When this crisis started, I knew I wanted to put my hands to work to make a difference. I watched a lot of video tutorials on mask-making since my sewing knowledge was limited to say the least! This step-by-step guide combines ideas and tips I picked up from each of them to create what I hope is an easy-to-follow guide to mask-making.
I wanted to make a mask for myself, my family and others that would protect us as much as possible from this virus. This personal mask design uses three layers of fabric and has a pocket to insert a filter. Coffee liners, vacuum bags and folded paper towels can be used as filters.
What you’ll need:
Fabric — three pieces cut to 9 by 7 inches
Elastic — two pieces cut to 7 inches
First, start by picking your fabric. Ideally, I try to find 100 percent cotton to use for my masks. It has been hard to find fabric right now, so any soft fabric that you have will work.
Cut your fabric into three 9-by-7-inch pieces. Next, wash the fabric on a warm water cycle. Once clean and dry, you’ll want to iron your fabric out flat to make it easier to work with.
Next, lay one of your three pieces of fabric out flat. Then, fold the remaining two pieces in half longways, or hotdog style, making two matching pieces that are now 3.5 by 9 inches.
Put these two folded pieces on top of the flat fabric piece, with the fold sides together in the middle. This will make the opening for the pocket. Next, cut two pieces of elastic 7 inches long. Place the elastic pieces in between the two folded fabrics and the bottom flat piece — one at each end. Then sew around the whole fabric to put everything together into one piece.
Now, flip the whole thing inside out and you’re almost done. Make three pleats at each end, using pins to hold them in place.
Sew one last time around the entire piece of fabric to secure the pleats. Iron the mask one more time.
Place each mask into an individual Ziploc bag for protection for the person who will receive your mask.
Maria Rosales is a community-based services program coordinator at Goodwill of Orange County. She joined the Goodwill team back in 2001. In her current role as a program coordinator, she provides guidance and assistance to job coaches that support program participants. During the COVID-19 crisis, she committed herself to helping others by making masks.