Comfort and beauty while you shelter your face
Lauren Sinnott www.artgoddess.com 2020
The goal of this design is to create a fabric cup over your face that does not press down on the nose and mouth, yet remains snug on both sides, as well as top and bottom, for optimum protection of yourself and others.
Cotton is suggested by published research as a good filtering fabric, especially a denser weave. Poly/cotton blends and silk are also used. Cotton flannel is a good lining for softness and filtering capacity.
→ This is not a medical grade mask←
Step 1 - Cut fabric with either STANDARD or SMALL PATTERN
NOTE The STANDARD pattern fits most adults I have sewn for. But there are a few people with a smaller face, for whom the SMALL size is better. A helpful metric is to measure a person’s face from the bottom of the ear, up over the bridge of the nose between the eyes, then down to the bottom of the other ear. This seems to often be 11” -12.” If someone has a measurement of about 9 ½” - 10 ¾” use the SMALL pattern.
I always cut at least two sets by doubling the fabric.
If you are making multiple masks, cut long
(1 ¼” to 1 ½”-wide) strips for the nose wire tubes, press it in half long-wise and then cut your 7” nose wire pieces (or 6 ½” for the SMALL pattern)
Similarly, cut a long 1 ¾” or 2”-wide strip for the soft upper edging and cut it into 7” (or 6 ½”) strips.
In the photos below, see the long side panel strip, pressed with a ¾” edge to the inside, and then cut into the side panels with very little waste!
Many side panels may be produced out of a continuous strip, with ¾ “ pressed in on both sides, then cut.
Step 2 - Create the top edge of the mask by joining the outer body and lining.
IMPORTANT - The construction of the upper edge of the mask is crucial because it will contain the nose wire that fits the mask to your face. This must be padded for comfort and to reduce escaping air/fogging glasses.
There are a number of ways to do this, but I have found three methods to be the best:
METHOD A is the most decorative, since you are able to showcase three different fabrics in the body, the nose wire tube, and the soft flannel strip that wraps from front to back. (see left)
METHOD B has the advantage of the nose wire being at the very top of the mask. (see below, p. 5)
METHOD C is easiest but less fancy and least padded. (p. 6)
IMPORTANT - this ¼” seam allowance must be small.
(Take care not to hit the wire or steel strip and break your needle.)
You are basically sewing front to back with the nose wire tube emerging from the top. This is then folded to the front, and fastened down with the wire inserted. The reason to fold it to the front rather than simply leave it at the top is to have the layers of fabric and seam allowance create the padding.
This is the simplest way to deal with the mask’s top edge. It is less decorative and will be less padded, but if you use a thick, soft lining, such as flannel, it can work well.
NOTE - You can make this tube wider or narrower depending on your wire material.
IMPORTANT - When inserting the wire, make sure it is directly
under the body fabric, with all the seam allowance and lining under it to increase the padding between it and your face.
Step 3 - Gather both sides of the mask body and lining into pleats. See my short video on the pleats
IMPORTANT - The angle of the top pleat compared to the upper edge of the mask is crucial to the design.
IMPORTANT - With these pleats, you will be reducing the height of the side of your mask to about 3.”
NOTE - You may want to do four rather than three pleats. This is a little more work but may be better in more evenly condensing the sides of the mask.
Step 4 -- Attach the two side panels to the body of the mask.
This is easier seen than said... →
You can see below, as well, how the top and bottom and outer edge of each side panel are pressed in. This step is IMPORTANT and will save you grief later. The iron is your friend!
IMPORTANT - Observe how the side panels slant in towards the bottom of the mask. Set your pieces up like this so you don’t get mixed up. You are going to sew them together from the top of the body, so the right sides of the side panel and the lining are facing.
3. Sew each side panel’s right side to the lining side of the mask.
The pleated sides of the mask must fit into the side panel allowing for those edges to fold back over it.
4. Turn the pressed edge around and over the raw edge of the pleated body as seen below.
5. Lay your cord onto the side panel so that it runs through the inside when you fold the piece over onto itself in the next step.
6. Fold the side panel over so it lies symmetrically upon itself and you can sew it down from the top.
NOTE - Sewing from the top lets you control how your seam looks where it counts.
Ideally, the stitching below will be on the underside of your side panel, if you folded fairly symmetrically.
But it doesn’t matter too much, because the edges are all contained on the inside anyway.
NOTE - Take care not to sew over your cord by mistake. With the shape of this seam, you are creating a tube for the cord to slide through.
I sew this side panel top seam in two ways:
7. Sew down the other side panel, with the cord running through it as well. Loosely knot the cord and your mask is done!
See my Single Tie video for how to put the mask on and adjust it one time, after which you never have to tie the cord again! Artgoddess Face Mask videos
The completed mask.
And here, the inside of the mask.
The knot can be at the top of the mask or the bottom, meaning on the upper back of your head or behind your neck. I now put the tie at the bottom so the more visible top of the cord stretching across the top back of your head is a smooth band, slightly more dressy! (See below)
If you prefer ear loops, see this short video.
Design developed by Lauren Sinnott during the months of March and April 2020, while sheltering in place.
About 60% of the Artgoddess masks have been donated to local frontline workers.
Thank you for working while the rest of us are at home!
Feedback is welcome! Share and try my design.