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.
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.
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.