How to sew a mask

All+the+components+of+come+together+in+this+home+sewn+mask.

Savannah Torres

All the components of come together in this home sewn mask.

Savanna Torres

A few weeks ago a cousin phoned my grandmother saying that the hospital he works in didn’t have enough masks for the doctors and was advising them to wear one-use masks, until they were visibly dirty. Neither my cousin nor my grandmother were having any of that. My grandmother got to work making masks, and now you can make your own.

  • Choose fabric 
  • Cut a piece 7 ½ inches  wide, 15 inches long 
  • Fold the long edge right sides together to double it 
  • Sew a ½ inch seam all around the fabric, leaving a three inch gap in the longer side
  • Trim the seams so it’ll be easier to  pull out
  • Force the fabric through the gap, turning the mask inside out or what is now, right side out
  • Sew the gap edge down, now all seams are closed
  • Make pleats, (for 3 pleats make each a ¼ of an inch wide —  for 2 pleats make them ½ inch)
  • Get a ½ inch strip of elastic that is 7 inches long and sew on top and bottom on one side then repeat on other side to use for ear straps 
  • The mask will be around 3 ½ inches by 7 inches

It’s a simple, easy way to make a mask that is reusable and washable. 

A second way to make a mask has a few more steps and much more benefit. 

  • Get fabric, 15 inches by 7 ½ inches 
  • Fold the long edge right sides together to double it 
  • Sew a ⅝ inch seam 3 inches into the seam on each side, leaving a free opening for the pocket
  • Open seam and then press down with iron so it will lay flat
  • Sew a ¼ inch seam on each side of this pocket 
  • You should be left with two flaps, iron them so they lay flat, this will become opening to your pocket
  •  Pull down the pocket opening so it is at least 1 inch away from new edge y
  • 1 Inch above the pocket slide in two pipe cleaners twisted around each other. This is so the mask can be adjusted to fit around the nose. 
  • To keep the pipe cleaners from moving, sew the fold with a zipper foot so it becomes a pocket about a ¼ inch from the edge
  • Stretch fabric and sew down the sides that are not sewn in order to keep them in place
  • Make pleats, (for 3 pleats make each a ¼ of an inch wide —  for 2 pleats make them ½ inch)
  • Use ½ inch elastic that is 7 inches long and sew top & bottom on one side then repeat on other side to use for ear straps 
  • The pocket will be on inside to insert the filter
  • Filters can be made with furnace filters, take the fabric apart so there is only the filter left. 
  • Cut a piece of the filter 3 inches by 5 and insert into the mask pocket

Though it is a good amount of work, making masks can help keep you busy and safe during the quarantine ready for the rare times it will be needed. 

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