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:  https://staging.joann.com/on/demandware.static/-/Library-Sites-LibraryJoAnnShared/default/dw4148ae36/static/landingpage/assets/Combined-Wright-Patterns.pdf]

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.

IMG_20200425_185517082aw

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.

IMG_20200410_180045185a-001

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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?

IMG_20200407_100159857-001

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: https://www.instructables.com/id/AB-Mask-for-a-Nurse-by-a-Nurse)

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. https://turbanproject.com/face-masks-pdfs

IMG_20200331_133709034a-001

IMG_20200412_093613287

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’.