Fabric face masks, an unusual turkey, and old chocolate …

Weird opening, huh? Starting to sound like the story of my life! 😂😂😂 No worries!

Recently, I was asked by a friend if I would make a mask for her mom. So I asked around and a few other people wished to have masks too. So began the journey. I ended up being buried in the fabric face mask sewing frenzy that is happening now. No arguments here please, as I have certainly seen enough, but there was way too much bickering about whether face masks are “right” or “wrong”. Nothing will ever replace physical distancing and proper washing, but if someone wants a mask too, just leave them be, please!

I have also seen too many pattern options, whether fitted or flat or pleated or whatever, everyone is making a pattern! And don’t get me started with the prices. I find it truly difficult to charge money to a friend for something health related! And the price range that I have seen is disgusting! Anywhere from $0 to $40 per mask. Seriously! Pattern wise, I have seen, in no particular order, the Wesewgotthis Rona mask, the Crafty Quilter, the Olson mask, the mask made “by a nurse for a nurse”, BluPrint, a million YouTube’s, the SarahMaker face mask, the CraftPassion face mask, and so on and so on.

I actually got a good laugh over a photo of a woman on Facebook with her hoodie tied tightly around her face with a glass pot lid being held inside – her version of a mask! Loved it!

I decided to test out the different patterns, about four of them actually. I won’t mention which ones were “good” or “bad” because that causes arguments!

I didn’t like the elastics at all though, but preferred the adjustability of fabric ties.

Most of the sizes fit well on me, but were a terrible fit on my husband. So much for one size fits all. Even the ones that had a larger/man size didn’t feel right for him. I can’t imagine how any of them would fit over a large beard – and yes, I needed a mask for a man with a large beard too!

I also found some “discussion” about the ones with a centre seam, which defeated the purpose of a mask, unless you sealed the needle holes with something non-toxic!

After all the sewing, testing and trying on my face and my husband’s, and keeping the bearded man in mind, I liked the SarahMaker.com mask the best. It is a flat one with pleats, ties, an opening for a filter, and a channel for a nose wire. More about that later.

Some pointers about fabric face masks though:

We all have germs, some of us also have pets! The outside world is full of wild and wonderful things! When you receive your mask you should immediately wash it in hot water with laundry soap and dry it well. Then wash your hands before you touch anything else and wash everything you might have touched bringing it into the house.

Wash your mask after every use and when you do wash it, take out the filter and the wire, if yours has these things. Some filters can be washed with the fabric face masks, but some not.

By the way, it is not a good idea to use cut up vacuum cleaner bags, or air conditioning or furnace filters, as mask filters – sometimes they are full of fibres. Try a glue free interfacing, just loose, not sewn in, to make sure it can be replaced. Try a coffee filter or some paper towels. Try blue shop cloths, although they do fall apart after a few washings. But then again the whole point of a filter is to replace it often.

If you have trouble breathing with the “filter” in, take it out! Don’t use it!

Sometimes the wires at the bridge of your nose are a great idea, sometimes not. The masks are supposed to be form fitting. If you insert an adjustable metal piece, your mask will keep the seal better and prevent your glasses from fogging up. But be careful you don’t use something sharp as it might poke through or rust. I have heard of some people using plastic coated garden ties. I have actually had the best luck with pie plate or roasting pan tin. Can you believe that? I cut and fold it to the right size, making sure all the edges are tucked in safely. Don’t wash the mask with the tin inserted though!

If you don’t use the wire and your glasses are fogging up, some say try a bit of shaving cream, rinse it off and let it dry. It’s supposed to keep the “fog” away. (Old wives’ tale – or was that a Facebook tale – no matter, same difference! Let me know if it works!)

When you wash your masks in the machine, use a laundry/lingerie bag. Those ties will end up tangled into everything and each other. You’ll spend hours trying to get them apart!

Put on and adjust your mask BEFORE you go out, and then don’t touch it. It is clean, your face is clean – don’t touch your face with your germy outside hands! When you return, take your mask off without touching your face – remember your hands are contaminated? Your mask goes in the wash, without filter and wire, in a laundry bag. Your hands are washed and everything you touched on the way in or brought in with you is washed.

