After viewing several complicated methods of mask making online, we decided to create our own method of creating a home-made cloth mask. This concept is much easier, extremely simple, and requires no folding. It actually takes five minutes. You’ll need: a small piece of material, a narrow piece of elastic, sewing pins, a sewing machine and a pipe cleaner (optional). BY THE WAY- Wider elastic can be cut lengthwise to make narrower pieces of elastic! Tea towel material is suggested to have the best micron filtration rate of approx 70%. See More tips after Step 6 below.
Place a cereal bowl over a small piece of material that is 11 inches long and 6 inches wide. Cut from the sides around the bowl and across to the other side as shown. This does not have to be exact, just use the bowl as a guide. Although the ruler was used for the photo, the Ruler under neath does help make it centered when cutting. The material needs to be tight woven cotton. Do not use knits of any kind. And, Dr. Oz says save the hospital material for the hospitals, they need it more.
On the back side, Iron a 1/4 inch hem on all four sides.
On the back side Pin Narrow elastic over the hem area, be sure to stretch the elastic as you go, all along the entire edge.
Zig Zag the elastic over the 1/4 inch hem, on the back side. Be sure to stretch the elastic as you sew and remove the pins before the sewing needle reaches that area. The sewn area will pucker which is desired. Be sure to Slow down over the curve area, and be sure the hem and elastic are matched.
Sew a 5 inch elastic loop over each of the sides to fit around the ears. Be sure to double stitch over the joint area where it’s more vulnerable. ( As you can see above, the zig zag stitching is starting to pull loose on the bottom edge)
STEP 6: OPTIONAL
Add a pipe cleaner across the top of the mask to tug tightly over the nose area on the back side. Your sewing machine will be able to zig zag over this without any issues, the wire inside is very tiny, smaller than a needle.
STEP 7 OPTIONAL
For additional Safety, Several layers of material can be added to the back side, including layers of filter material with a layer of cotton material on top (which is really the back side). Simply cut these layers the same shape, iron a 1/4 inch folded hem, pin with sewing pins, and sew a straight stitch on the back side. For better aesthetics, use bobbin thread that matches the color of the material on the front side. Remember to stretch the hem while sewing.
If you don’t have 32 inches of stretched elastic, you can get by with only putting the elastic on the center area, approximately 4-5 inches top and bottom.
If you happen to have a box for jewelry that has that white foam bottom, you can sew that in between the two layers to be uses as a filter. Just be careful washing it so it doesn’t get balled up.
OPTIONAL SAFETY FEATURE:
Another option is to actually sew a pocket area on the back side where a filter can be removed after use, and a new one replaced. The method for doing this is the same, iron a hem, pin the hem, and top stitch on three sides on the back side.
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