To wear or not to wear face mask? How to sew a face mask? It is true that this is one of the most controversial topics as far as coronavirus prevention is concerned. While some people are convinced that it will protect them from getting infected with covid-19 virus, the World Health Organization does not encourage healthy people to wear a mask as it makes sense only if you are sick. Nevertheless, the mask is an option for those who want to show solidarity. And who knows, maybe a self-made face mask with a filter could filter out at least some of the pathogens. We will show you three patterns for DIY face masks – one for surgical masks with folds and rubber bands, one with a seam in the middle and a face mask with bands instead of rubber bands. Which of these fits the face shape best and how you can put on and remove the breathing mask correctly – we will explain this in the article.
How to sew a face mask with folds and rubber bands
Surgical face masks serve a different purpose. They are not intended to protect the surgeon, but the patient from viruses and bacteria. The masks are attached to the ears with rubber bands. The folds ensure that the mask adapts better to the shape of the face. Of course, a homemade fabric mask cannot offer the same protection. It has one major disadvantage: if you want to sew a face mask, you only use one layer of fabric. This means that you cannot integrate a filter. The fact that you have to iron the wrinkles after each washing is another disadvantage. However, DIY fabric face masks with rubber bands have their advantages as well. They can be put on and taken off quickly without having to touch your face with dirty hands or the mask itself. It offers a fairly high level of comfort and is breathable. This means that, unlike other masks with filters, you can easily breathe in and out.
You can use different materials for your DIY face mask, for example fleece is suitable for this purpose. No matter what fabric you choose, make sure it can be washed at 90 degrees, because you have to wash it at 90 degrees and then iron it. This is the way to disinfect a homemade fabric mask. If you want to sew a face mask by yourself, you can print out the pattern and use it as a template. You also need the following materials: fabric, rubber bands, preferably flat and a sewing machine. You can also sew the mask by hand, but you should make sure that the seam is as tight as possible.
First cut out a piece of fabric with dimensions 18 cm wide and 36 cm long. Then iron four evenly spaced folds 1.5 cm deep into the fabric. Place the fabric on the work surface. The left side of the fabric is facing up. Top stitch the fabric at the top and bottom and pin the edge reinforcements with needles. Then pin the rubber bands with needles and sew them on both sides of the mask.
Wear the mask for a maximum of 2 hours a day. Replace it with a new mask after 2 hours. Try to hold the mask only by the rubber bands. Wash and iron all the masks used in the evening at 90 degrees.
DIY face mask with seam in the middle
The second mask with seam in the middle is a dust masks that people wear to festivals like Coachella or Burning Man. The sewing pattern is much easier. This mask has the advantage that you can integrate a wire on top so that it stands on the nose. Another advantage is that you can use two layers of fabric and even make a filter pocket.
If you want to sew this face mask, you need the following: a pattern, fabric for the outer layer fabric for the inside and possibly a filter of your choice.
Pin the pattern to fabric and cut the fabric pieces.
Sew the two pieces of fabric and then sew only the top pieces of fabric together.
Cut two 17 cm long pieces out of flat rubber bands and insert them into the side edge reinforcements. Place the wire at the top and sew it.
How to sew a face mask with a filter pocket?
The third mask is similar to a surgical mask, but has a filter pocket at the back and is attached to the head with head straps. This homemade face mask can be easily adapted to your own face shape. You need: fabric for the outer layer, for example, boil-proof cotton, breathable fabric for the inner layer, for example fleece and two bands, elastic or not.
As a rule, similar to the first pattern that we showed you, you need to cut a piece of fabric for the outer layer and iron folds into the fabric. Then topstitch the fabric ends and sew the inside layer of fabric to the outside layer. The only thing left to do is to sew on the headbands. Follow the instructions below.
The finished mask made of fabric can be tied around the ears or around the head. It adapts well to the face, but you may have to tie the headbands several times a day. Overall, it offers a significantly lower level of comfort compared to the other options and is more suitable for shopping or a short walk with the dog. You can combine this breathing mask with a filter. Or you can let wet wipes dry and then use them as filters. Kitchen paper is also always recommended as a suitable filter, but whether it really filters the air remains questionable.
Even if you wear a face mask you should definitely not forget to take the other protective measures.
It is very important to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before you put the mask on and after removing it. Don’t forget to keep a distance of at least 2 meters from other people. Do not touch your face when wearing the mask. Do not remove the mask to eat or smoke something. Replace the fabric mask every 2 hours. Wash the homemade masks at 90 degrees and iron them to disinfect them. The patterns are only for adults, children and babies should not wear a face mask. Always seek advice from local authorities and your family doctor about whether or not you should wear a face mask.