Masks for Coronavirus: What I’m doing to Help

*a cloth mask for coronavirus is not a substitute for a PPE mask. Studies so far are inconclusive as to what a cloth mask can and cannot filter. If worn over a PPE mask, a cloth mask can prolong the life of the PPE mask. These are in great demand and short supply at the moment. Cloth masks can be washed with detergent and bleached after use.

So the big one has come. The pandemic that experts warned of us of has finally swept the globe. Much of the USA are currently at home leaving only to pick up groceries or go to the doctor or pharmacy. The rate of infection is staggering, as is the death count. This has a lot of us feeling anxious and helpless, as least I know it has me.

For the last month I’ve been racking my brain, wishing there was some way to help people affected. I’d heard that some people were making face masks, but I knew these didn’t work nearly as well as PPE masks, so I forgot about it for a while. And then the situation became so desperate that healthcare facilities actually started requesting sewers make masks due to a shortage in PPE masks.

I watched this video by Angela Clayton, a historical costumer, and then followed this link for the instuctable on how to make these masks for coronavirus.

Luckily, in the past, I was a bit of a fabric hoarder. I have yards and yards of cotton laying around waiting to be used. I even had a stash of cotton in the same color as scrubs!

The pattern

I printed out the instrutable pattern, made some adjustments (it wasn’t quite to scale even after adjusting the printer options), and started cutting away. One thing I noticed right off the bat is that this isn’t the most friendly pattern when it comes to conserving fabric. I’ve been trying to cut the mask on the straight grain to avoid possible stretching, which limits how many masks I can get out of a yard.

Next I cut out the side binding (from the same fabric) and the strips for the ties. I made my side ties roughly 17in long.

Pleats and Darts

This pattern has three pleats on each side as well as a large dart at the top of the mask (for your nose), and a smaller one where your chin would be. Nothing crazy here, just had to make sure I ironed the pleats well so the mask keeps its shape.

Side Binding and Ties

The side binding and ties were cuts out of the same fabric. I tried to cut them across the grain when possible. I bound the side seams, cut off the excess fabric, and then repeated the procedure for the ties, binding the top and bottom edges, and folding the fabric over for the tie portion.

 

And here’s the finished mask:

I encourage you to try making these too if you have a sewing machine. It’s relatively simple (especially if you’re a seasoned sewer), and could help out a lot of people!

Have you read my last post about affordable skincare? You can here!