Making a face mask

Handmade pleated fabric mask

With a measure of easing of the lockdown in the UK, the wearing of face masks is (at the time of writing) compulsory on public transport and advised for crowded locations such as shops. Until now, on my very rare sorties from my home, I have worn a DIY industrial mask, the kind I put on when I am spraying fabric with specialist adhesive when layering up a quilt.

(If you want to see what I look like in one of these, just turn to the Tutorials section of the website here!)

So, I felt it was high time to make a mask. Having reviewed the various options, I turned to this useful tutorial from Spoonflower (the company that prints my fabric designs).

I’ve now made two masks by this method and the mask is comfortable to wear. I can’t tolerate elastic next to my skin, so I like this version – where the elastic goes round the back of my head, rather than behind my ears.

There are a couple of points I would add to the clear instructions provided by Spoonflower.

Step 4 is the trickiest. At this stage, you are top-stitching the edge of the opening for the filter. You need to be very careful not to catch in another part of the mask. It looked like this on my sewing machine.

Sewing a fabric mask

I sewed down into the tube, carefully pulling the rest of the fabric out of the way of the presser foot.

At step 9, where you have to make to half-inch pleats at each side, I first marked out the sides with pins: at 1″, 2″, 3″ and 4″ from the top.

I then folded downwards 1″ down to 2″ and 3″ down to 4″ and inserted extra pins to hold the fabric in place. Stitching these pleats in place means sewing through quite a lot of bulk, so go slowly and use a sturdy machine needle.

I had some non-woven fabric in the drawer and cut a piece 8 x 4″ to insert into the mask.

This mask was relatively straightforward to make.

Handmade pleated fabric mask

The fabric I used is one of my own designs. It’s actually called ‘Micro-organisms’, which seemed rather appropriate (plus it has an abstract design which is not spoilt by pleating!) You can find it here.

Have you been making masks? Which style/method of making do you prefer?

Thank you for reading my blog. Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here.

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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