Trials in Sewing Face Masks

We don’t have any face masks at the house, so when patterns started popping up, I was interested.  True, it they’re only 50-70% effective, but that’s better than nothing!  I did sewing for a LARP my friends and I took part in, so I felt it was a project that fit my skill levels pretty easily.

I bought some cotton fat quarters, some flannel fat quarters, and elastic.  I couldn’t find the elastic to save my life, so I had to hunt down an employee to find it for me.  It was, literally, ten feet from where I had been standing.  *facepalm*  Note that this was over two weeks ago – we’ve been isolated since that grocery trip.  Stay home, folks!

I used this pattern from the Deaconess.  It was the simplest I could find.  My sewing skills are NOT top notch!  There are MUCH nicer patterns out there designed to go over a N95 mask, but I’m not that talented.  I wanted masks made quickly and easily, not a pattern to prompt rage over my own mistakes!

Then, I had to dig out my sewing machine.

Now, this is a sewing machine, lovingly gifted to me from my grandmother, that I had never used.  She used it to sew clothing for Mom and the neighbors’ kids to keep her household afloat after her husband died.  This was precious to her and was an amazing gift.

It was buried under six years of stuff I’d tossed in my closet.

Let’s just say getting it out was an ordeal.  I had many things to say while I was working on this, and none of them were pleasant.

Once I had it out, I discovered there was no treadle and part of the support area for fabric was missing.  The support area is a nuisance but not the end of the world.  The treadle though…

I dimly remembered her giving me the treadle with the machine, and then another half hour was spent going through every crafting box I had to locate it.  There was also a bag with spare bobbins and such.  I hooked it up, and I was good to go.


The first mask I tried to sew, I sewed the elastic on the wrong side:

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Okay, try number two was better.  I sewed it using the wrong sizing though – it would barely fit a child.

Back to the drawing board again.

The next try worked out perfectly, and I had a cute mask for my husband with musical notes all over it.

The fourth try was for my mask, and… the sewing machine vomited thread all over the back of it.  So, I had to take out the bobbin, empty it, clear out the inside of the machine by dismantling it, rewind the bobbin, assemble bobbin and machine, thread the top thread carefully to keep the right tension, and that was that.

I tried again, and it finished passably well.

Around then, my husband came home.  He didn’t know I could sew on a machine.  So that was a surprise for him.  Here are the masks I sewed:

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Mine has foxes and hedgehogs on it!  And you can see the too small mask here.

Then I made masks for my parents and brother:

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I lined the backs of all of them with flannel as you can see here:

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They turned out pretty well!

They are difficult to breathe through – they’re thick.  But we have some now, and I’ll be working on more soon.

Have you tried sewing masks?

One thought on “Trials in Sewing Face Masks

  1. Your masks are perfect. I really like mine and will work on getting the ear bands longer for your father’s mask. He really likes his too. I’ll be wearing mine when I go out for protection. Be safe.

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