Making masks

We finally broke down and bought a printer, because life without access to one was getting awfully tricky. Among the other things made possible with the printer was the ability to print sewing patterns. And so I’ve joined the ranks of those sewing masks during this pandemic.

A friend of ours made us some of the pleated/surgical-style masks, but they just weren’t working well for us; my daughter couldn’t keep hers in place, and my husband and I had horrible, horrible problems with glasses fogging. I’d heard from friends that the shaped style of mask is sometimes preferred by glasses-wearers, so I printed out different sizes of the Craft Passion mask (kids, teen/women, and mens) and busted into my stash of fat quarters from back when I thought I was going to make a bunch of quilts. Maybe someday I’ll actually follow through on those plans, but if I do, I can always get more fat quarters!

Cutting out mask pieces from my stash of fat quarters.

I was able to get 3 masks from each pair of fat quarters. Mine are bright blue with a yellowy green interior, my husband’s are dark green with a lighter green interior, and my daughter’s are red with a pink interior.

Makin' masks.
This is the only part that needs pins; it’s the fussiest part of the sewing.

I found the instructions a bit confusing, so ended up relying more on the instructions that went with the very similar pattern from State the Label. My first one took me quite awhile, but once I knew what I was doing, I could speed up a bit.

Showing the liner pocket
Showing off the filter pocket

The way these masks are constructed, you hem the sides of the lining and the outside separately, rather than connecting them, which creates a nice pocket for any sort of lining you might want to add. And for side hems on the outside, you actually create a channel, into which you can add elastic or whatever else you’re going to use to make the mask stay on your face.

Threading a skinny strip of fleece through the channel
Threading fleece strip through the first side channel from the top

I don’t have any elastic, but I do have a ton of is leftover fleece from my daughter’s halloween costumes, so I cut skinny strips of that I threaded through the channels – each end was threaded through from the top.

Threading the other end of the fleece strip through the channel
Threading fleece strip through the second side channel from the top

This creates a strap across the back, which rests over the ears, and then you can tie the ends together at the base of your neck.

How the fleece strip works

It fits really nicely!

New mask works great!! I took the fleece channel off, and didn’t add any other wire channel, but even wire-free, with this shaped mask I had very minimal glasses-fogging. Yay!
Front View
New mask, side view. This stays put so much better for me than the pleated masks did. And the fleece ties are quite comfy.
Side View

I had very minimal glasses fogging, too – I bet adding a channel for a nose wire would reduce it even further, but it’s still infinitely better for me than the pleated mask was. And it’s SO MUCH better for my daughter, because it stays put!! The fleece tie is very comfortable – it’s soft, it’s stretchy, and it has enough texture that once you tie the bow at your neck, it doesn’t slip.

Now we each have fitted masks in our favorite colors (bright blue, red, and dark green!)
The three of us, each with masks in our favorite color

It’s a little unsettling to make kid-size masks (or really, to make masks at all), but I’m glad that even with my fairly rudimentary sewing skills, I’m able to do this, so that we can do our part to take care of our community during this pandemic.

Putting these masks together actually gave me some more confidence with my sewing machine, and I think I’m going to try to actually sew some clothing items this summer! The first pattern I’m going to try is a York Pinafore, in some nice flannel that I’ve had for quite a long time. Wish me luck?

2 thoughts on “Making masks”

  1. Good luck! I’m feeling the same–I’ve enjoyed the process of making masks and am almost feeling brave enough to try a piece of clothing!

  2. I’ve mostly made a bunch of the pleated style ones (eventually I’ll sew the elastic onto more of them…), but I haven’t actually worn one myself yet. My husband has been doing most of the leaving the house and interacting with the outside world, so I haven’t really had cause to, but I’ve definitely been concerned about the glasses issue. I’ll have to keep this style in mind if it becomes necessary for me to mask myself and leave the house. Yours look great!

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