Mask It, or Casket
Ok, so maybe this blog title is a little dramatic. But it gets the point home. It's taken me literally months to wrap my head around the new reality and new habits that this pandemic has brought. That's why this post is in July and not back in March when the news broke. Here's what I know for now:
The following statements should not elicit a political response in my readers. If you find yourself disagreeing, this post is not for you.
Ok, with that out of the way, the point of this blog post is to provide a few mask making resources Kate and I have found.
However, Kate wasn't a fan of the somewhat baggy fit in front. After a bit more research, she found another style called the Olson Mask.
Link to the Olson Mask Pattern:
Meanwhile, I had requests from friends to make them masks. No style was specified - they just wanted them as soon as possible. I had happened to watch a YouTube video from a costumer named Angela Clayton on masks she was making for donation.
The masks that Angela are making are called A. B. Masks, made by a nurse named Jessica. Although a link to the pattern on Instructables is provided in the YouTube video description, the originator of this pattern has updated it and made a website with a free pattern download and step-by-step .gif instructions. Jessica's hobby is quilting, and she created this pattern for fellow nurses to use over N95 masks and ventilators.
The first time I tried this pattern I skipped the step of trimming the mask after basting the two pieces together. It was rather large on my face.
Here's the link to follow to go directly to the mask pattern download:
And if you want step-by-step instructions, visit the website: https://www.nursemade.co/
There is a nose dart as well as side pleats to this pattern. It was ok, but definitely fogged up the glasses if you huffed and puffed a lot. After I got through the orders from friends I set out to improve the pattern a bit by sewing the top and bottom ties together around my ears.
Many patterns I've seen have elastic around the ears but I didn't want that. The mask fits just fine without elastic. It just doesn't fit anyone else. ;)
I still had plenty of fabrics to choose from, and with a slight modification to how the nose pleat is sewn I had reversible pattern masks. The fashionista in me was secretly thrilled.
With this new batch for myself, I knew I needed to look into something that would hold its shape over my nose. I wasn't really interested in putting pockets in this pattern, and Kate had told me pipe cleaners didn't really do the job well.
So, I did something I've never done before. I clicked on an Instagram ad. The company was legit, and American. The price was ok ($0.50 per nose piece) so I took a gamble and bought the straight style from DIY Mask USA. They are small steel strips with rounded ends and holes in them for sewing. You bend into shape. So far they're very sturdy and fairly easy to work with after you've bent them over a marker for the rounded top. I stitched over the middle to keep it from riding up. And, they function as a stop for my glasses too.
The large size of this mask lets me open my mouth fully underneath for yawns, and hides my double chin. ;)
Are masks fun? Not at all. I don't like breathing in warm humid air. Even in the dead of winter when I put the covers over my head to stay warm at night I keep my mouth and nose out. But they're necessary for now.
And just like bras, I'll wear one in public for the safety of others and myself, and save the relaxing for home.
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!