Simple Mask Instructions
Our local hospital is passing out mask-making kits for people to sew, and they had instructions, but the instructions didn't have any pictures. So I added pictures to the tutorial as I was making my first couple masks. I realize that there are lots of mask instructions out there. These ones are specific to the effort in Walla Walla, Washington. I hope this is helpful to people. *Please note that I did not design or create this pattern. I just added photographs and extra explanations that occurred to me as I was sewing them*
Simple Mask Instructions
Surgical Sheeting - 8.5 inch by 8.5 inch piece for each mask (provided by Providence St. Mary)
1/8 inch (or 1/4 inch) elastic (any color)
Pipe cleaner - 6” per mask (provided by Providence St. Mary)
Thread (any color)
1. Fold over 3/4 inch along one edge. Sew down so a 1/2 inch casing, or “pocket” is formed. You will sew 1/4 inch from the raw edge. This will be the top of the mask.
NOTE 1: Except for the last seam on the edges, I did not feel the need to back-tack the ends of any of the seams.
NOTE 2: Do not attempt to iron this fabric, as it will melt. Finger-pressing is sufficient.
2. On the opposite side or bottom of the mask, turn up 1/2 inch along bottom, and then turn up again 1/2 inch. Sew along to seal and produce a finished hem along the bottom.
3. Next, create 3 pleats across the width of the mask. Pleats should be somewhat equidistant from top to bottom, but feel free to eyeball it. To make a pleat, pinch the fabric with both hands, so that it sticks up 3/8 of an inch from the table. Then fold the pleat flat and pin. Each pleat should use about 3/4 inch of fabric.
Measure the mask from top to bottom. It should be about 4 inches. If it is not close to this, adjust your pleats to be narrower or wider as needed.
4. Thread a piece of pipe cleaner, or easily-bent wire, into the 1/2 inch pocket casing on the top of the mask.
You may have to push it inside the pocket with the end of a pen or a chopstick. Make sure you will be able to sew your pleats down and fold over the edges of the mask without sewing over the wire (the pipe-cleaner should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches shorter than the pocket).
5. Run a line of stitching (basting) down the sides of the mask to tack the plate into place.
6. Fold the edge sides (with pleats) over to the inside and stitch close to the raw edge of the fabric on the inside.
Make sure to back-tack on both sides of this seam, as it is what is holding the whole mask together.
7. Cut two 6 inch pieces of elastic to make loops for the ears. Using a zigzag stitch, sew the ends of the elastic to the four corners of the mask, making “ear loops” on each side. NOTE: I used 1/4 inch elastic here, because I couldn’t find any 1/8 inch.
8. You are done! Great job :)
I need to mention that the hospital said if you do not have elastic, please do not place ties on these masks! They have ordered elastic and can give this to you to attach as soon as it comes in. It is too difficult for patients to use masks with ties. Thank You!!