Be Sure to Protect Yourself and Others
Amid the ever-growing public health concerns, the CDC has advised that individuals wear face masks when entering public spaces such as supermarkets, retail stores, and restaurants. Recent research has been conducted on the effectiveness of masks against spreading the virus. Upon review, it has been determined that wearing a mask can significantly reduce the spread of the virus. Depending upon the type of mask constructed, however, it does not guarantee that you will not contract COVID-19.
This is the reason it is exceptionally important for individuals to follow CDC guidelines on proper mask-wearing. With the increased demand for masks, however, presently there is a worldwide shortage of masks. Commercially, masks are virtually unavailable. Proper protective equipment, even in areas such as hospitals, has been rationed. Nurses and other professionals are required to reuse protective gear for up to a week.
As the need for masks has become increasingly severe, many professional and hobbyist seamstresses are making masks for personal and public use. These homemade masks may not provide guaranteed safety while in public but will help prevent the overall spread of the threat of Corona. Even professionals may be uncertain as to what supplies and materials are needed for sewing effective masks, though. Below, we have provided a guide on how to sew masks that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A Guide to Mask Making
Creating square, pleated masks are relatively simple and take a handful of supplies. The ultimate goal of the masks is to reduce the spread of Corona throughout our local communities. As with any project, if you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us and we can assist.
- an iron
- fabric scissors
- sewing pins
- a sewing machine
- 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric, approximately 7×9 inches
- 2 pieces of cotton fabric measuring approximately 1.5×40 inches for the straps
Please note: If you do not have 100% cotton fabric readily available, t-shirts, dish towels, or pillowcases can also be substituted for the mask fabric. Furthermore, for straps, you may substitute shoelaces or ribbon, if necessary.
Begin by taking your two primary pieces of fabric and sew them together, facing inward toward each other. Sew along all edges of the fabric, with the exception of a 2-inch gap along the top Ensure the seams are strong and able to withstand pressure from pulling and tugging.
Reach inside the gap you left in the seam and reverse the fabric. This should leave your seams inside and allow the face of the fabric to face outward. For the time being, tuck the unsewn edges of the fabric into the opening, as these will be sewn together later.
During this step, you will create the pleats in the fabric. Using your pins, mark and pin each pleat evenly spaced along the 7-inch side of the fabric. Begin by placing a pin approximately 1.5-inches down the fabric. Then, place your next pin 1-inch below that. After this, you’ll place your third pin half an inch below the second pin. Continue doing so at half-inch intervals until you have used 6 pins. When you pull the pins together, this will create your pleats.
At this point, you will sew around the outer edges of the mask. This will effectively hold the pleats in place. Ensure the outer edges of your opening are still tucked inside at this point, as this will also seal your opening and complete the body of the mask itself.
Take the strip of fabric, ribbon, or lace you will be using for your strap. Fold the strap in half across the length of the material and iron it, tucking any raw edges inside with the iron. From here, pin your straps along the long edges of the mask. If you are using strips of fabric, you should ensure it overlaps to cover the other side of your mask body, as well.
At this step, you also want to ensure your straps are of equal length on both sides – that the strips of fabric themselves are positioned so that the mask lies in the middle and creates equal lengths of remaining fabric on both sides.
Stitch across the entire length of your strap, ensuring you are stitching through the top and bottom of the mask as well. Cut the end of the straps, if necessary, to remove frayed ends. If you desire, you can stitch around the perimeter of the mask itself to reinforce it.
This is a relatively simple mask pattern that many beginners are able to complete. While this mask may not guarantee that you are protected from the illness itself, it helps stop the spread of the virus in public, which officials have determined will be monumental in reducing the number of cases worldwide.
We understand that many sewers are unfamiliar with the mask-making process, as it is not a common pattern to make. Ensuring the mask is made correctly will help additionally improve public safety, making it more important than ever that projects are completed properly. That being said, if you have any questions or concerns in regards to the mask construction, materials, or potential alterations, we encourage you to reach out to us for assistance.
Helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 is in your hands. This is your chance to use your skills to help make a difference across the world. With hundreds of different materials to choose from, we have full faith you will be able to create a variety of masks for your family, friends, and service workers. As more seamstresses worldwide make masks available for public use, we hope to see case numbers decrease. Do your part and use our pattern to get started today.