Mask tutorial Big community Sew
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Make a face mask

With Masks becoming compulsory in enclosed public places I have been on the hunt for the right sewing pattern to make some for family, friends and to donate to my local community too.

There are SO MANY patterns and tutorials available online it’s a bit of a minefield but once you find a template that you like you can make them up pretty quickly.

I decided on the FREE patterns available on The Big Community Sew website, Patrick Grant swayed me and I thought the instructions looked straightforward. There is also a kids size which is really helpful.

I’ve pimped the mask slightly to accommodate a few preferences like a metal nose strip and a filter pocket, but the pattern I chose is simple and fairly easy to make. I’ve made both shapes now and the Shaped Face covering is definitely my preference but you can make both and choose for yourself.

I liked the shaped version because it requires less fabric, it is shaped to fit and the high bridge helps to avoid the steaming up of glasses.

Here’s my step by step instructions on how to make one for yourself:

1. CUTTING

CUT 1 pair of outer front pieces, maybe choose a fun pattern that won’t scare little children.

CUT 1 pair of lining pieces, this can be more plain and will not be seen.

Note: If you wish to insert a filter cut an extra set of lining pieces. It does no harm to have this extra option even if you don’t have filters now, plus creates an added layer to your mask.

2. OUTER

SEW your outer pieces right sides together down center front seam. PRESS seam open (Optional top stitch the seam on either side of seam)

TRIM curve at center top

3. LINING

SEW 2 of your lining pieces together down center front seam and PRESS open.

(4. FILTER LAYER)

If you are adding an additional Lining layer to hold a filter insert, repeat above steps with extra pieces.

FOLD back side ends on this layer only by 2cm and PRESS.

5. JOIN

Lay outer layer face up, (optional – add filter layer next face down) then add lining layer face down on top.

Use PINS or CLIPS to secure edges.

SEW 1cm along top and bottom edges.

TURN right sides out, roll hems and PRESS.

(6. WIRE CHANNEL?)

If you want to shape the top edge, for a contoured fit to the nose, you can create a channel by sewing along 1.5cm from the top edge. You can then insert a twisted pipe cleaner or similar wire strip and remove when you desire maybe for washing.

7. SIDE ELASTIC

For the elastic sides I used some thin snag free hair bobbles for ear straps, one on either side. To finish press 0.5cm on either side edge then fold again approx. 1cm catching elastic in the channel. PRESS and SEW.

If you would prefer a strap around the back of the head just hem the ends to create a channel and thread elastic afterwards.

Please excuse the headshots! Lockdown hair no make up etc but the photos demonstrate the shape and scale of the mask best. If you have gaping at the sides put a little pleat/tuck on either side before you hem the ends.

Anyone wearing glasses, steaming up can be a problem but we tried and tested this shape and it worked fine, no steaming because of the high bridge.

The mask in these photos is made with scraps of Liberty London Tana Lawn ‘Truly Scrumptious’ and PB Textiles ‘Bear essentials‘ cotton mixers.

I hope you found this helpful, I’m off to dig through my fabric stash to make lots more for family and friends.

Good luck out there everyone stay safe , wear a mask…

Linzi x

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