Make your own using an old sheet or recycled material
Wondering how to make a non medical coronavirus facemask at home? Clair has created a special coronavirus face mask sewing tutorial!
Because there are shortages of medical-grade face masks many people are making face masks at home. We are huge fans of the Great British Sewing Bee and avid sewers! Nationwide hundreds of sewists have come together to sew for the NHS & healthcare & key workers including Brighton sewing school.
The government recently issued new Covid19 guidance in a 50-page roadmap to get the UK out of lockdown. Details included in "Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government's recovery strategy suggests people should wear face-coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and where they come into contact with others who they do not normally meet, such as on public transport or in some shops. Facemasks are required for public transport as usage is set to ramp up.
How to make a pleated coronavirus face mask
Please Note : These face masks are not surgical masks and are not intended to be used in medical setting. They can however give you peace of mind, when you are in situations that make it difficult to maintain appropriate distance from others, such as shops and public transport.
A tightly woven cotton is the best material to use, something like a bed sheet in weight and density. The blue and white mask you can see me wearing in the final photograph, was made from an old single fitted sheet that had a large tear. The benefit of using an old fitted sheet, is that with a bit of unpicking, you get both fabric, and elastic to use in your mask making!
- To start, cut 2 rectangles of fabric, 10 x 7inches - I cut a long strip from the sheet, 7 inches wide, then folded it in half. I made a cardboard template and cut mine using a rotary cutter. You could also trace the shape on to the fabric, pin and cut using scissors. (pic1 & 2)
- Cut 2 pieces of elastic about 7 inches long. Its best to use a narrow flat elastic, so it can fit comfortably behind your ears. (pic3 & 4)
- Turn your fabric so that the right sides, (the front of the fabric) are together. The right side of the fabric is the side you will see when you are wearing your mask. (pic5)
- Take one piece of elastic and place the end between the two layers of fabric, in the top right-hand corner, about 1.5cm from the top. Pin in place, make sure you capture the elastic, and both pieces of fabric. Do the same for the other end of the elastic, being careful not to twist it. Pin in place. (pic 6 & 7)
- If you were to open out your fabric, you would see the loop you have created, sandwiched between the two layers of fabric, this is the loop that will sit over your ears. (pic 8)
- This is what your mask should look like, with your elastic loops tucked inside your mask, pinned and ready to sew. (pic 9)
- You are going to sew one of the short sides first. Position your mask underneath the foot of your machine, I use the width of the sewing machine foot as a guide, and position the edge of the fabric, in line with the edge of the foot. Using a short, straight stitch, sew from the top, to the point just below the bottom elastic, (just below your second pin). When you stitch over the elastic, reverse and go over it a couple of times to really anchor it in place. (pic 10)
- Pivot your fabric and stitch all the way along the long edge, (pic 11), and stop about 1cm away from the end, Pivot your fabric again and stitch along the other side of the mask. You now have both shorter ends, and one side of your mask sewn (pic 12)
- For the final seam, sew about 1/3 of the way along the final side. (pic 13). Back stitch a few times to secure the end of your seam, lift the needle and foot, and slide the mask away from you, you want to leave an unstitched gap about 1/3 of the length of the mask. Lower the foot and needle, back stitch a few times to anchor the stitches, then sew the remainder of the seam. (pic 14) snip the loose central thread on both sides, to release the pucker in the fabric.
- This is what you should have in front of you. I have trimmed the edges with pinking shears, which stop the fabric fraying, but this is not a necessary step – you may want to cut away the excess fabric from the corners though to prevent bulk. Make sure you don’t cut to close to your stitches. (pic 15).
- Using the unstitched hole in the fabric, turn the mask right side out. You can reach in and tug the elastic to help pull it through (pic 16)
- This is your mask, almost finished, give it a press, using a hot iron, making sure you don’t iron the elastic. (pic 17).
- Next you are going to put 3 small pleats in the mask, this helps it to sit comfortably across your mouth and nose. I do this on the ironing board with some pins. I make the first tuck, so that when folded, the top of the fold is roughly in the middle of the mask. (pic 17) I hold the tuck in place, by pinning directly into the ironing board.
- Next make a fold above and below the central pleat you just made, you don’t have to be exact, take your time to get them looking roughly equal, and pin into the ironing board. (pic 18, 19, 20) Using a hot iron, press the pleats well.
- You can use the elastic loops to gently lift the mask off the ironing board, the pins will still be holding the folds in place, push the pins through the fabric to hold more firmly (pic 21).
- With the opening you made to turn the mask through facing towards you, Place one pleated end of your mask under the sewing machine foot and stitch, taking care not to move your pleats as you sew. Stitch until just below the elastic loop (pic 22).
- Pivot your fabric and sew along the long edge, thus closing the hole. (pic 23)
- When you get to the other end, pivot your fabric once again, and stitch up the other pleated side. (pic 24)
- Stitch any loose threads, give it a final press and you’re done! (pic 25 & 26).
My lovely friend Helen is making these super face masks @funkyfacemasks2020
20% of each mask sale goes to the NHS.