Hi all! I wanted to do a quick blog post on my experience in making face masks for my local hospital. At this time many medical supplies are in short supply for our healthcare workers. I wanted to do my part, however small, to help. Check with your local hospital. They most likely need masks and would be thrilled with the donation. My hospital has set up a drop box out side where we can drop a bag full of masks. I’m sure you’ll find your hospital is doing the same. So…. the following is my adventure in making my first masks!
I actually have a large collection of fat eighths. Turns out the 9 x 22″ size is perfect to cut the pieces needed for the mask. You need a 7 1/2 x 15″ piece of fabric for the mask and two 2 x 6″ pieces for binding (the video says 7″ but I found 6″ long is enough). I recommend cutting as I show below:
I recommend making the first cut where I show above so you have a 9 x 15″ piece and a 7 x 9″ piece. then you can cut the pieces needed and have left over fabric in case you need to make fabric ties.
The following is some of the photos of me constructing the masks. I was chain sewing where I could. Be sure not to skip the step of serging or zig-zag stitching on the short sides of the fabric (as you will see in the YouTube video posted below). This will keep the finished mask from having fraying threads.
Here’s photos of other steps in my construction process:
I found that having a tool to thread the elastic into each side of the mast is great. If you don’t have one, you can use a safety pin attached to one end to feed it through (see tool below).
If you can not find elastic for the ear holders, make 4 fabric ties from the leftover fabric and attach to the 4 corners of the mask so it can be tied around the person’s head. I have not made one with ties so you will have to find a measurement for the length of the ties by using your head as a model… use a mask that you will NOT be donating for your experimenting as you do not want to donate a mask that has been near your face.
Here’s one of my finished masks:
So if you want to partake in the mask making for your local hospital, here is the YouTube video that was recommended to me. I like this one because there is a pocket in it for a filter if the healthcare worker finds that necessary and there is also a bit of wire (a twist tie can be used) to shape the mask around the nose for more protection.
Whether you use this design, another tutorial you find on the internet or you are able to create your own pattern. Making these masks and helping your community at this time will give you a sense that you are helping …. even just a little bit.
Until next time, happy stitching!