Let's face it. In today's world, you can't be too careful. The latest from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is that they recommend the use of cloth face coverings when out and about in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. And, that goes for kids too. If you're unable to get your hands on a mask, don't fret. We've got you covered. Below is a step-by-step visual guide to sewing masks for your family, friends, and community (safe to wear for ages 3+)!
First things first. You'll need the following supplies:
- Sewing machine or hand sewing needle
- Light to medium-weight fabric—we recommend a plain woven 100% organic cotton for its stability and breathability!
- Twist-tie or 2-3” soft wire
- Approximately 4’ of ribbon, yarn, or any other ties
- Coffee filter, vacuum filter, or extra layer of fabric
For an adult sized mask, cut or tear a rectangle of fabric with a length of 13” and width of 8 1/2”. For a child sized mask, a length of 11 1/2” and width of 7 1/2”.Lay the fabric wrong side up on a flat surface. Hem
the top and bottom edges of the fabric. These edges will become the opening for an optional inserted filter, and hemming
them will prevent them from fraying with use.To hem
, fold the ends over 1/2”, use the iron to press
, then fold again and press
a straight stitch across this fold, making sure to back-tack
(reverse the stitch) at the beginning and the end of the seam. Backtacking
is the machine equivalent of typing a knot in your thread.
Next, fold in the sides of the fabric by 0.5”. Fold the corners under at a 45 degree angle. This small detail will help to create a cleaner finish to the opening of the mask. Press
the folds in place.Fold the bottom of the fabric towards the middle. Place the wire or twist-tie parallel to the top of the fabric before folding the top down to meet the bottom hem in the middle. (Note: if you are using wire, be sure to fold the ends in and/or tape them so they do not poke out of the fabric and scratch the wearer’s nose!) Press
the twist-tie in place and sew
. Be sure to sew in the shape of a box around the wire to keep it in place in the center of the mask.
Fold the mask into a box pleat. A box pleat is made from two equal accordion folds in opposite directions.
For the adult sized mask, (a) = 3/4” and (b) = 1 1/4”For the child sized mask, (a) = 5/8” and (b) = 1 1/8”Press!
Cut two lengths ~20” long ribbon. Sandwich these between the double layer of fabric on each side of the top of the mask, and pin into place. Cut two lengths of 2” long ribbon and fold in half. Sandwich the loops between the double layer of fabric on each side of the bottom of the mask, and pin into place. Sew
1/4” in from the edge of the mask all the way around the perimeter.Use your scissors to clip any loose threads.Tuck the filter into the mask through the opening in the back.Thread the long ribbon through the small ribbon loop. This creates an adjustable larger loop to wrap around growing ears.
Time to wear your mask!Loop the larger loops around your ears; pull the bottom of the mask down to cover the chin; pull the top of the mask up to cover the nose and mold the wire to the shape of the nose bridge. Tie the long ribbons together at the back of the neck, or tie them at the ears.Remember to wash the mask in hot water and change the filter between usage, and to keep your distance! Cloth masks alone will not prevent COVID-19, but they will certainly help to minimize the spread of the virus. Make them with your family, share them with your neighbors, friends, grocery stores, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, greater community, and stay safe!