I Learned How to Make Masks

Remember taking home ec or family and consumer sciences in middle school? Well, I do. I learned to sew a pillow, passed the class, and thought I would never have to use a sewing machine ever again. I also thought I would never live through a global pandemic. 

 

Once classes ended last semester, I had a lot of time on my hands. I was about to return to my summer job, and I knew that I would need masks to go to work. At this time, the average mask is about $10-15 which seemed absurd when health officials were saying students would need 10 masks. That would cost about 150 bucks just for a few pieces of cloth. Instead, I decided to go to my local fabric shop (always try to shop local) to pick out some cute patterns to make myself some masks.

 

I like the masks that are fitted to your face, so I used a pattern similar to this one. I didn’t add any wires or filters. I feel that having the ability to remove the elastics is essential to make the masks long-lasting. Therefore I made sure the elastics were not sewn directly into the fabric. Here are some helpful tips I have learned: 

  • Trace the template onto cardboard cut out to get a hard edge stencil

  • Trace accurately so you don’t waste fabric

  • Align the pattern of each half of the mask to make it symmetrical

  • Hem the edges of the mask so that it does not fray

  • Iron the fabric multiple times (or after every step)

 

You do not need many materials to get started. What I found important was:

  • A sewing machine

  • Thread

  • Two fabrics (one for the front and one for the lining)

  • A pen/pencil

  • Scissors

  • Elastic (I suggest ⅛ elastic)

  • An Iron 

 

Making your own mask may be difficult at first, but you will get unique custom masks that are perfectly fitted to your face. 

 

Soon, once I got the hang of making the masks, I started making them for my family. I even sent some to Germany for my grandparents. I gave friends some masks as well. I found this experience extremely rewarding. Not only do I have masks for all of my outfits, but I was able to show my love and appreciation to my family and friends through my masks. This fun crafting project consumed my summer, but it was so much fun. I hope I have inspired you to get sewing!