Hand Sewn Mask

I never imagined that I'd be adapting a mask pattern for kids, especially one like this, but here I am. Like everyone around the world, we are doing our part to keep each other and ourselves safe and healthy during these uncertain times. I've been watching so many sewists around the world take action and stitch up masks for health professionals and other essential workers during this time. Now citizens, children included, are being asked to wear masks as a precaution.  This is scary stuff for both adults and children. 

While sewing masks with my daughter last weekend, I began to think of all my little Sewing School kids who have the power to sew and keep themselves safe. It feels good to use your skills to help yourself and others. So, I began to reimagine the tutorial from Made Everyday into a simpler, hand sewn version that both beginner sewists and children could make.

Materials: woven cotton fabric (quilting fabric, sheets, old woven clothing), a T-shirt, scissors, basic sewing supplies, paper for pattern making, chalk or marking pen

Pattern: You'll want to use a ruler to create a pattern that will fit your face. 
basic - 8x5 inches, kid-sized (under 10 years old) - 7x4 inches, large - 9x6

After preparing your pattern, trace it onto your woven fabric 2 times. I am using 2 different kinds of fabric, but you don't have to do that.
Cut out both pieces of fabric.
Put the fabric together with the good sides facing out.
To make a pleat, fold the fabric in half and then fold the bottom portion in half again. You may have to try this a few times to get it right. Hopefully the photo will help you understand this step. The simplest version is to make 1 big pleat. After you have some experience making masks, you may want to make 2 or 3 pleats.
Pin the pleat in place on both sides. You want to make sure that the bottom edge is hanging over the bottom of the pleat just a little.
Time to make your ties. Cut strips about 1 inch wide from the bottom of a T-shirt. The strips should be at least 15 inches long. Stretch out the strips a bit. They may curl and that's what you want! You can use elastic if you have it.
Sandwich the ties between the 2 layers of fabric and pin in place. I find it easier to pin down 1 side and then sew it and then do the other side.
This is what the side should look like before you start to sew. The pleat is pinned and the ties are sandwiched and pinned in place.  TIP: If you are having trouble with the ties, you can always go back at sew them on after stitching all the way around the mask.
Start sewing! Starting at the top, stitch several times to make sure the tie is sewn tight. Give it a little tug to make sure. Using a whipstitch, sew along the edges of the side, being sure to sew through all the layers of the pleat.
One side is sewn. Now, whipstitch along the long edge of the mask. When you get about halfway to the other side, stop and pin the ties in place.
Keep sewing all the way around the mask until you are finished, then knot off. After trying on your mask, you may need to trim your ties or resew any areas that aren't sewn down tight.

Here is a little strawberry mask with 2 pleats. This is a nice way to use up some favorite fabrics. I mean, if you have to wear a mask, you might as well look cute!

Keep safe and healthy! Please note that this tutorial is for personal use only. Here are some tips for wearing masks in public that I found useful. 

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Hi there! So happy to hear from you. Happy sewing!