School is getting ready to start (eek!), and with that, my anxiety is building. Do I send my kid back to school in person? Do I do virtual? What is that going to do to his social and emotional growth? What is the right answer? Is there a right answer? Just thinking about all of it and obsessing over what to do stresses me out! So I try to keep busy, and I think what better way to keep busy than by making masks?! (Not going to get into a mask argument over here, but they’ve been shown to successfully minimize the risk of spread. Just saying.)
After weighing the pros and cons, my family has decided to send our kid to school in person if possible. (Our school has a few different options to choose from.) And knowing my kid, he will probably lose his mask within the first hour or so of being there. Not that masks are expensive, but this kid will probably need a hundred of them so I figured making them myself was the best route to go. This way, I get to have fun with the fabric, too.
I have made several masks in the past, and the only thing I have learned is that one size does NOT fit all. I have a style of masks that I like personally. My husband has a different style. And every single one of my coworkers like a completely different style all their own as well. After researching different styles, I came across this 3D mask idea. It is supposed to fit snug (most effective), and it supposedly does not fog glasses.
So, what kind of fabric do I get??
Why was this so difficult? It seems like there’s so many different opinions and studies that show which type of fabric to use for the most effective mask. They say a tight-weave cotton is most effective, but what does that mean?! I’m not a professional seamstress, but isn’t almost everything made of cotton?? And, where on the label does it say whether it is tight weave or not?! Long story short, and after aimlessly wandering Joann’s on my phone trying to find an article on the best fabric to use for cloth masks, I decided on flannel, with a different inner fabric. According to this article on the NY Times, layering flannel and cotton is very effective. I also read somewhere that the flannel provides an electrostatic barrier while the “tight-weave” cotton provides a physical barrier. (Pro tip: I used a big 600-thread count cotton bed sheet for the inner fabric on all of my masks instead of buying yards of fabric.)
Here are my materials and supplies I used:
-Sewing machine (but you can hand-sew if you have the patience)
-Thread (to match your fabric design)
-Flannel fabric (for outer layer)
-Cotton bed sheet (for inner layer)
-Rotary blade or scissors
-Wire nose piece
(I bought a roll of elastic from Amazon that came with 100 wire nose pieces here.)
Step 1: Cut out your fabric. For the kids size, I cut a 7×9 inch rectangle. Then I measured down the short sides to 1 inch and measured the long sides to 2 inches and cut across the corner. Repeat on all four corners. (Click here for the medium adult size and here for the large adult size.)
Step 2: Overlap the fabric, with the right side facing each other.
Step 3: Sew along all edges, but leave one small edge open so you can turn it inside out.
Sew along the edges Lift the lever so you can get sharp turns Leave one small edge open to flip it right side out
Step 4: Cut the extra fabric off at all the turns so that when you turn it right side out, it won’t be bulky.
Step 5: Attach the nose piece, then turn it right side out.
Open edge Turn it right side out Attach the wire nose piece
Step 6: Sew along the outer edges again, closing that open edge.
Tuck the open edge inside and sew it close
Step 7: Fold the top and bottom and sew along the edge.
Step 8: Fold the sides in and sew along the edge.
Step 9: Fold up the top and bottom and align it with the sides and sew it down.
Step 10: Cut two strips of elastic to 9 inches.
Step 11: Pull the elastic through and tie it off. I also scooted the knot into the mask so it didn’t show.
And, voila! Here is my son modeling the mask, haha. (Excuse the blurry photo on the right. It is SO hard to get boys to stay still!)
I would love to see your creations!