With the evolving situation of Covid-19, many countries in the world have made it compulsory for their citizens to wear masks when they go out in public. Wearing a mask can sometimes be uncomfortable, but it has been proven to limit the spread of respiratory droplets, which can help flatten the Covid-19 epidemic curve.
One person should have at least some 2-3 washable face masks to protect themselves in public area. But the thing is, we don’t have enough masks for everyone. And also not everyone can sew. That is why I am making this tutorial for dummies to sew a washable face mask from household materials that you can find easily.
First thing first, materials and tools: what you need to sew a mask?
- Needle and thread
- Pins or clips to hold fabrics in place
- At least 20 by 20 inches of 100 percent cotton fabric, such as a flat tea towel
- Four shoelaces or trips of cotton fabric for ties, about 17 inch long and 3/4 inch wide
And here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Prepare your materials
Prepare Mask Base
Pick a piece of cotton fabric, wash it with hot water and dry it on high heat. Fold the fabric in half. Measure and cut out a 9.5 inch by 6.5 inch rectangle to create two identically sized layers. This is your mask base.
Prepare the fabric ties
Cut 4 thin pieces of material, about 18 inch long and 3/4 inch wide. Fold each piece of fabric twice lengthwise, then once more to tuck the rough edges inside. Sew a straight line along the middle. This will prevent the fabric ties from having frayed edges.
Step 2: Attach the ties
Take one of your rectangular fabric layers. With the “right side” (or the outer-facing side, where the pattern might be) facing you, pin down the 4 fabric ties, one piece per corner. Make sure that the ties are gathered in the center of the fabric layer.
Fabric ties can also be replace with sewing elastic, but note that elastic is more difficult to clean and it is also harder to find. Attach elastics to the first layer of fabric by securing the ends at the corners, forming little hoops. Make sure the elastic lies inside the perimeter of your fabric.
Step 3: Put it together
Line the other piece of fabric up with the first one. The right side of the fabric should be facing each other, sandwiching the ties or sewing elastics. Use pins to keep it together.
Step 4: It’s time to stitch
Sew a straight line across the mask, about 1/4 inch above the bottom edge of the fabric piece, toward the bottom left-hand corner. Once you sew past the pins, remove them.
Ensure that the ties or elastic are secured in the corners as you sew by going through all 3 pieces: 2 layers and the tie. You can sew back and forth at that point to make sure the ties or elastic are secured.
Step 5: More sewing
Sew all around both layers forward and backward, especially through the 4 corners where you want to attach the ties. Keep the stitches going until you almost reach the starting point, leave about 1 1/2 inch gap.
Step 6: Turn inside out
From the small gap you leave in step 5, turn the whole thing inside out to find your ties or elastics stick out from 4 corners.
Step 7: Fold pleats
Fold 3 pleats along the mask to make it conform to your face. Use pins to secure the pleats.
Step 8: Last step
Sew around the perimeter of the face mask, leave 1/4 inch from the edge of the seam and you already have a washable mask to protect yourself and your community.