Crafts · Sewing

Sewing Cotton Face Masks for Home Use

    Good morning/afternoon/evening/night everyone (covering all the time zones there). I know, Monday posts are always for planners but this isn’t a planner post! I thought I’d post it today though because it’s a more timely…time…yes I sometimes words wrong.

     This is not a tutorial because I am bad at those when I know what I’m talking about and when it comes to sewing I have no idea what I’m talking about. I thought I’d share some of the info I’ve come across though because I know that a few people out there reading this might find it interesting and useful. I saw @vanawillemiel do a story on Instagram talking about sewing emergency face masks using 100% quilting cotton. She talked about how obviously, these aren’t perfect but if you’re coughing and sneezing, a double layered cotton face mask can stop 50% of the particles from spraying out so that’s better than nothing…maybe watch her story that she saved for a better explanation but basically it amounts to don’t buy disposable faces makes because health care workers need those – for personal use, try make your own.

     She linked to this pattern (top face mask in photo below) It’s not an overly complicated one but I am really bad at sewing so I struggled with the curve a little. I also didn’t top stitch down so the fabric is a little loose. Mostly though I cut the elastic too short so it’s not really wearable for me. A quick google led me to this pattern (bottom face mask in photo below) which I found much easier because it was all straight lines. I did struggle a little with the pleats but I got through it. This one has the benefit of being able to add a filter of some sort into it if you have one.

     Luckily I had some elastic in my stash and my mum had some fabric in hers so I was able to make some of these face masks fairly quickly (albeit after a day of stressing out about my sewing machine and ruining some fabric but when it starting working it was fairly quick). My masks are a mess in that I can’t cut straight lines, I can’t sew straight lines, my pleats are completely uneven and I never iron my fabric first but in a pinch, these are better than nothing if you just need to cover your face when you go to the shop.

     (Seriously though, I make such a mess when sewing!)

    So yeah, if you can, try make some face masks for yourself (preferably using some bright and cheery fabrics). I believe it was mentioned by @vanawillemiel in her story that with these, wash them if they get wet or you’ve been wearing them for 4 hours at 60+ degrees Celsius so make more then one so you can always have one ready to wear.

18 thoughts on “Sewing Cotton Face Masks for Home Use

  1. Brilliant, thank you! I had wondered if it was possible to make face masks but was put off as I thought you needed special material…..but as you say if it cuts down on 50 per cent of shedded particles it would be worthwhile. Also, these would be washable and so re- useable perhaps….or should they just be thrown away as contaminated once used?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw someone say that they are washable, as long as you wash them at a temperature 60 degrees celcius and above. You just have to wash them if you’ve been wearing them for a few hours or if they get wet from coughing/sneezing so they are reusable – Just gotta maintain proper washing and hand washing while using them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea! Anything to help for just going to the store!
      Wish I could crochet a full face mask, I’d find it so much more enjoyable over sewing 😀


    1. I imagine people assume a lot that you can sew if you’re doing a fashion major. Definitely try convince your sister though to make some – bribe with cute fabric! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a cool project! We don’t have enough face masks and the stores haven’t carried them for months. I would totally request one of these. Sadly I can’t sew to save my life (okay, that pun was horrible.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dad knew someone who made 5M for selling face masks to hospitals during the SARS outbreak. I guess he saw an opportunity and ran with it.

      I’ve got a N95 mask which I saved from my mask fitting in January. Not sure why I saved it but I’m happy I did, in the event that I need to use it. I think you did a great job sewing these face masks and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a market for your masks. It doesn’t hurt to try selling them OR giving them to neighbors, family, friends etc. I suggest selling them for less than you normally would – people are very desperate for masks right now and I think health is more important than profiting right now most. Just a thought. 😷😷

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m out of fabric now so I can’t make any more for the time being unless I find a fabric store I can buy online from but if I do make more, I’d definitely just give them to friends and family who wanted them – I’d feel weird selling them.


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