Monday, March 23, 2020

Face Mask Reusable Fabric Cover - DIY

 You probably found this page because you are searching for a tutorial on how to make face masks so that you can help out all the healthcare workers that are on the frontline, working to battle COVID-19. So thank you and welcome! I don't use this blog often (it's been over 3 years since I last posted) But crazy times called for a brief reappearance. While school, work, sports, weddings, travel and LIFE seem to be on hold, we all know one thing - the healthcare workers are doubling down and going harder than ever. WE SALUTE YOU ALL! And we want to keep you protected as best we can which is why we are here. 

To start -  if reading is not your forte, there are PLENTY of video tutorials on YouTube for several styles of DIY face masks. I also share the same disclaimer as others: this mask is not meant to REPLACE the surgical face mask; it is a contingency plan for when there is a shortage of masks available, and this can help extend the life of the PPE our healthcare workers have. I've had people contact me that have had to wear their masks for up to 32 hours at a time. Others whose facilities have already run out. Or who only have 1 mask allotted for 3 weeks and have to sanitize overnight between shifts. So if this can help them even the tiniest but - that is what I (and I think you) aim to do. 

You know how with baking you need to make sure you are measuring exactly as the recipe says so that the final product turns out correctly? But sometimes when you're trying out a new dish for dinner, you can just throw a 'dash' of this or that in or eyeball liquid amounts? Well same goes for sewing- sometimes you need to know EXACTS but with these masks I wanted to be able to eyeball and go. So that is the tutorial you will get from me - simple, efficient, done (not) perfectly proportionate and measured to the 1/8"! 

M A T E R I A L S 

Now on to the quick and easy tutorial. I promise to keep this short, sweet, and to the point (which never happens in real life - I tend to go off on tangents, just ask my husband...) but this is not the time to waste time, right? The faster we can help our medical heroes keep themselves safe, the faster we can flatten the curve and put the quarantine lifestyle behind us. Oh and also, in case you aren't already - PLEASE STAY HOME.



1. Iron your fabric.

2. On the two 9x5" pieces, fold over the longer edge about 1/4" and press. Then fold again and press so that the raw edge is now hidden.

3. Sew the 2 pieces along the fold, about 1/4" from edge. Set aside.

4. Lay the fabric pieces right sides together, overlapping the two smaller pieces on top of the larger. 

5. Pin in place (I find 2 pins right in the middle effective.) Starting in the middle of the longer side, straight stitch almost to the first corner. Before stitching over the corner, place your elastic between the two fabrics at a 45 degree angle and then sew (backstitching a few times doesn't hurt). Then continue stitching the next side until you come to the corner - repeat with the elastic so that it is now sewn inside. (Image below for elastic placement)

6. Continue around the following two sides, placing the elastic in the opposite short side. Then stitch back to where you started.

7. Clip any threads that are hanging off and then turn right-side out. You can pull on the elastic to help flatten the corners. Iron the mask.

8. With the mask flat side up, (the open flap should go on the back - that is where the filter/PPE can be inserted) start from the bottom and make two tucks on each side - creating 3 pleats. I eyeball this -using my fingers to adjust so that they are even on both sides. Iron again so that you can hold it in place.

9. Place mask back on sewing machine and top stitch around the entire thing, making sure to keep the pleats in place. You can pin in the middle if it helps!

10. Cut any small threads left over and admire your work. Then quickly figure out where you can donate - a friend, a local healthcare facility, hospitals accepting donations, etc.  @masksforheroes on instagram shares a lot of information about donations/materials/etc so follow them as well. 

Let me know how it turned out if you use my tutorial. Thank you again for coming by and wanting to help - we will get through this together!