Sunday, April 5, 2020

Handmade Cloth Masks

The debate could go on for hours, but many reputable organizations are now recommending making your own face masks.  A couple weeks ago I could not decide if I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and help with the mask making, so I decided to do a little research and see if there was any evidence backing up use of cloth masks in our universal fight against the novel coronavirus.

After some quick googling, I came across this study and it finally convinced me that making masks was worth the effort.  Although homemade masks are significantly less useful than, say, n95 masks, they are better than no masks at all.  And if everyone wore one in public it would mean there would be less droplets from our mouths and noses in the air.  That means less virus in the air.  Logically that has to be a good thing!

I tried a couple different designs but landed on this one from Deaconess hospital in Indiana.  I take no credit for this video, it's just a helpful link!



                       


The design is so simple!  I've given a bunch away and have made some for myself and my family.  I've even started wearing them out to the store and starting next week I'll be wearing one at work.

If you watch the video, you'll see exactly how to do it.  Then you can click here to see the written instructions  I will give you the quick rundown so you know what to expect.  

Pick a tight weave cotton fabric.  Pillowcase or cotton T-shirts work.  Then cut out two 9" X 6" pieces of fabric.  Next cut two 7" pieces of 1/4" elastic.  Pin the "right" sides of the fabric together and begin sewing around the edges, starting in the middle of one 9" side.  

Once you get to a corner at the beginning of the short side, place the end of one piece of elastic at an angle and sew over it.  Sew most of the way down the 6" side.  Then, being careful not to twist, bring the elastic to the corner and sew over it.  Sew down the next 9" side and repeat what you just did.

Once you come back to the starting side, leave a hole large enough to flip your work inside out.  Then flip it.  Now sew around the edge twice to secure it.  This ensures a rugged mask that can be washed multiple times.

Like I said, for the best instructions, click the links I provided and watch the video.  It really is not too hard!



There are so many other designs out there, some of which include ties or filter pockets or multiple other fancy things.  For me, this is the design that I thought would be best for both my skill and production levels.

I've since run out of elastic so production has halted, but I found that those circular headbands that look like giant hair elastics can be easily substituted in for the 1/4" elastic.  So I made a few of those.  

You can make these for yourself and your family.  You can also make a bunch and donate them to a local hospital or nursing home.  Just check our the local town pages on Facebook and you'll see pleas for masks.  Trust me, someone will take them.  Just make sure to keep a couple for your family so you can help keep those droplets out of the air!

P.S. If you have found a pattern you like, tell me below. I'd love to hear what you all have been doing.  I just found a pattern using ties that I think I'll try sometime soon.  Here's the link.  I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say if it's a great one, but it looks promising!

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