Making masks

As the date when it will be compulsory to wear a mask in shops in England is rapidly approaching, I have made a few masks. I was already wearing a bought mask in shops and when I had a haircut. That mask was a good fit, so I used it to make a pattern for double thickness cotton masks. First I read a couple of mask-making articles on the web. Then I drew around the mask on tracing paper, added about 5/8in (1.5cm) all round for seam allowances and voilà I had a pattern for the lining. For the outer layer a side extension was necessary to accommodate a casing for elastic. I drew a second pattern piece.

Patchwork lining

Showing the shape and ties

From behind

I am always reluctant to throw out the oddments of material left over from my occasional dress-making projects. This is a time, when my stash has proved invaluable. So far I have stitched three masks and cut out two more. The third mask I stitched has a patchwork lining. My oddments were not big enough, but three joined together were! So the lining consists of six pieces.

The elastic has not been stitched. I tied a reef knot to try on the prototype and decided that it is more practical to have a knot, which may be tightened if the elastic becomes tired, than a neater join, which would need to be unpicked and sewn again. For extra tension and to give a better fit, I tied a piece of tape between the two pieces of elastic.

Subsequently I found that a single piece of elastic about 20ins long threaded through both ends and tied giving two strands across the back of the head works best.