I’ve been sewing face masks for the last week or so for us and for some of our friends. I’ve tried a few patterns and I wanted to share some links/tips for those of you who wish to make your own for your friends and family.First of all, these are not medical grade masks, obviously. But even cloth masks made with two (or preferably three) layers, especially if one of those layers is a non-woven, can help protect those around you. “My mask protects you, your mask protects me”. They can remind you not to touch your face, but they shouldn’t make you fearless. And observe proper procedures when donning and doffing them (see third pic)Pic 1: David is modelling my current favourite pattern: the ProperFit Flu Mask. This has a pocket for a PM2.5 filter (which I have on order through both Amazon and eBay) but the pocket can be filled with any kind of non woven temporary filter, from felt to coffee filter to paper towels. The pattern is $2.99 US and the company is using the proceeds to buy materials to make masks themselves for donation – there are lots of free patterns if you prefer to go that route).Here is an amazing website with a huge collection of patterns and instructions: https://www.makemasks2020.org/volunteerThis is brilliant — will answer all your questions about materials, fastenings and offers at least a dozen free patterns of various styles.Pic 2: I’ve also used this mask pattern from Tiana’s Closet: https://tianascloset.com/index.php/2020/02/06/face-mask-against-the-coronavirus-epidemic/ second photo shows these masks. note that the women’s size runs a bit small for those of us with big faces :)Some general tips: ties apparently work better for people using these to cover their N95 medical masks — elastic behind the ears can get painful over a long period of time.I like the convenience of ear elastic — 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch flat braided works really really well.If you only have wider elastic you can just make a band or two that goes behind the head.Absolutely add the nose wire! I didn’t for my first mask and was disappointed in the fit. The nose wire makes everything more comfortable and secure and you’re less likely to futz with the mask once it’s on. And if you wear glasses, they fog up less 🙂 I use a four inch piece of 18 or 20 gauge craft wire but any wire (including twist ties and pipe cleaners) will work well.I had some quilting cotton I used for some, but I’ve also used some old pillowcases/sheets for fabricAnd all of these can be hand sewn if you don’t have access to a machine.Pic 3: some procedures for safer mask wearing Stay safe!

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