Mask Making

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Like so many people, I've been making masks to wear when I leave the house.  California is now requiring them, which seems like a prudent decision.

I often have to wear different kinds of protective masks at work, so I have strong opinions on how a mask fits my face.  I wanted a mask that had both nose and chin shaping, and that had straps that did not go all the way around the back of the head.  (I have a lot of hair, which doesn't work well with this style of strap.)




This is the style I settled on.  It has a dart for the nose, and two darts under the chin.  I think it's both face-shaped and not overly bulky.  It also uses a minimal amount of fabric, which lets me use of the scraps that I've been incapable of throwing out over the years.  It's nice to finally make something out of this material.




This is the pattern I used.  The video is Thai, but it's very easy to follow, as all the dimensions are notated in Arabic numbers.  There had been a google document in the comments that provided a printable template, but the link seems to have gone bad.




I found that the pattern fit me perfectly, without any alterations.  Likewise, the men's pattern was a great fit for Robb.




There are two layers of fashion fabric, and an inner layer which I imagine can function as a sort of pocket, in case the wearer wishes to insert a filter.  




Here's the inside view.  I can't help thinking that it looks a bit like underwear.

The one innovation I made to this design was some nose-wire.  I think it helps to have a closer fit around the sides of the nose. I believe it keeps air from escaping.  I think this is particularly important for folks who wear glasses.

I used the plastic-encased wire that is commonly seen closing coffee and cookie bags.  This is technically known as double-wire tin-tie.  

On the first mask I made, I sandwiched the tin-tie between the lining fabric and the fashion fabric.  I think this is a poor choice, and am now placing the tin-tie between the two layers of fashion fabric.





It helps to make a tiny cut in the bottom edge of the tin-tie.  This helps the strip form more closely to the nose.  In this case, I cut too deeply into the strip, destroying the structural integrity of the material.

I have a lot of feelings about how our medical system, which is the most expensive in the world, did not have nearly enough protective equipment for their workers, and how it fell on an army of volunteer home-sewers to produce basic safety equipment.  I have a lot of feelings about how badly the White House handled this entire pandemic response.  I have a lot of feelings about how the conservative movement in America has devalued expertise, particularly among the scientific community.  I have a lot of feelings about the hundreds of thousands of people who have died from COVID-19.

But my feelings really aren't helpful.  They upset me, and keep me from doing anything productive. So I'm going to sew masks and try to be useful in whatever small way I can.

Comments

Mokihana said…
Great post... Your masks are wonderful and I agree with your thoughts.
K said…
I think we have a lot of the same feelings about this whole American response to the pandemic. I can only hope that it will change the results of November's elections for the better.
Your masks are lovely. Would you consider making any to sell?
Anonymous said…
I’m getting ready to give this one a try! The measurement conversion gave my math-challenged brain a workout and I’m having to get creative with elastic. Thanks for sharing. And I’m glad you’re posting re bees again!
~Donna aka Tempus Fugit

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