To say we’re living through history right now is perhaps an understatement, but to fight the pandemic that’s ongoing we each have to play our part. One small part we can all play is wearing a mask, and it’s much easier (and more manageable) to have a set of reusable cloth face masks. Besides, isn’t it better to have something stylish and unique? We’re all in this together, might as well show your colours while we’re at it!
With a bit of sewing, you can easily make a face mask with just spare material. These masks are slightly shaped, so they don’t press against your eyes like unshaped rectangle masks can do. This is especially useful if you wear glasses. The added shape also gives a little more breathing space, which can help if you have mental health issues associated with wearing a mask (for example, panic attacks). If you’re skilled with a needle, you can also add some embroidery on this mask, for your own unique style!
Get your friends together over a voice call, and have an online sewing circle while making a bunch of these masks. They’re easy even for beginner sewers, so it’s a fantastic place to start for beginners too! Hope you have fun giving this project a go, and if you want more sewing projects, check out here!
- Cloth (an old shirt or other material works fine)
- HEPA fabric (optional)
- Needle and thread
- A large dinner plate ( between 25-30cm in diameter is good )
- A pen OR chalk
- Lay your cloth down flat, and place your plate on top. Draw all the way around the plate, and then cut the cloth along the edge you just drew. You’ll have a circle of cloth.
- Cut the circle in half. You can fold the cloth in half to make it easier to find the centre line. Set one of the halves to one side; you only need one half for this project.
- Cut your half in half again. You should have two quarters of a circle now.
- (Optional) At this step, you can embroider one or both of the pieces of cloth. This isn’t necessary if you just need a quick mask though!
- After that, lay the two halves on top of each other (embroidery on the inside, if you chose to do that). Sew along the curved line using any simple stitch you want. Using a sewing machine works well, too.
- (Optional) Repeat steps 1-5 with your HEPA fabric.
- (Optional) Lay the HEPA fabric inside the cloth, and sew around the edge. Leave a gap at one side, and turn the mask inside out so the seams are inside the mask. Sew the end closed.
- Cut two lengths of elastic that are 15cm long.
- To attach the elastic, sew each end of the elastic to one side of the mask. The mask should have a slight triangle shape at its sides, so fold this over and sew it over the elastic. Use the diagram as a guide.
- Repeat step 9 with the other side of the mask, and the other piece of elastic.
You can use the second half of the circle for another mask! A single circle can get you two masks, which is useful if you have a whole bunch you need to make.
You may find you need to adjust the elastic based on your personal measurements. Don’t hesitate to tweak parts of the project to fit you!
If you don’t have HEPA fabric, it’s still worth it to make these masks double layered. It’ll give the mask some rigidity and stops the centre seam from chafing. Just be sure to use a thinner fabric for the inner layer for comfort!
Just remember that these are for those everyday moments when you can’t avoid staying at home, such as visiting the shops. If you need a better mask for medical reasons, definitely speak to a professional. And, if you can, stay at home where possible!