How to Make a Face Mask

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Back in March I did a previous post on making your own facemasks which, although it proved to be very popular, I got attacked about on social media. I think the case for the need for our own masks is very strong now and in many countries like the UK it is mandatory to wear them in many places. There are now hundreds of posts online on how to make your own masks, so I thought I would share my new and improved version with you.

Making your own masks is beneficial in many ways as it frees up medical grade masks for those working in hospital and care settings and also because they are washable & reusable thereby reducing waste (especially if you use scrap/recycled fabrics). Many designers and fashion brands are now selling their own versions of face coverings, so why not take their lead and turn it into a true fashion statement! 

It is advisable to remove them very carefully and wash them with soap and hot water after use making sure you wash your hands afterwards. Using different fabric inside will remind you not to put it on inside out which would not be safe or hygienic. 

After giving some of the masks I made away to friends and family I ended up donating the rest to a homeless charity. If you have time and extra fabric why not donate yours too?

These masks are based on medial surgical masks in their measurements and as they have ties they will fit adults and children alike. I have made these double sided to give extra protection, but also to allow a pocket for you to insert a filter. This could simply be some tissue or kitchen towel that can be discarded after use. 

What you will need:
Ruler/tape measure
Sewing machine/needle & thread
2 x 18 x 16 rectangles of woven fabric
2 x 91.5cm lengths of ribbon/bias binding
2 x 20cm lengths of ribbon/bias binding
Dressmaking pins
Optional: Jewellery wire/wire bag ties
Optional: Interfacing
1. Firstly, cut out your fabric to the measurements above. A tightly woven fabric is best as this will reduce the amount of airborne virus particles that can get through. If you are using very lightweight fabric I would recommend adding iron-on interfacing. At each short end fold 3 small pleats approximately 1cm in size. Pin these in place and sew them down about 5mm from the fabric edge. These help to create a rounded shape to go around your face for a better fit.
2. Next, take the fabric piece that will be on the inside of the mask and fold the long edge twice approximately 5mm. This creates a hemmed edge for the filter pocket opening. 
3. Then fold one of the shorter lengths of ribbon lengthways around a long edge of the piece of fabric which is going on the front. Pin it in place and sew it down. If you sew it as close to the edge as possible whilst being making sure to encapsulate the fabric you may have enough space to push through a piece of jewellery wire or similar. (this will depend on how wide your ribbon is and how thick the wire is) If you can get this inserted it helps to fold over the bridge of the wearers nose for a better and safer fit. Trim the ends of the ribbon off.
4. Place the two pieces of fabric on top of each other, wrong side to wrong side, with the unbound and unhemmed seams together and fold the other shorter length of ribbon around both lengthways. Pin, sew and trim these together creating the bottom of the mask. 
5. Lastly, fold one of the longer lengths of ribbon around one of the shorter ends of the two pieces of fabric in the same way as before. The middle of the ribbon needs to be where the fabric pieces are and with equal lengths of ribbon at each end. Pin and sew it down making sure to catch the edges of both fabric pieces into the ribbon binding. Repeat on the other side and your mask is done!


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Further resources

Can DIY Masks Protect Us From Coronavirus?

What Are the Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?

​#homemadefacemasks #coronavirus #covid19

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