Friday, April 3, 2020

Mask - 2 piece - virus (COVID-19, etc.)

These Instructions are an attempt to show very inexperienced persons how to make this mask.  There are MANY different versions of masks one can make.  I will be posting more versions very soon.

Materials requirements:

Cotton fabric, washed in very hot water and dried in dryer on hot
2 pieces - each 8” x 8-½” - EACH CUT FROM A DIFFERENT FABRIC
(important for wearers to know which side is already contaminated)
Elastic (soft if you can get it) - 
¼” or ⅜” wide, (two 7 inch pieces)
Sewing machine
Steam Iron preferred, not mandatory


(I use a “3” stitch size throughout.  “2.5” is ok, but harder to remove if needed.

Version - Pleated with no pocket, no pellon - may be worn alone or over a “real” mask

  1. Choose two contrasting fabrics. 
  2. Prewash the fabric on Hot if you can (important but not essential).  Dry on Hot.
  3. From each piece of fabric, cut ONE 8” x 8-½” square.

  1. Place the two pieces of fabric with the right “nice” sides inside. Using two pins, pin the stacked layers together.
  1. The 8 ½ inch edges are the “top” and “bottom” of the mask.

  1. Fold back one of the 8.0 inch sides of the top piece of fabric a few inches. 

  1. On the bottom piece of fabric, along the shorter 8.0 inch side, pin each end of the elastic as shown in photo below (place the elastic flush with the raw edge of the fabric.)

REPEAT on the other side with the second piece of elastic for the second ear loop.

  1. Pin along ALL the seams, sew ½”  seam almost all the way around, leaving a ~3.0 inch opening.  The red pin in the center is where you will leave an opening so you can turn the fabric right side out after sewing the seams. Be very careful to keep the rest of the elastic away from where you will sew the seam (push or pin it further into the interior.

    The first photo shows how the elastic fits inside the seam.  

The second shows it fully pinned with the red pins (at the bottom) marking the opening you will leave.  

The third photo shows fingers in the opening you must leave.

[If you are experienced, you won’t need to pin it quite as much, but the “wrinkle” on the sides where you will sew the elastic works better if you pin a bit more than usual.  It also helps keep the elastic “ ear loop” from getting under the needle.]

  1. After stitching, snip a tiny triangle off each corner before turning, leaving at least ¼ inch wide area of fabric in the corner (i.e. don’t cut too close to the seamed corner.)  This photo shows the sewn seam and the snipped corners prior to turning to the right side.
  1. Trim any loose threads, including any from the open area of your seam.

  1. Insert your hand inside the mask and pull the fabrics through the 3.0 inch opening.
  1. Using a pencil or similar pointy thing, poke the corners out from the inside nice and sharp as you can.

Now you are looking at the nice sides of both fabrics, and some elastic ear loops.

  1. Iron the mask super flat if you have an iron.  (This photo of the ironed mask shows the way the elastic should appear at the corners of the mask.  In the center at the top of the mask you can see where you will flatten the area that you left open to turn the mask to the right side to prepare it for stitching.)

  1. Keeping seams pulled “out” (not tucked in) press down the mask, making sure those corners are nicely pushed out and the “open” area is nicely matched to the rest.
  2. Top stitch about ⅛” from the outside all the way around the mask, overlapping first stitches about half inch at the end. You are welcome to add extra stitches over the ends of the elastic, as they will be under tension when mask is in use.  (You may do this by reverse stitching about three stitches over each place the elastic comes through the seam.)
  1. The slightly longer side is the top part of the mask.
    1. Make 3 pleats, approximately 1” apart and ~½” deep, all going the SAME direction.  Pin as you go; also pin in the center. It is easy to pinch the pleats up with your fingers, then mash them down to make the pleat. Then pin in place. The mask should now be about 4 inches tall and about 7.5 inches wide.
      1. Making the pleats (please see ii. for way to make a pleat)
        1. Pin as you make the folds

      1. Making pleats  (this shows the method on the 2nd pleat)

      1. Fully pinned pleats, ready to sew.  At this point, the mask is about 7-½” wide by about 4” tall.
    1. Iron firmly on each side; try not to melt your pin heads; you can just press between the area with the plastic pin heads.

  1. You are about to stitch down your pleats. At the sewing machine, be SURE to have the folded pleats pointing at YOU. About ¼ inch in the from each edge, stitch down each side once to hold pleats in place.  (mandatory step)

    1. First one side (two views)  Sewing DOWNWARDS over the pleats!

    1. Then the other side (again stitching DOWNWARDS over the pleats)

  1. Finished mask

Congratulations!  You should now be able to help both yourselves and others by making this mask.

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