Sewing simple cotton masks

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horsewoman
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Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by horsewoman »

I'm in the process of tweaking the mask pattern @jacob shared a few days ago. The fit can be made easily better with a few extra steps. I'll post the pattern with instructions as soon as I have it done.

https://freesewing.org/designs/fu/

But I need your suggestions for making the fit around the nose better, like it is done in store bought masks. There is a strip of metal attached to fit around the bridge of the nose. The linked pattern leaves this part out.

Ideal would be material that could stay in the mask while in the wash (min. 60° Celsius).
Plus, it needs to be easily available.

Any ideas? My FIL proposed some kind of wire found in cables with 3 strings but I have no idea what this material actually is.
Last edited by horsewoman on Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jennypenny
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by jennypenny »

If you're wearing snug enough glasses (or optigrabs ;) ), they should hold the mask in place. Otherwise, you could use something like a pad sewn into the mask on each side of the nose to fill the gaps. Something like bra padding or cotton batting.

horsewoman
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by horsewoman »

Glasses are really a problem with fabric masks because they get foggy!
But this is the same wit store bought masks...

The wire my FIL meant is made of copper coated with plastic.
My MIL says since there are dishes made of copper it should be OK to wash.
I'll try it with those wires and see what happens.

Frita
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by Frita »

Could one of those paper/plastic bread or garage bag ties work? (I admit that I’ve saved these items and reuse them over and over. Some may be older than my teen!) Will you sew a sleeve to insert or just zigzag over?

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Alphaville
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by Alphaville »

I’m trying to remember the masks I have in the cabin and it’s a band of steel more or less like the latches in manila envelopes. Wider and thicker, but still flexible.

For a makeshift replacement maybe a large paper clip could work? Though even the jumbo is too short I think. Maybe a piece of a wire hanger if you can file off the sharp edges or blunt them with a drop of epoxy.

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jennypenny
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by jennypenny »

You can use baby soap to keep the glasses from fogging. (I guess I can't imagine not wearing glasses in a situation where I thought I needed a mask, but I'm paranoid.)

I suppose you could slip a piece of pipe cleaner into the seam around the nose area if you leave a slit for insertion. Might be more comfortable, and form-fitting, than wire alone.

CS
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by CS »

Masks from Hepa filter vacuum bags. This seems much superior to cloth.

https://youtu.be/W6d3twpHwis

horsewoman
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by horsewoman »

@cs im not sure this is safe to breath through.
I'll stick with cotton and take the diminished filter function :)

I should also add that personally I will only wear a mask if it's mandatory.
So my aim with this mask project is to outfit my family with enough reusable masks in an easy, sustainable and low cost way. If you are looking for maximum security this thread will not be for you.

ETA: I did not mean this in any way negatively towards CS comment - I should have written: "If you are looking for maximum security my masks will not be for you." Sorry for any confusion! Of course, anyone is more than welcome to share.
Last edited by horsewoman on Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

horsewoman
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by horsewoman »

Frita wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:10 am
Could one of those paper/plastic bread or garage bag ties work? (I admit that I’ve saved these items and reuse them over and over. Some may be older than my teen!) Will you sew a sleeve to insert or just zigzag over?
I fear that the thin ones are not strong enough and the sturdy ones are too short.

Most likely I will not zigzag over the wire. The mask has two layers so it would be easy to place between two seams - but with this method it can't be easily removed for washing.

CS
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by CS »

@horsewoman,

N95 masks smell terrible in case you haven't ever worn them.

Also, there is nothing wrong with my posting that resource on this thread. I'll continue to share, thank you very much.

horsewoman
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by horsewoman »

@CS no of course not, not at all - I just wanted to point out, that the masks I will make are not geared towards maximum filter function, because I'd like to use stuff I have at home, in case mask-wearing gets to be mandatory.

N95 masks may smell funny but they are tested to be worn on skin - I'm not sure that is the case for vacuum cleaner bags. This might end badly for people with sensitive skin.

horsewoman
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by horsewoman »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdVO9emZhyQ

This is how I made my few prototypes so far, minus the wire. She zigzags over a simple piece of wire. I guess that might be fine for washing.

Instead of the broad green bias tape to tie the mask, I used strips of T-shirt. Just cut off 1,5 cm broad strips of an old shirt, it will roll into a stretchy ribbon, which is more comfortable around the head than stiff cotton tape.
Last edited by horsewoman on Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Alphaville
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by Alphaville »

Fabric masks are useful even if you have paper masks.

Nurses in some of my state’s hospitals have been ordered to reuse their paper masks, and are now donning fabric masks over the paper ones to keep them clean.

A barrier is a barrier.

CS
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by CS »

horsewoman wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:50 am
N95 masks may smell funny but they are tested to be worn on skin - I'm not sure that is the case for vacuum cleaner bags. This might end badly for people with sensitive skin.
Excellent point. My apologies for my defensiveness.

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Alphaville
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Re: Mask sewing

Post by Alphaville »

jennypenny wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:28 am
Something like bra padding
this made me think... what about sacrificing the oldest wired bra at hand, if you have one?

daylen
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by daylen »

It seems like just alternating bandanas would have mostly the same effect as any other mask with much less hassle.

horsewoman
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by horsewoman »

CS wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:08 am
Excellent point. My apologies for my defensiveness.
No apologies needed, I really could have written that more clearly.

horsewoman
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by horsewoman »

@daylen - My MIL (70 with severe asthma) tried this for a few days when leaving the house. She is a retired nurse, so she is familiar with masks in all shapes. She said that the scarves were slipping down all the time, so she had to touch her face more instead of less to right the scarf.

@Alphaville re: bras - the underwires of bras don't bend easily and have the wrong shape to begin with. I don't think that's a good idea. Plus, if mask-wearing gets mandatory, I would need to sew around 50 masks minimum for my parents, siblings, and in-laws alone, so I would need larger amounts of the wire.

horsewoman
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by horsewoman »

I have no idea how these strips are called in English! Flexi Filing Strip Fastener?
The metal strips would be perfect, inexpensive and available (at the moment). I guess I'll order a package, if I don't need them for the masks I'll take them into the office.

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Heftstreifen-Ab ... SwkEVXGHoG

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Alphaville
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Re: Sewing simple cotton masks

Post by Alphaville »

horsewoman wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:16 am
Plus, if mask-wearing gets mandatory, I would need to sew around 50 masks minimum for my parents, siblings, and in-laws alone, so I would need larger amounts of the wire.
do you have 50 family members or do you want to make disposable masks or do you want to give each a couple of washable ones?

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