Disclaimer: I make no guarantees or claims about the effectiveness or proper uses for face masks. Use at your own risk.
Hey y’all! Hope you’ve been well! I’ve been busy making more fabric masks since my last post…so far I’ve made 35 masks for several different people, and planning to make more, Lord-willing! 🙂 In the process, I have found myself tweaking my technique, and finding ways to make the masks better/more comfortable to wear. I was really interested in the type of masks that had a nose wire, but I still wanted to be able to put my masks in the washer and dryer, and that just sounded like a recipe for disaster to me. So that got me thinking…how could I make a wired mask, but not make it super complicated, and be able to take out the wire for washing? Well, here’s what I came up with! 🙂
Although this mask is quite different, the original measurements came from this tutorial from Deaconess.
Here’s a video tutorial, where I walk you through the whole process! You can also keep reading to see more pictures and descriptions of what I did.
You will need these supplies:
- Two pieces of fabric (the tighter the weave, the better) cut 9 inches by 6 inches
- Two pieces of 1/4 inch elastic, cut 7 inches long (Well, that seems to be a good size for most people. I have also used 6.5 inch or 7.5 inch pieces, depending on the fit for the person who will use the mask. Feel free to adjust as needed!)
- Either pins or plastic sewing clips
- And, of course, a sewing machine! 🙂
In this picture, you can see the way the two layers get sewn together. The fabric should be right sides together for this step, and the elastic gets sewn in between the layers, from corner to corner on the short sides. Make sure the elastic is not twisted! Backstitch at the beginning (which is the right side of the opening for flipping), then at each of the ends of the elastic, and the very end.
The only thing that makes this step different from a regular mask is that on the second long side (bottom of this picture), we need to leave what is essentially a large “skipped stitch.” To find the placement, first put a mark 2 inches on either side of the center. When you come to the first mark as you sew, lift your presser foot and needle, and simply pull the fabric straight back for about half an inch, then proceed stitching like normal. You may also backstitch on either or both sides of this gap, if you like. Clip all four corners.
See? This is what we created in the last step, and that hole will be where the wire can be inserted and removed later! 🙂 Leave the thread intact, don’t cut this part!
After flipping the mask right side out, this is what it should look like!
Now, on each of the short sides, clip or pin three small pleats. If the pleats are about 3/8 of an inch wide, that works well. Make sure the pleats on both sides face the same direction! I also like to clip the opening on the bottom, to make sure it’s lined up when I sew.
This is where the small gap is on the top of the mask.
Now place two more marks on the top of the mask, 4 inches apart, 2 inches on either side of the center, just like we did before. You can find the center by either measuring or by folding the mask in half.
The wire that you use should be firm, but easily bendable. Cut it 4 inches long, and then round the ends. Make sure it’s not sharp! You don’t want it to be able to scratch you or poke a hole in your new mask! This is floral wire, but you can use whatever similar wire you can find! I’ve even used some Christmas ornament hooks, which were already the perfect length! 🙂 (You probably have some of those laying around, don’t you? haha)
Now it’s time for the topstitching! Start on the bottom of the mask, before the larger opening. Begin sewing 1/8 inch away from the edge. Rotate at the corner, towards the pleats. At this point, I like to switch to a triple stitch for the pleated sides, and if you have that option too, I highly recommend it! It makes the sides so much stronger, without having to topstitch twice or backstitch over the pleats at all. When you get to the next long side, which is the top of the mask, and you reach your first mark, rotate 90 degrees and stitch 3-4 stitches, then rotate back. Proceed sewing, this time 3/8 inch from the edge, until you reach the second mark. Here you will rotate again, sew 3-4 stitches back towards the edge, then rotate back and proceed with a 1/8 inch topstitch.
Finish the second pleated side, then the rest of the bottom, trying to overlap exactly where you started, and backstitch to secure. Clip threads.
Now your mask is ready to insert the wire! 😀 The gap for the wire will be where the two fabrics meet, inside the deeper topstitching!
And there you have it! A lovely fabric face mask with a wire you can take out for washing and drying! 🙂
Happy sewing! Let me know if you try it or if you have any questions! 🙂