A Timely Tutorial
There seems to be as many video tutorials and blogs giving instructions on how to make a mask as there are people who are making them. So as not to feel left out I am offering a step-by-step guide detailing how I have been making the majority of my masks. My preferred method is a combination of instructions that I learned from Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company and Leah Day.
1. Cut 1 - 9” x 15” piece of fabric for mask and 4 - 2 1/2” x 18 1/2” strips of coordinating fabric for the ties.
2. To make each tie place one strip fabric wrong side up on ironing surface. Fold in the short side on the right 1/4” and press. Fold long edge in half and press. Unfold and press bottom long edge so that the raw edge lines up with crease in the middle of the strip. Fold the top raw edge to the center crease in the same way and press. Aline folded edges together and press. Stitch the ties along the long edge using the left side of presser foot as a guide. To make this process go faster I stitched them one after the other without breaking my thread like I do when I am chain piecing fabric to make quilt blocks.
3. To make the mask fold the fabric right sides together aligning the 9” sides. Mark 3” in from each side and sew a 1/2” seam from the edge to the marking on each side. This will leave a 3” opening in the middle.
4. Press seam open and align seam 1/2” from top. Press top and bottom.
5. Add ties by aligning unfinished edges with the unfinished edges of the mask fabric at the top and bottom on each side. I used clips to keep the ties in place while I stitched the 1/2” seam. You could also use pins to secure the sides.
6. Double stitch over the ties for additional reinforcement. Clip corners to reduce bulk when the mask is turned right side out.
7. Now turn the mask right out through the 3” opening and press lightly. Make 6 marks on each side 1” apart.
8. Align mark 6 with mark 5 and clip. Align mark 4 with mark 3 and clip. Align mark 2 with mark 1 and clip. Do this on both sides. Stitch on the edge using the right side of the presser foot as a guide. Double stitch across pleats for added reinforcement. Do this on both sides.
And now your mask is done!
I found that I could work more efficiently if I did 5-7 masks at a time. Even so it took me about 30 minutes to make each mask. Using elastic in place of the ties would have cut down the time enormously but I did not have any in my supplies. I was pleased with how the masks turned out and I really enjoyed the process of making them. Most of all it was nice to feel like I was contributing to the effort to slow the spread of this awful disease that we are battling.