It feels a bit like the world is crumbling down around us. All responsible humans are locked in their homes as much as possible. Gone are the random trips to walk around the mall and visit the LEGO. The lack of facemasks available for the general public has created a surge of people making masks.
The narrative on face masks has been anything but consistent. Don’t wear them. They are only for healthcare workers. Definitely wear them. Ok, but what good is woven fabric? It’s more dangerous to wear a face mask than not! Wear a bandana or scarf. We’ve seemingly settled on anything is better than nothing and nothing is not acceptable!
I did not jump on the mask making train at first because I was really skeptical of the efficacy of cloth masks. Also, I’ve been busy (in case you haven’t noticed) working on my Doctorate in Education. So now that I’ve passed my qualifying exams, I have been working on cloth face masks.
I went with the curved fitted look rather than pleated. Pleats are super annoying to me. I did try it, just once. The first masks were a bit of an experiment. I had some ¼ in elastic and was only able to find skinny jewelry elastic on Amazon. There were leftover pipe cleaners from Christmas for nosepieces. I also forgot the topstitching…. oops. The masks worked just fine, but I wanted something better.
For the second batch, I switched to 1/8” elastic and that’s been gentler on the ear lobes. I also got a reel of twist tie material intended for gardening and it’s made the nose pieces much sturdier. I’ve now got a whole stack of little masks at home for the whole family. It’s kind of fun to pick which one goes best with my outfit or hair (which is pink currently). Until recently, I’d only made them for my family and one friend who had asked because she knew I can sew.
It’s been a bit of a mission for me over this quarantine to sew only with fabric I already have (too much) rather than buying any. And what more perfect fabric for making masks than an entire bolt of FSU fabric I got as a gift. I had no clue what to do with all of this fabric, but it was nice, so I washed it and ironed it and kept it in one of my many bins. Well, it’s gone now. I’ve been able to make more than 50 masks from this one bolt. Many of these are featured in my good friend MK’s Etsy store (go look, I know you want to). She’s got some awesome pleated ones too if that’s more your thing.
Times are pretty scary right now and I have so many things to worry about. Sewing is one hobby that I really enjoy, it helps me focus and relax. Producing something potentially lifesaving is a bonus.