I live in Slovenia and we are currently expecting a 2nd wave of COVID-19 to reach our country again. When the first wave hit us we were totally unprepared. Medical face masks, disinfectant, food, toilet paper… so many things were happening at once. The world felt like a mad place to live in.
I have read several studies that have confirmed in case we wear face masks in combination with complementary public health measures with other we prevent the community spread of coronavirus further (HERE, HERE, and HERE).
I personally do not like the idea that after I use medical face masks I had to throw it in the trash after only using it once. We have limited natural resources on Earth, and that is why I have decided to make a washable handmade face mask for myself and my family.
Why do We Wear a Face Mask?
When coronavirus struck, the medical professionals needed some time to understand the disease and develop tests. Soon official guidelines were put in place for the general public. I think that we should all take responsibility and do as much as we can to stop Coronavirus from spreading further.
Wearing a face mask provides protection for those around you by stopping the spread of potentially contagious spit particles from your mouth and nose.” After all, masks don’t exactly provide protection to the wearer, they provide protection for everyone around the wearer of the mask.
Here are some of the guidelines, I follow them on daily basis:
- we wear masks because the medical profession claims that it can help stop spreading the COVID-19 virus,
- be very aware of your hygiene, regularly wash your hands with water and soap or alcohol-based hand rub,
- keep your social distance between non-family members 1.5 – 2 m (in public, in shops, pharmacy, …), the same rule applies to family members that you do not see on daily basis,
- MOST IMPORTANT: stay home if you feel sick (cough, headache, mild fever).
Choose the Right Size & Find a Good Pattern
It is very important that you choose the right size of the mask for your face. Mask must cover your face from above the nose and go below your chin. Face mask must be also comfortable for your ears, so you can wear it for a longer period of time.
You can start your search on Pinterest or Google, there you will find a sea of different patterns and possibilities. This is how I started. In the end, I have taken one pattern for adult masks that looked OK.
Later in the evening, I was looking at my daughter’s mask (her aunt bought her for school), and I noticed that she had better lining around her nose, so I have transferred that line to my template. My pattern is a combination of two patterns, I will attach the FREE PDF file in my next post (HERE).
My Material & Supply List
People use different types of materials for sewing face masks. If the material is too thick, it makes it hard to breathe. If the material has no density, then the face mask loses its function of protection.
In case cannot decide which two layers to use, but one above the other and then both together on your face. You will see, how easy it is to breathe through it and also how it feels on your face.
To make your own embroidery face mask, you need:
- free adult face mask pattern with flower embroidery (I will publish it in next post),
- white stretch jersey (I purchased mine HERE), you can choose a different colour if you wish. I do not recommend jersey with wild patterns because embroidery will not so clearly seen,
- colourful threads (I purchased mine HERE),
- elastic band, bought at my local store,
- scissors (I purchased HERE),
- needle (I purchased HERE),
- pins bought at my local store,
- pen bought at my local store,
- sewing meter bought at my local store,
- sewing machine (borrowed from friend Katja).
Elastic for Ears – My Observations
I made several test masks and I used two types of elastic bands:
- 1 cm / 0.39 inch thick – I used length 13.5 cm / 5.31 inch. This elastic is a little rougher on the ears. I do not recommend it for kids face masks,
- 0.5 cm / 0.19 inch thick – this one is more soft and gentle for ears. I also noticed that it need to be a bit shorter, I used length 13 cm / 5.11 inch – I recommend this elastic band, it feels much more comfortable on your ears.
TIP: if the face mask will feel too slouchy on your face, try to shorten the elastic band for 0.5 / 0.19-inch cm or 1 cm / 0.39 inch. That did the trick for me – the mask has laid on my face much better.
This is the Beginning …
…of our journey and not the end. In case wish to learn how to make your own hand embroidery face mask, please get your material ready. I will share the process of creating your own mask in my next post.
I have a sewing machine for about 1.5 months. Sewing face mask for an adult is also a nice beginner project, that does not require too much sewing skills. The time that I needed from sewing my first masks to my 8th mask was shortened a lot. When I have sewed my first mask, I was thinking that everything must be perfect and it took me a long time to attach those few pins that I have needed to hold my materials together.
The new mask gave me more confidence and I became quicker and quicker. It also helped to handle the sewing machine better and I had more feeling how hard to push the pedal of the sewing machine. I also did not know, how loud are sewing machines… I cannot imagine listening to this sound every day. But, when I do listen to it, I like it, because it is the sound of creativity 🙂
If you decide to join me, please, give it a try and let me know in the comments how to do you like my process and your end result.
NOTE: I will be sharing how to make a 2-layered mask. This mask will protect others in case you are coughing ad sneezing. This mask is not suitable for medical staff, it is meant for everyday use and with it we can prevent the transit of the virus from us to another person. If you need face masks for other reasons, here are WHO recommendations ( HERE).
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PS: you may also like this:
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