Craft, Fabric

Contoured Handmade Mask

Whether I like it or not, we are still in the age of Covid-19. Masks aren’t going anywhere and I figured I may as well share how I make my masks. In the early days of the pandemic, we bought a couple of cloth masks and figured that would probably be enough. Both my partner and I are homebodies so we don’t ever really need to go outside except to get groceries.

But as time passed, and I had to start traveling for my job, the masks began to fade and the elastic became thin and worn. So I decided I would make my own masks and this time, I wanted something that would fit more snugly around my face. When I fly, I wear an N95 mask to help keep myself and those around me as safe as possible. (Trust me when I say, if I didn’t have to fly – I wouldn’t). These masks have a metal brace around the nose to help them fit to any face. So I decided to reuse this metal piece in my masks.

For materials I printed out a simple pattern onto a piece of cardstock, I got a bit of cloth (I used the same material for the inside and out), a fabric marker, and two 8 in. pieces of elastic and the metal nose pieces. Using the cardstock pattern, I cut out two pieces of fabric for each side leaving a tail behind on each end (this is a little hard to describe so see the attached photo).

Print out Pattern

The side edging is what is going to be sewn first. This is just to give a nicer cut to the edges and to allow a place to string the elastic through. I’m going to call the fabric with the longer edges where the elastic goes fabric A and the other one side B. On fabric A, the flaps should be sewn over to create a nice edging where the elastic is pulled through. Then the fabric should be folded over to create a pocket. All the fabric should be trimmed after sewing. Fabric B should just have a tight edge.

Placing the good sides of the left and right side of Fabric A together, long end that will become the middle of the mask should be sewn together. This is also copied on Fabric B. The pieces that come together on side A will be the front of the mask and side B will be the inside of the mask. Now it’s time to combine the two together. Once again, the good sides of the fabric should be facing each other. The top and bottom edges of two sides should be sewn together. Make sure to trim down and excess before turn the mask inside out.

Now, you’re probably wondering why there is a slot that runs through the center of the mask. This is perfect to put in filters (either reusable or not) through the mask getting even more usage out of the masks! And, let’s be honest, who know how much longer we will be living in this new normal…

The next step is optional, which is making a pocket for the nose piece. I just stitched a line following the top of the mask all the way around. This allows for the metal piece to be slid into the mask with ease and it’s kept in place one the metal is folded. The last step is adding the elastic. Slide it through the premade hole and sew together. It’s important to adjust the elastic to fit whoever this is being made for.

For the elastic, I did cut an 8 inch long piece but I also ended up cutting a decent amount of that off. I used a needle to secure the elastic together which took pulling aside about 2 inches. I also used a zig zag stitch to hold the elastic together. I found this to be the best option to avoid the elastic from coming apart in the future.

And voila! The mask is ready to go. I will admit, this is one of those project that I hope I won’t have to use for a long time. But I have a funny feeling, that’s not going to go as planned.

2 thoughts on “Contoured Handmade Mask”

  1. This looks great! Is it possible to make it multilayer, like 4 layers? I guess I would have to see if I could breath through 4 layers though.

    1. You probably can add more layers, but the pocket in the middle allows for filters which is really nice because then you can change those out easily!

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