Over the past week (or two or three to be), I have tried and tested several DIY face masks from the internet including Magali Thiébaud’s mask, Lisa Gachet’s mask and also the Forbes face mask. Several members of my family and also a few friends have been making masks to donate to hospitals, retirement homes and also local supermarkets.
At first, I tried to make a mask that could be converted to a headband afterwards as I am not used to wearing a mask and thought this could be useful once we no longer need masks. However, I was unable to make the mask/headband in the right way. The mask kept sliding off my face! So after quite a few attempts, I’ve opted to make an adult size mask which has a slot where you can add a filter or disposable mask inside for protection.
As there is a severe lack of official masks, sometimes these handy fabric masks are better than nothing. They do not replace the specialised N95 respirator mask, but personally, they help me from remembering not to touch my face and they also act as a shield for any liquids (coughs, sneezes, etc.) that might come out of my mouth or nose.
Several DIY masks can be somewhat similar to one another, but with this pattern, I tried to make the exact adjustments to fit different types of adult faces. I hope this might be useful to some of you!
What you will need:
– Printable mask pattern
– Fabric scraps (cotton, t-shirt fabric, etc.) (about 40 cm x 40 cm)
– Elastic cord or string (2 x 20 cm)
– Small safety pin
– Sewing pins
– Sewing machine
– Iron (optional, but always useful)
Step 1: Download and print face mask pattern. Cut out paper pattern and pin on fabric. Then cut out fabric pieces. Please note that 3/8” seam allowance is included. Make sure to cut out 3 x A, 1 x B and 1 x C.
In order to cut out 3 pieces of piece A at the same time, I recommend accordion folding the fabric and cutting through all three layers at once.
Step 2: Hem the sides marked with – – – – – on the B et C pieces. Make a double fold hem (fold fabric towards wrong side two times) and sew along the edges (about 2 mm).
STEP 3: Pin B and C Pieces against Piece A right sides together (I pinned piece C to A then B on top of C and A). Sew together the triangle sides. Also sew the two A pieces on the triangle sides, right sides together.
Step 4: Press the seam allowances open. (optional)
Step 5 : Place the front and back pieces right sides together. Pin at the top and the bottom. Sew along the top and also along the bottom, using a 3/8″ seam allowance.
Step 6 : Turn the mask inside out with right side facing outwards.
Step 6 : Make a double fold hem on each side of mask with enough width for the elastic to fit through.
Step 7: With a safety pin, slide an elastic cord into the side of each mask. Adjust the elastic with a knot according to the size of the specific person’s head to ear measurements. The elastic can be left untied so that the mask wearer can adjust it accordingly. Once your mask is finished, you can also opt to slide a filter into the mask. If you do not have a N95 filter some other options could be using a paper towel or coffee filter.
Are you confused about whether or not to wear a mask? Here is an article about if you should make your own mask or not from the New York Times.
If you are interested in donating or receiving handmade masks, please feel free to leave a comment below to let us know! I’ve found quite a few local hospital and also retirement homes that would love handmade masks. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about this! ❤️
P.S. We made our masks with Atelier Brunette fabric scraps and we are super happy to support small, independent businesses.