Monday, March 23, 2020

Making protective masks!

Never in my wildest imagination would I have believed, if someone had told me, that I would be making protective face mask because of a global pandemic! I still can't wrap my brain around it all! But, on the flip side of that, I'm so happy I have been able to make these and get them to people that need them! And now, with the shortage of masks, I've decided to share how I make these and give you the links to the video and pattern, as well as links to materials I'm using. Sew, here goes! First of all, watch this video to get your pattern drawn out and ready:
This pattern is actually on the small side, so I use it for kids and petite adults. I added 1/4 inch all the way around for a "medium" size, which is the size I wear and 1/2 inch for a "large", which is the size I made for Wayne. You need to cut out your pattern and all of your fabric pieces to get ready for sewing:
On the masks I've been making, I'm also ironing on a fusible stabilizer to front outer layers of fabric
I'm using Pellon 931TD Fusible Interfacing  and cutting it 1/4 inch smaller than the mask [as shown in photo above]
Next, I cut two pieces of 100% Non-woven Polypropylene [which is what is used for filters in surgical masks] for each front piece and pin these layers right sides together and sew from point to point with 1/4 inch seam
After sewing, make several cuts along the edge, just so the mask will open up on a nice curve
Then turn this layer right side out and get it nice and flat
Then sew the other outer layers together...right sides together and sew from edge to edge. Also make small cuts along the edge on this layer, as well
Keeping this layer you just finished wrong side out, slip it over the other mask piece that is right side out [so the two right sides will be facing each other...and pin all along both edges
This is what your outside should look like
This is what your inside should look like. Make sure you pin your seams open, so you can sew them flat and then sew around both outer edges with a 1/4 inch seam...just go slow, since you will be sewing in a curve and over the seams
This is what your outside edge should look like when you are finished sewing the edges together
This is that your inside will look, using one of the open ends, turn the whole mask right side out and work it with your hands to flatten and smooth out the edges. Then you are ready to finish the ends
Iron both ends of the mask and make sure your seams are nice and careful NOT to iron the polypropylene, since it is a plastic type material and will melt! And yes, I learned that the hard way! 
Work the mask with your hands and get it nice and flat and your edges ironed and smooth. Then fold your edges in three times on each end and pin
Then zig-zag stitch from top to bottom of each folded edge, making sure to backstitch, so your stitches will stay tight
Go nice and slow, so your folds will stay together good
This is what your ends should look like when you're done! Time to cut the elastic!
Be sure to use 2mm elastic cord for your mask...not only is the 2mm stronger, it is much more comfortable behind your ears. Cut two 11 inches pieces and string them through your end loops with a large eye craft needle, or whatever you have that can string your elastic through
Once you pull the elastic through, tie tight knots in it and work it back through the loop to hide the knot
And then you are done! Yay!! Stay healthy and well!!
Let me know if you have any questions!! I will be most happy to answer them!

love and peace always, Kathy