Making Masks, Round 2

I found a new mask pattern that looked faster and easier to make than the last one: the DIY Overhead Facemask by Mimi, on Bluprint.

But for me nothing is ever that simple. I thought I might be able to scrounge enough elastic, but no such luck. (Note also: old elastic goes bad.) So… back to making ties — two yards for each mask.

I have a handy little bias tape maker, but sewing together bias strips is a pain. And I don’t really need the durable stretchiness of the bias. Solution: long strips of old bedsheet, cut 1-7/8″ wide; pulled through the bias tape maker + iron to make folds; edged-stitched on the machine. A patient exercise, like spinning wool into yarn.

Yards of bedsheet tape with prototype mask

The mask itself was a breeze to make. And I found a bodkin to help pull the cloth ties through their channels.

I cut out pieces for six more masks and (pro tip) chain-sewed the center seams and then linings to main fabric.

Chain-sewing center seams

I didn’t add filters because (a) I don’t have good washable filter cloth and (b) these masks are meant to contain my own germy breath, not protect me from viral assault.

I made this batch of masks with cloth of my own design. Prettier. And… more powerful, right? Throughout history artisans were employed to make tools, weapons, and devotional objects, because beauty and the awe of beauty bring power.

This makes me think. What message are our masks conveying? N-95 medical masks ward off evil — the virus can’t get through. But cloth face covers must project danger. I wear one to protect YOU from my lethal spray.

As we become a mask-wearing society, will masks take on even more symbolic meaning. Will pretty quilting designs give way to religious symbols, hex signs, Bible passages, ecclesiastical colors?

Too early for wine, so I’m heading for my third cup of coffee.

4 Replies to “Making Masks, Round 2”

  1. I used a similar pattern and like it better than the 3 pleat style. I guess we’ll have masks to go with every outfit! I used an old stretchy shirt and cut it into strips 10” long. Pull the strips through the end binding and just tie permanently. Very soft on the ears. I even took side tucks to make the mask fit my face better. I like this new pattern the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did stretchy shirt ties on a few of my last set of masks. For some reason they didn’t seem to “fit” with this color scheme. Look, now I’m getting picky about aesthetics, haha. I need to try some like you did — with fitted ear loops. Of course, we don’t go anywhere, so I don’t need many. Though it may pay to be stocked up when lock-down eases up.


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