SEWING: How I Make My Face Masks... [PHOTO TUTORIAL]
Hey y'all, how are y'all doing? No really. Because we've been in the midst of a pandemic since March, we haven't been able to really visit loved ones because... quarantine, we've all been wearing face masks to protect ourselves and others, and we've been socially distancing... well most of us have. And I only say most of us because some of y'all still haven't grasped the concept of 'personal space' even though it's a WHOLE THING now. But I digress. And my apologies for not bothering to post anything here for a while, 2020 has been A LOT with everything going on. Coronavirus, protests for racial equality and against police violence, having an unstable president... *sips* But this post is about how I make my DIY face masks. It was never my plan to make and sell the face masks I made, I had planned to make a some for myself and a few family members. But once I posted pics of a few that I made to my social media stories, the requests to buy them started coming in and me not selling them kinda went out the window. It got to the point where I was making, selling and shipping hundreds of them out weekly. I literally turned myself into a one person manufacturing plant. The lady at my post office even joked to me that I was always in there, lol. Also thank you to everyone who purchased face masks from me. Y'all are the real MVP's. But anyhoo, I had long wanted to document how I made them so that's what I'm going to do here. I'm going to focus on how I make the DIY face mask with the filter pocket. Keep reading to peep my process.
To make my face masks, this is what I use:
- Cotton fabric (I like to use a different color for the inside to make it fun)
- Paper scissors, fabric scissors, thread scissors
- Fabric weights (or Zinc flat washers, find them at Lowe's. A bunch of us makers prefer using these over pinning patterns down on top of fabric)
- Thread, pins, small safety pin
- Elastic (I used buttonhole elastic because that's what I had on hand at the time. At one point you couldn't find elastic anywhere because so many people were making face masks)
- Craft wire (to make the face mask fit snug around the nose channel)
- Needle nose pliers and wire cutter
- HEPA home filters cut to fit inside the face mask filter pockets. I bought my first home filters from Lowe's and Home Depot on the advice of some nurses who said they used these filters to protect from virus carriers and allergens in their own homemade masks, but they were a whole job to dismantle, so I quickly found comparable filter alternatives on Amazon.
Next, I used a free face mask sewing pattern found online from COVID Rangers. I downloaded both the Medium Face Mask and the Large Face Mask sewing patterns. I cut (2) of each of the OUTER and INNER face masks, the inner mask will be the filter pocket. I trimmed about 2 inches off the side seams of the COVID Rangers pattern just as a personal preference, but you could also leave the pattern as is and it will just cover more of your face.
I then sewed the masks along the curved edge as I attempted to illustrate above.
Just like this to both the OUTER and INNER face mask.
Once I had my face masks sewn along the curved edge, I opened it up and TOPSTITCHED down the center on both. The topstitch gives it a polished, more tailored finish.
Next I prepared a 3.25 inch x 1.25 inch piece of fabric for my nose channel wire by folding and pressing the edges as pictured above.
I then pinned my nose channel wire piece to the INNER face mask as pictured, eyeballing it about 5/8 inches down from the top.
Then sew. But only the top and bottom, leaving the sides open for my craft wire later.
Next, I took my INNER face mask that I just attached my nose channel piece to, and folded and pressed in the side seams 7/8 of an inch to 1 inch twice as pictured, then I sewed.
Then I pinned the INNER face mask to the OUTER face mask RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER as pictured lining up the center seams.
Next I sewed the INNER and OUTER face masks together about 3/8 of an in inch on top.
Then I did the same on the bottom.
Here, I turned my face mask RIGHT SIDE OUT and folded and pressed the top and bottom edges with an iron on the outer mask as pictured.
Then I TOPSTITCHED the top of the face mask.
And I TOPSTITCHED the bottom of the face mask as shown.
Next I pressed the side seams of the OUTER face mask in about a 1/4 inch.
And then I pressed the side seam in again 7/8 of an inch to 1 inch.
Then I sewed down the side seams on the OUTER face mask as pictured.
Now, I'm ready to do my elastic straps. Remember I told you all I had at the time was a bolt of buttonhole elastic, so that's what I'm working with here. I measured 10 inches for my straps.
Then I cut the elastic in half in the center of my buttonholes creating 2 straps. My straps measured about a half inch a piece which was fine. 1/4 inch on elastic straps are the norm I think though.
And here's where I need my small safety pin to pull my elastic through my side seams.
Just like this.
Then I pinned my elastic straps together to sew closed.
Now I'm ready to work with my craft wire for my nose channel.
I measured out 3.5 inches as pictured, then I use the tip of the needle nose pliers to curve the edges as you'll see in my next pic.
Just like that.
Then I just slid my craft wire into my nose channel as pictured which is entirely optional. The craft wire on the nose is for anyone who wants their face mask to fit more snug around their nose.
And last, I put the HEPA filter inside of my filter pocket as pictured to complete my DIY face mask.
It's also completely optional to make your face masks match your outfits, but it's also a LOOK.
I hope my photo tutorial on how I make my DIY face masks was clear and concise enough for you! You are seriously a G for making it through to the end. Anyhoo, thanks for reading!