What the Boss Likes : a new mask pattern

Hello world!

Ugh, this pandemic really needs to stop.   I’m bored, depressed and just done with it.  I was reading a old book I picked up in a thrift store, “Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern” for those of you who read fantasy.  It’s all about a pandemic on Anne McCaffrey’s Pern.  The disease has symptom: fever, headache and cough.  It was really weird to read that during this time.  Alas, I have no dragon to hang out with.

On that note, I’ve been working with some mask patterns I’ve found on the web and adjusting them to what I need.  Being one of the glasses wearing persuasion, I need something that doesn’t make my glasses fog up and being a little hard of hearing (thanks, childhood ear infections that blew out my eardrums!) I find it easier if I can see people’s lips and find it easier if I can smile at people, being that I’m currently working in retail (I am a plant merchandiser at a Lowe’s, which means I move plants around to make them look pretty and throw out the ones that are dying.  Oh and don’t forget the eternal sweeping the area)

So, you may find below my pattern that I cobbled from these two: first mask video and pattern  and  mask pattern for glasses by Barb.

My pattern is hand drawn and until I master my pen tablet, this is how it will be.  Anyone at all is more than welcome to improve on it.  My pattern is really for an experienced seamstress/seamster, and they’ll know to put cuts in curves to make it work out.  Print out at 100%.

I used a page protector that I stole from my husband, who is addicted to office supplies, to make the window.  It’s a decent weight of clear plastic and this particular one is a matte finish.

Things you might want to know:

Cut little slits in the fabric for the curves so it doesn’t bunch up.

Use a wider stitch length when sewing the plastic in so you don’t perforate the plastic too much and have the window fall out.

The chin and nose are gathered with a thread so they can fit around the face a little better.  It’s just like using a thread as the string on a drawstring bag.

The center hole will be cut as shown.  Fold the flaps back.  The flaps can be cut narrower so you won’t have quite so much to fold back.  It just depend on how comfortable you are with really narrow stitching.  I double stitched around the window just to make sure everything was caught.

A light film of dish soap can help with the fogging.

If you have any questions, please ask. This was a quick and dirty project of mine.

 

And yes, that is a deer skull behind me above our fake fireplace.  I found that deer skull about 40 years ago as a very decayed roadkill, and it hadn’t had the antlers eaten off by a porcupine.  My parents weren’t thrilled that I brought it home.  😀  I will have to admit that wearing this mask reminds me of those weird  cartoons with people’s mouths placed on them, like Clutch Cargo.

May you all be happy and safe!

What the Boss Likes – some improvements to what the PA Department of Health says about masks

The PA Department of Health has some info on masks. They have a basic bit of instruction on masks and then they refer people to the NYT instructions. Both, from my opinion as someone who has worn PPE and who sews, are lacking. Let me tell you what I think should be done.

This is what the PADOH says:

“How to Make a Homemade Mask out of Fabric or Cloth:

Below are instructions on how to make a mask at home.
Materials needed: • Fabric (100% cotton is most effective) • Fabric Ties • Scissors • Sewing machine or a needle and thread Instructions:
• Measure and cut two pieces of fabric in a rectangle pattern to fit snugly around the face (size 12 inches by 6 inches is standard for adults)
• Tightly sew both layers together on all edges
• Cut fabric ties to fit around the ears
• Sew the ties to the insides of the mask on the smaller edge, repeat on both sides
• Resew the sides to ensure a tight seal between both pieces of fabric and the earpiece

The above is going to make a pretty loose mask with no shaping to the face. The size of the NYT mask below is much better at 9.5” x 6.5”. It really needs the pleats in to fit closely to the lower face and offer some protection. The ties should be about 18” long to be tied around the head, one up high around the crown, and the other around the base of the skull. Here’s basically what you want to go for.

Mask Diagram
Mask Diagram – my changes on the NYT version.

 

Sew the ties at the corners of the rectangle. Trying to sew them parallel to the rectangle, as shown in the NYT version linked below, will just drive you nuts because it is very hard not to catch the tie in the seam. You can also use elastic but it can be problematic as the NYT article indicates.

Fold the pleats so they look like a “Z” when you would look at the short edge edge-on.   Basically, bring the lower pleat line up behind and the top line down on top in reference to the top of the mask.

Tutorials/Resources: • https://www.nytimes.com/article/how-to-make-face-mask-coronavirus.html

Now, for the NYT version, it says you can use a tea towel. That will be damn near impossible to do unless you have a heavy-duty sewing machine (mine can go through leather and denim/canvas) or a heavy duty hand sewing needle (the little ones in a sewing kit just won’t cut it), since you’ll end up going through at least 4 layers of fabric for the pleats. I recommend you use a dress shirt or a pillowcase/sheet to get a tight but light weave.

Sewing the ties will also not be easy. If you are going to use the method in the NYT version, do it by hand because a sewing machine will likely eat the narrow strip. If you want to use a sewing machine, use a larger piece of fabric and sew the tubes by folding over the edge into the main body of the fabric, run a seam, cut off the resultant “tube” and do it again. Then you can pull the tubes inside out as if you were putting a cord back in a pair of drawstring sweats.

I recommend either knotting the free ends or sewing them closed. Mine have been washed with no problems. If you can raid grandma’s sewing kit and find some bias tape, ribbon (warning, ribbon can slip), etc it can make the ties go faster.

All in all, I personally prefer the fitted mask as you saw on my last blog post. But the pleated mask will work too. I’ve made quite a few now for friends. I did wear one for getting groceries and yep, they just aren’t fun to wear. Especially for us with allergies. But they are important.

What the Boss Likes – I’m bored so I’m making masks

Here in the US, the powers that be haven’t quite decided if we should all wear masks or not.  I have little to do so here are a pair I made for my husband and myself.

I got the pattern here.  I have the fabric and a fair amount of elastic but ties could be used too.  They are just two layers of fabric, but I guess they could help.

Here’s a couple of photos of the one I made myself (and yes that’s a cat face with a mousie hanging from the mouth) and a Spider-man one for my husband.