we all reach into our fabric stash and find materials for face masks. In this Easy to sew Face Mask: fast and comfortable blog post, you will see the steps I took to make my first (of many I know) face mask.
[Edited: July 21, 2020]
Before you go any further: if you are looking for face masks and are pressed for time, check out the ones I have listed in my Etsy store. I have sold over 500 masks and you might find something you like for yourself or your kids. I followed the steps below so you know how they were made!
My goal is to select fabrics that will look equally good on men and women, will be appropriate for a professional setting, and will offer as much protection as 100% quilting cotton can.
It is correct, these will not compare to N95 masks. However, there are no masks out there! Doctors and nurses are pleading for help. Fabric masks can prolong the life of N95 masks, and that is a good enough reason for me to begin producing them. This comfortable face mask pattern is simple to make.
Select a mask pattern
Like you, I looked at many patterns on the internet. I chose to work with this pattern from Craft Passion. Joanne wrote a very detailed tutorial and the patterns are available in four sizes as downloadable PDFs. I am making all my masks using the ‘Men’ size original pattern. Unsure if anyone will have or take the time to add inserts to masks, the original pattern seems to be the best choice.
As I will make many, instead of tracing the shapes on paper I am using plastic for templates. With a permanent marker, I trace around the outside line on both the shape for the main fabric and the one for the lining. Then, I cut around the outline and my template is ready to use over and over again.
Trace and Cut the fabrics
See how easy it is when you use a plastic template? On the main fabric template, I cut a little too much on the top right corner so I made a note to raise that line a little bit when I am tracing it on fabric.
Also, notice that it is written: “cut 2”. However, since I folded the fabric, I can cut only once and get the two pieces I need from the shell fabric (main) and from the lining fabric.
I continue to follow Joanne’s directions (I printed the tutorial and took it to my studio). The fabrics were right side together, the curved edges are stitched and clipped so the seam will behave. She tells us to topstitch close to the seam to secure the seams in place, and so I did it.
With right sides together, the shell and lining are pinned and stitched together. I backstitched the beginning and the end of each sewing line.
Next, I flip the mask inside out, press the seams, and topstitch from edge to edge on both top and bottom of the mask. It is really easy to sew a face mask that is fast and comfortable at the same time…
The casing for the elastic, or fabric tie when we can no longer find elastic, is ready now.
Thread elastic through the mask
Now, get a small safety pin and begin threading the elastic from the right bottom corner of the mask. Why, because this mask will not be secured behind the ears, but behind the head!
Two weeks ago I flew to California to spend the weekend with my oldest son and his two boys. I wore an N95 mask from the moment I parked at the airport to the moment I arrived in Cali and got my rental car. Let me tell you: my ears hurt so much! That is why I am threading the elastic as above (Joanne offers that option on her pattern, too, which is another reason why I chose her version).
When I went to the store to buy elastic last week, I could only find black elastic so I got the 1/2″ and the 3/8″. I got a dozen of each and it will have to do.
Once the elastic is in, pin its two ends together, stitch them well, and slide the joined ends into one of the side casings to hide it. How comfortable is this mask? I was not joking with I said I would show you an Easy to sew face mask that was also fast and comfortable.
This mask fits snuggly over the nose and under the chin. It will not slide – I used a 28″ length of the elastic. I may also try the women’s size to see how it fits and maybe make half of one size and half of the other.
This is my first mask and it took me about 20 minutes to make. I will cut many at a time, chain piece them, and then I will let you know how many I can make a day. It sounds like a perfect project for the next couple of days. What are your plans for weekend sewing?
I wrote another blog post with 4 easy ways to tie your face mask including paracord. Check it out for alternatives to elastic.
Do not forget to enter the fabric Giveaway – the winner will be revealed on Monday. Those fabrics would make great masks, too!
Enjoy your weekend,