My amazing friend Amy at https://ouramyablefarmhouse.com/ has agreed to video the making of such a mask. I’m so thankful, because she is so much more organized than I am. She has a wonderful blog, definitely worth checking out.
In all of my preparedness training, It never occurred to me that the world would run out of masks. Retrospect is always 20/20, and let’s face it nobody can be prepared for absolutely every contingency. I make so many things from scratch that people tell me are impossible, why not masks? “Impossible” just enslaves opportunity. After some research and a whole day of playing with fabric, I came up with a pattern that seems to work well. Ideally I would want a washable-flexible metal piece at the bridge of the nose. I didn’t have such a thing, so I used pleats. After making the first batch with 4 layers of calico (personal stock), a friend sent me this link https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/?fbclid=IwAR1zdplOZUuvSe3nG2MprFtcbbfUIiK4z9EGvLvpJCbFN3LNgmfC8WAu2g8 . It made sense, so of course I had to make some masks out of anti-allergen-organic-cotton-pillow cover and t-shirt. They seem to have simulator breathability. I have no testing equipment to find out how they rate; however, I must point out that 2 layers are easier to work with than 4. If you have an old anti-allergen-organic-cotton-pillow cover, you should try that first. The con is that pillow covers usually come in bland white. My first masks with 4 layers were reversible with two individualized sides. If given the option I would choose function over style.
- 1 anti-allergen-organic-cotton-pillow cover or ¼ yard of cotton fabric
- 1 aesthetically pleasing t-shirt
- 2 feet of ¼ inch elastic
(Click to download pdf ) Mask pattern pdf
Instructions for making mask:
- Every mask layer has a right and a left. Cut out a double pattern from anti-allergen-organic-cotton-pillow covers for the back of the mask. Cut out a double pattern from t-shirt material. (I have also used 4 layers of calico cotton fabric. It works if you don’t have an anti-allergen-organic-cotton-pillow cover.)
- Layer 1: Place the right sides of the pillow cover together and sew the front seam together. Open and lay the layer flat. Move the extra seam allowance fabric to one side and sew it together so that it will not stick out.
- Layer 2: Place the right sides of the t-shirt material together and sew the front seam together. Open and lay the layer flat. Move the extra seam allowance fabric to one side and sew it together so that it will not stick out. (If you are going to use 4 layers of calico, just double the fabric for step 2 and 3.)
- Place the right sides of layer 1 and 2 together. Starting at an ear side, sew the whole way around the edge until you get back to the side you started from. Don’t sew that side together, like when you make a pillow.
- Turn the fabric inside out. Fold the raw end inside and sew around the edge of the mask once more. Start with the raw edge first so that it doesn’t come out.
- Making nose pleats: Fold the left nose point towards the ear side so that half of it is in the fold, and the point of the fold is lined up with the top edge of the mask. Sew it in place at the top edge of the fabric.
- Cut 2 one foot long pieces of ¼ inch elastic. Fold one into the right ear side end. Sew it closed, yet do not sew on the elastic. Tie a knot in the ends of the elastic. Try it on, and adjust if needed. Then move the end into the larger side of the elastic tunnel.
- Repeat to create the other elastic ear-loop.
The reason I didn’t use the more common 2 layer cotton fabric mask pattern is because it just isn’t a strong enough filter. It concerns me that people are mass creating 2 layer calico fabric masks for hospital workers.
Did you know that making masks can be a mission right now? JoAnn fabrics will donate the materials for those willing to make masks for health personnel. Perhaps you should use a very tightly woven fabric like allergy-free cotton pillowcases. https://totallythebomb.com/joann-fabrics-will-give-you-supplies-to-make-face-masks-for-nurses-and-doctors?fbclid=IwAR2rRAxjHpZyk-3ITLoTBoBn2ntW2muRjXmsk-U0BhAPxoEEaapl_mrH178