No fabric mask will protect you from sickness, keeping a distance and washing your hands does. A fabric mask will only prevent your germs from getting on someone else. Be kind, be considerate! Do what the medical professionals recommend!

As requested, I have made and sent off a few SarahMaker fabric face masks. I even took a few photos as I was sewing them up to share with you – which I deleted by accident. 🙁 Perhaps a bit of #selfisolation distractedness on my part. So no photos today, no matter, just a bit of a rant it seems, so let me brighten the mood with the details of My Family Easter dinner …

It didn’t happen! We are #selfisolating remember? No leaving the house unless for necessities. No spending time with anyone, unless it’s the person you are presently living with – my poor long suffering husband! 😉

We did buy our Family Easter dinner groceries before all this happened. Well most of it. I forgot to buy the large tin pan for cooking the turkey. But a pan isn’t a necessity, so we didn’t rush out shopping, instead we used whatever we could get our hands on in the house. This …

Is that not the sadest ugliest turkey you have ever seen in your life?

The pan was the tiniest pan, even though it was the largest one in the house. This turkey was the most unappetizing bird I have ever seen – I had no hope that it would be edible. It actually looked a bit like me stuffed into button pants after weeks of #selfisolation.

But amazingly enough, we – my husband and I – had a good Family Easter dinner. The turkey turned out fine. There is tons of it in the fridge and freezer! There were cranberries and stuffing – for some reason we didn’t forget to purchase that! And the usual veggies and potatoes. But I seriously never knew that you could cook a good turkey in such a tiny pan!

Poor bird!

We forgot all about buying something for dessert, but I found an unexpired cake mix. Yummy enough! We forgot all about buying eggs and dye or Easter chocolates, meh! no matter! I did find a stash of two year old Easter chocolate. Yes, seriously, my husband stashes it and never eats it. Chocolate just isn’t his thing! And darn it all, he stashes it so well it is never found by me!

Looks pretty, doesn’t it?

Quality chocolate … unfortunately sitting in storage for two years turned it into a surgery melted mess. I know, I actually tried one before I threw them all out. Don’t tell him though!

But never mind any of that … The Best News of All … the healthy people I talk to every day. My husband, son, daughter, their partners, my family, their family, my friends, co-workers and you sewists out there! We share news of how everyone is coping like the little troopers that they are. It’s fabulous! My husband and I patiently wait for the day when we can have family over for a real turkey dinner, served with love.

Oh and the fabric face masks? I have a few left, a few cut out and lots of 100% cotton fabric still. If someone requests, I will make you one. Email me at lanyoshandmade (at) gmail (dot) com, message me on Facebook at Lányos Handmade. I’m going to ask $10 a piece for them, but I don’t want the money. I’ve decided that if you would like to have a mask, I will give you one on TWO conditions:

ONE … curb side pickup/perhaps local delivery by me/or mail if you pay the postage;

AND TWO … You donate the $10 per mask to my 2020 Victoria Virtual Walk to End ALS site here. There will be a vaccine for Covid-19 soon. It’s only with your help that there will be a treatment or cure for ALS. Thank you.

The flat pleated adjustable style of mask and a few fabric choices.

Oh! Did I miss anything? Any other suggestions or advice? Let me know! Heck, leave a comment … let me know how YOU are doing!

Happy Sewing – Take care – and please #stayhome and #washyourhands!!

18 thoughts on “Fabric face masks, an unusual turkey, and old chocolate …

  1. Everyone is doing their part during these trying times and I truly appreciate your efforts. Due to my previous health problems I have decided that it is best for me to just stay home. I have ventured out twice to get groceries but all the rest, as you mentioned, can wait until this is under control. Your donations to the ALS Society was a wonderful generous idea as well. I love your turkey and had no idea that a stuffed turkey stuffed into a snug pan would cook so well. Thanks again for your help and suggestions. Now when it comes to chocolate, it never has a chance to age in my house. Stay healthy and safe.

    1. It is a weird strange difficult time isn’t it? I heard Rod Stewart say on Facebook that he had a conversation with his sister, who is in her 90’s, she said something like: Roddy, at least during the War, after the Germans stopped bombing us, we could go down to the pub for a pint! You stay safe Rose, if you need anything be sure to let us, or someone know. We all have to keep in touch, keep our sense of humour and keep a good supply of chocolate on hand! And how could I not do something for the ALS Society!! xx

  2. This was a super educational blog. I never knew the varities of face masks. Thank you so much for creating these masks. Stay healthy. Glad your turkey dinner was delicious. It did look a little funny in the small pot.

