Mask making instructions


Read Janet Burgan's personal reflection here.

Dear home sewers, crafters and makers, here are some general guidelines to consider when making masks for our hospital workers:

Use only thread and 100 percent cotton fabric
Do not use elastic
Do not add metal or other nose-shaping materials
Fabric should be a tight weave but breathable (such as 400 thread-count sheets or quilting fabric)
Ensure all ties are securely fastened and all loose ends are snipped
Prepare fabric by machine washing in very hot water
Use new fabric whenever possible; if recycling fabric, boil first for 10 minutes

Finally, only make masks in a clean environment. Do not make masks if anyone in your household is sick. Wash your hands, clean your workspace and tools with disinfectant, and consider wearing a mask yourself while working. After assembly, machine wash in very hot water or boil in hot water for 10 minutes and dry.

For Janet Burgan’s masks, you will need the following materials:

100 percent tightly woven cotton cloth
100 percent cotton thread
100 percent cotton 4 ply worsted yarn, cut 2 at 20” each
crochet hook or large needle for threading through ear loop channel
one pipe cleaner

Click above for the full-size pattern.

Cut from pattern with pinking shears, if you have them. On piece A, mark the lines at A, B, C, D, E and F at the triangles. (I snip into the triangles.)

Make a half-inch hem at the top of piece A and stitch close to the edge. (This will form the channel for the pipe cleaner and the front of the mask.) Make a quarter-inch hem for the tops of both B pieces.

Turn piece A right side up. Bring mark A to mark B with fold in front to form first pleat and pin in place. Bring mark C to mark D to form second pleat and pin. Bring mark E to mark F for third pleat and pin.

Turn piece A upside down, still right side up. Repeat bring mark A to mark B with fold in front for first pleat and pin. Bring mark C to mark D and pin. Bring mark E to mark F and pin.

Iron pleats in place.

Fold pleats inward and mark hem on back side of piece A. Measure B pieces against folded mask and hem bottoms of B pieces close to the fold. Trim excess material if needed.

Fold piece B wrong side together with raw edges touching and hems on top and bottom. Repeat on second piece. Place over pleats on piece A with raw edges even. The fabric of piece A is right side up. Fold bottom pleats up and pin in place. Stitch up both side seams half an inch from edge, reinforcing the stitching at the top and bottom.

Turn inside out. Make small slit in outside of top hem on piece A. Cut pipe cleaner to length of channel at top of mask. Fold ends in so they won’t scratch the face. Insert pipe cleaner into the channel. The hardest part of the whole thing is getting the end tucked in; you’ll have to bend the pipe cleaner and insert it back into the hole to seat it properly.

String yarn through ear loop channels and tie off.


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