Okay, so, there is a LOT of info out there for and against wearing a mask during this Covid-19 crisis...especially one that is "home sewn" and while I had planned to stay out of it, I changed my mind and decided to dedicate this post to making one for yourself.
There are a great many tutorials out there, probably the only real difference is that I have included an extra layer of protection in the form of a Hepa filter in the ones I have made.
* Warning, you want to be certain that such filter material does not contain fiberglass or any other harmful materials.
Please understand that I am not advocating one way or the other for the reasoning behind why one might want to wear a mask, I am not in any way suggesting these be made for health care workers.....or others in that support chain unless your are specifically asked to do so.......make them for your own personal needs and that of your family. note: at the bottom of this post you will find a link to a video where a Doctor shares his thoughts on when and why someone not in the health care sector may want to wear a mask.
Before I get into the tutorial, I am gonna preach here a minute.....These masks are NOT intended to be a substitute for the measures we have been asked to practice. Many people still don't seem to be getting the message that is so very important! Stay home, when you do have to go out stay away from others at least 2m - (6 feet), wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Keep yourself healthy and keep the rest of us healthy.
warning, this post will be photo heavy....hopefully they will help where my explanation is not clear enough.
Supply list: High stitch count cotton or poly-cotton....in other words a densely woven fabric, elastic of some form, wire ( I used long twist ties doubled up) and lastly a vacuum cleaner bag...I am using a Hepa bag.
cut fabric as follows.
1 piece at 15" x 7"
2 pieces at 2" x 4.5"
cut 2 pieces of elastic 10" each
I cut the vacuum bag into pieces measuring roughly 6" x 6" ( I will refer to this as the filter)
we are ready to begin
start by stitching the filter in place......in the photo you can see the placement......it is placed on the wrong side of the large piece of fabric, centered and roughly 1/4" down from one of the short edges. stitch all around the filter
Next fold the entire piece bring the short ends together right sides together, stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Finger press open and turn right side out. ( avoid using an iron throughout the process as the filter has barrier film that could be damaged by the iron)
once this piece is turned right side out, fold this piece so that the "seam" is about 1/2" down from folded edge. sew a line of stitching close to the fold and another line of stitching just under and close to the seam (see photo)
these 2 lines of stitching creates a place to insert the wire (twist tie) that will help mold the mask to the face, insert the twist tie and then run a stitching line close to it.
|note that 3rd stitch line close to the inserted twist tie|
the next step is to stitch all around outer edge
now we can mark for pleat placement. the side that has the stitching that holds the filter in place is what I am calling the front of the mask....it is the side of the mask that will face the public.
To space the pleating I marked the following: I placed a mark on both right and left sides, starting from the bottom edge make a mark at 1", from this point I will give you the measurements I marked, each one is measured up from the last one you made. so the spacing will look like this. 1", 1 and 1/4", 3/4", 1 and 1/4" 3/4", 1 and 1/4" (hope this makes sense)
the pleats will face upward, begin folding the pleats upward from the bottom, the first mark goes to the second...the third mark folds up to the fourth and so on.....fold each pleat and pin at the edge as you go.
stitch down the pleats and finger press. (again, resist the urge to use the iron here)
time to add the binding and elastic
the binding pieces are the ones you cut 2" x 4.5". On each of these, fold in 1/4" along one long edge and press.
|how it looks on the reverse side.......stitch in place|
|this will now fold to the front, but 1st we want to add the elastic|
if you don't have elastic like this, you may have to improvise using hair elastics or rubber bands. You could stitch the elastic in if you wish. I did not. I tied a secure, double knot in my elastic and put it in place prior to stitching down the binding, then adjusted where the knot is. because this binding is being applied in this manner, leaving an opening top and bottom, I have access to be able to remove the elastic, put in a new one or adjust the length if need be. Stitch the loose edge down on each side and you are done.
here are the ones I made, I managed to get a total of 8 from my hepa filter vacuum bag
those of you who have been reading this blog for many years know full well that I do a lot of "testing" when I work on pretty much any project, in this case I did wash a mask and just a piece of the filter to see if it would hold up to washing, I washed in warm soapy water and left it to air dry. I wanted to be sure that these could be washed and reused....each of us will have our own mask with our names in them. I want to know that I have a clean mask ready when I might feel the need for one.
I wanted to show you how the filter material handles liquid, this bead of water sat in place unchanged for 3 hours. The barrier film on the filter does not allow moisture to permeate through.
and finally, here is a link to a video that was shared by a friend who is a retired health professional.
It is VERY good, lots of useful information direct from a NYC doctor on the front lines who deals all day long with Covid-19 patients. it is nearly an hour long, please take the time to watch to the end.
please stay healthy.....okay....now go wash your hands :-)