    1. Thank you! You stay healthy too, ya hear! 😉 it’s amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it – even turkey!! 😂😂

  3. Linda, I had no idea masks were so complicated, but thanks again for making some for our family, including the bearded guy. I’ll send you a photo of him modeling it when it arrives. 🙂
    Now about that turkey, it looks like you had to shoe horn it into the pan so I’m glad it tasted good.
    What a shame about the chocolates. I know you love chocolate as much as I do so they must have tasted really awful for you to chuck them out. On the bright side, at least you didn’t get food poisoning!
    Stay healthy everyone!

    1. No problem! I enjoy doing it! That turkey was definitely a tight fit! 😂 you guys stay healthy too! PS my work is guaranteed!

  4. The turkey hanging out of that pan made me giggle! Glad to hear you are doing well at making do! Stay well!

    1. I know. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! 😂😂😂 You stay healthy and safe too ❤️

  5. No comment re masks…but soap on glasses does work, always did, always will. I either use washing up liquid or just bar soap, direct applied to the lens, and then rubbed dry/rubbed off with a paper towel or smooth cloth. Voila. No foggy specs

    1. Love it! Thank you! I often wonder about these “old wives/Facebook tales” that get passed around! I hope you and yours are well and safe! ❤️

      1. AS I LOVE to stay at home and entertain myself, it’s no biggy for me. The missus is a bit twitchy, especially in the good weather as she wants to get out and about on her bikes…but the garden’s a nice distraction and it’s looking GREAT for all the attention. Stay safe x

        1. Isn’t that how it always goes, I don’t mind staying at home but my partner always finds some excuse at least once a week to go out and wander, at least he understands the rules… and our garden does look lovely too! You take care too!

  6. Won’t bore you with my little saga of trying to find out if anyone wanted masks made down here in southern states, which resulted in my not sewing any masks except for myself. My family is all out of state and I shouldn’t go out except for food (and that’s another story!). I do admire the sensible way you’ve settled upon, and wish you much success and long lives and health to all your family! We shall survive. and SEW ON! 🧵 ❤️ 🧵

    1. It’s a strange phenomenon – some areas nothing, others? Take care of yourself and yes we shall survive and SEW ON! ❤️

  7. Super list of tips about masks! I need to try the pie tin strips. The doubled pipe cleaners I’ve been using are marginal at best. I too have tried to make a version that accommodates beards. Now I get why beards are banned in some occupations that require a breathing apparatus.

    1. Thank you! I have even heard that some of those medical “snore” masks, whatever they are called, don’t fit over beards, and other options must be pursued. Stay well, stay safe!

  8. Hi Linda,

    Great post!

    Isn’t it funny the weird things that life throws at us from time to time?
    When I saw the turkey, I thought, oh it’ll probably be even better, because the extra exposure could make the turkey like a rotisserie.

    I have to tell you I do intend to sew a creative mask, but in the mean time a bandana has many great advantages. It’s 100% cotton, which makes it soft & comfortable and grows even softer and more comfortable over time.
    Built in adjustability with a tie.
    Cool or warm breathable 100% cotton. The bandana can also be doubled by putting two together, triangle fold & tie. Easy and accessible to many. The bottom “tail” tucks easily into neckline, if desired.
    Washes easily and quickly overnight or if by dryer in minutes.
    A bandana can look smart as a neck accessory on both male or female.
    In a pinch, and if at least 6 feet or more from others, the bandana can be used as a handkerchief, or if you carry and extra one, a small catchall “shopping bag” of sorts.

    I’m a fan of the very humble, yet versatile bandana.
    Yes, I do have plans of sewing a custom/creative face mask.

    Thank you for the efforts that you’ve actually put out to make masks available to others.

    Stay well covered & COVID free!

    Monica White

    1. I do know of people using a bandanna here too! They go without until they feel the need and then pull it up! Everyone has a preference! The most important thing is the distancing and the hand washing! Take care of yourself too! 🤗

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