DIY Fabric Masks
With the shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks, many makers are turning to their sewing machines to create fabric masks. While it's important to note that these masks are not a substitute for medical masks, including N95 masks or surgical masks, in protecting individuals from the spread of disease they are a last stitch effort in offering protection for medical personnel in the event that the appropriate masks are not available to them.
For this project you will need:
- Thick Woven 100% Cotton Fabric
- Elastic (flat 1/4 preferred)
- Sewing Machine
- Clips or Pins
- Iron (Not necessary, but helpful in the process)
- Fabric Scissors or Rotary Cutter and Mat
The directions and template I used were provided by Deaconess Hospital. You can find their directions here as well as a video tutorial in making these masks. I've included an additional photo documentation with brief notes of the process with a brief description below for all of your visual learners out there. Be sure to follow the official Deaconess and/or any other medically released tutorials for all of the details.
Cutting the fabric into 2 appropriately sized rectangles per mask - Cut 9x6 (Adult) or 7.5 x 5 (Child). Cut elastic into 7 inch strips. You will need two per mask.
Place the pretty sides/printed sides of rectangle fabric pieces facing in. You can pin them together for ease of sewing. Start sewing the rectangle, but leave a 1-2 inch hole to turn fabric right side out. Each end of elastic will be placed in the corner of the rectangles & sewn in so you have two elastic loops (see below) - one on each side.
Once it has been turned right side out you're going to prep the fabric to make the tucks. 3 tucks total to secure the mask near the face.
Sew the tucks in place and sew around the exterior to sew up the hole to make sure the fabric doesn't start to unravel. You can do a quick sew around again to reinforce the stitches.
This is a simple sewing project that can be a great way for your family, or small business, to help other during these challenging times. Please note that these masks are not medical grade/do not include a filter and cannot entirely protect from the spread of airborne illness. Chronicles of a Pixie is currently donating all of the masks pictured to medical professionals in case they run out of PPE and are in need of an alternative barrier. If you are interested in making masks for donation purposes be sure to check with the organization to make sure you are following the directions for masks they are able to use and inform whoever you're donating to how they were made so they understand how to best use them.
If you're considering wearing a fabric mask for personal protection please review the best practices to ensure you are using it properly. Masks should always be properly washed/sanitized after every single use. Be sure to handle and clean appropriately to limit your personal exposure with handling. I am not a medical provider or producer of medical grade goods - always check with your medical practitioner or other medical resources for best practices.