With facemasks now mandatory indoors for VIC and NSW we thought we would share our favourite mask making supplies*.
Finding a Pattern
Everyone’s face shape is very different, who knew! So a pattern that may work perfectly for one won’t fit quite right for another. We suggest sewing up a couple of different types to see what is most comfortable and fitted on your face. The Victorian government have a guide for facemasks which includes a very basic rectangle pattern. Personally I’ve been wearing the Olson as it fits my face the best, there are lots of options – and free patterns.
For all masks I have been making I have used two layers of patchwork cotton plus a layer of cotton voile in the middle. Patchwork cotton is perfect for masks as it has a tight weave, cotton is also breathable so it is less stuffy on the face than a poly blend. Another popular option is Poplin, which is a poly/cotton blend as polyester is suggested by the DHHS. Vilene & other non-woven interfacings can be used in place of a filter layer, the non-woven structure gives another layer to prevent droplets. These interfacings can also help give structure to the mask if you find it falling flat against your mouth uncomfortably.
For securing you mask most people use elastic. We have a super soft elastic which is actually designs specifically for use in masks. It doesn’t pull to hard on your ears and with stands regular washing. Our elastic comes in bundles of 5mt, 10mt, 20mt or 50mt.
Even with the super soft elastic I find my ears can still be a little tired if wearing the mask all day. An alternative to elastic behind the ears is to place elastic around your head, or create ties from bias binding or ribbon.
Depending on the fit of your mask or how crafty you wish to get there are also additional products to assist in making masks. If you are struggling to get the fit over your nose right a nose wire might be the best option. Nose wires are also beneficial for people with glasses as it can prevent fogging. Nose wires can be easily added to any mask design, slip them inside the mask and sew around – not through the wire – to secure, or place under some ribbon or bias.
If you are making masks for a few people you may not know how large to cut the elastic. We have mask adjusters which work perfectly with our 5mm elastic. Check out our blog post on how to thread them too!
*Please note all mask making advice is based on personal experience making and wearing masks and is not to be taken as medical advice. Use your own judgement when making homemade masks for what is safe and appropriate to wear.