How to sew your own face mask
You will need
- Tightly woven cotton fabric, 39 x 19 cm
- Moisture-resistant fabric, 19.5 x 19 cm. You can use nylon or polypropylene, for example a running-short fabric.
- 2 x 20 cm pieces of elastic
- Measuring tape
- Cotton thread
- Sewing machine
- Optional: Swap a cotton piece of fabric for a non-woven fabric like spunbond to enhance filtration, 19.5 x 19 cm
Steps to sew a face mask
Step 1: cut your cotton fabric for the inner and middle layers
Cut out 2 rectangles from your tightly woven cotton fabric, each measuring 19.5 cm x 19 cm. To enhance filtration of your face mask, you can swap the inner layer to use spunbond.
Step 2: cut out your outer layer
Cut out a rectangle from the moisture-resistant fabric for the outer layer, measuring 19.5 cm x 19 cm.
Step 3: cut your elastic
Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each measuring 20 cm long.
Step 4: pin your elastic
Take the outer piece of fabric, with the side you want facing outwards turned up.
Pin the ends of the elastic to the sides of your fabric. Make a semi-circle with your elastic so it does not catch when you sew it. Pin the elastic in place.
Step 5: lay your fabric together
Lay your pieces of fabric together (with the spunbond in the middle, if using). Make sure the moisture-resistant fabric that will be on the outside of your face mask is turned inwards here.
Pin all the pieces together.
Step 6: stitch your fabric together
Stitch your fabric together with a 6 mm seam allowance. Leave a small opening on one side.
Step 7: turn right side out
Turn the fabric right side out and sew a 3 mm seam around the outside to close the opening and finish the edges neatly.
Step 8: gather your pleats
Make 3 evenly spaced folds along the right and left sides of your face covering. Pin these in place.
Step 9: stitch your pleats
To complete your face covering, stitch across the pleats, 3 mm away from your first line of stitching.
Step 10: wash your face mask
Wash your face mask in hot water and detergent, either by hand or in a washing machine. Dry your face covering completely before using it.
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