Mask making continues, and gets more creative.

As masks have finally become plentiful, with enough supply to meet demand, my one-person mask making sweatshop is still operating, but I’ve slowed down production in order to indulge in more creativity. I’m using the same patterns as I was here and here, but have continued to experiment and add ‘improvements’ and improvisations.

I’m enjoying the process, and am grateful that I can do this one thing to help people navigate the pandemic. I’m inspired by all of the creative masks I see. Our community is under a mandatory mask order right now, and what I love most about it (besides the way it makes people keep each other safer) is looking at everyone’s masks. I love the vast array of prints and designs. Instead of people-watching, I’m now a mask-watcher.

My neighbor gave me a mask she made! I had given her a mask very early on. Then a few days after that, she came over asking where I got my pattern. Of course I printed her a copy to keep and use. Then one day she came over with this mask for me! She had worked her own details into it; filter pocket and good nose wire included. I love wearing it as much as I love my own. So, I say go exchange masks with fellow mask makers!

Another neighbor informed me that her mask was stolen from her car. So you’ve been warned, that the coolest masks have street value. Protect your valuables.

How long will we be making and wearing masks? I don’t know, but I just pulled fall and holiday woven cottons from my fabric storage, thinking I might as well get started on masks for the upcoming seasons.

And for some mask-making nourishment…

One big chocolate chip cookie…
For the sheet cookie, I added an extra cup of flour; spread the dough on a 1/4 -size sheet, and baked 2 minutes longer than specified for drop cookies.

It’s from this totally awesome recipe book.

Which apparently is still in print, which is a good thing.

Making Fitted Masks

The mask-making frenzy is less of a frenzy now, but masks are still needed, and will be needed for months to come.  I’m making a few masks each day, and trying out some of the other designs available on the internet.  I had been making the pleated masks, but I now also love making the shaped mask version that doesn’t have pleats.

For the shaped masks, I’ve used the fitted mask pattern by Tina Elmore-Wright, downloaded from the Joann mask-making page.

[Pattern download link here:]

The pattern has four different sizes, from infant to men’s/large.  My brother the transit driver gave a thumbs-up to the men’s mask.  The second largest size is for women/teens.  That one fits me well.

Shown below are all but the infant size.


It makes it fun to do sets of family masks. IMG_20200421_155500704aw

It’s fun to use with prints. IMG_20200425_185640442awIMG_20200424_164547590aw

A word of caution:  The pieces need to be cut in mirror images. IMG_20200425_185708066w

Otherwise, you’ll end up with two right or two left pieces, which can make for some er, unplanned combinations. IMG_20200425_185626632aw

There is still a need for the masks in the health care and care home sectors.  Then as businesses prepare to reopen in the coming weeks, they will need masks for staff, customers and visitors.

Thank you to health care workers, care home workers, and front line workers everywhere.  You are keeping us going.



Shout out to fellow mask makers

From this view I’d say there are a lot of us.


Creating fun compositions for family and friends has given me a chance to indulge my creativity.

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I’ve given them to neighbors up and down my street, and across the back yard.  When a neighborhood diner gave out free drive-through breakfasts, I reciprocated by giving them some masks.  Initially, I expected most people to say ‘no thank you’ when I offered masks.  Turns out no one has declined.  Everyone wants a mask.  Everyone.

I’ve made a few batches of masks for care home and hospital staff.  It bewilders me that it is individual nurses and aids who are desperately seeking these simple protections to keep their patients, coworkers and themselves and families safe.  Where are their employers in all of this?


This mask, that can cover an N95 mask, is what I started out making.  But it turns out N95 masks are like unicorns.  No one I’m giving masks to has one, or knows where to find one.  (Awesome tutorial here:

So, I’ve switched to the simple flat pleated design based on two 9″x6″ rectangles.  It’s much faster to construct and requires less fabric.  Another huge bonus is that it fits in a regular #10 envelope, and costs only a 1st class postage stamp to mail.  This has enabled me to get them to out-of-town friends and family quickly and economically.  Mine are substantially based on the pattern from the Turban Project.



One of my biggest frustrations is about the friends and family who want to learn, or relearn to sew, to help fulfill the huge need for masks right now.  I want badly to invite them over and have them sew with me, but I can’t because of the need for social distancing.

Earth Hug GIF by MarchForOurLives

Carry on, mask warriors. You are doing important work.

A heartfelt virtual hug to those in isolation or quarantine, or who have loved ones out of reach.  My wheelchair-bound mom is in a locked down care home.  The most I’ve been able to do for her is send her a mask, and send masks to the staff, and text her ‘Happy Easter’.