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 …
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!
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!
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.
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!!