Mask Update

Saturday was another mask day.  I was busy.  I cut out about 75 to start with.  Friday only got 4 made.  Saturday I got 22 made.

Karl was a great help and we have the rest of them in progress.  After that, I’m putting myself on hold until the hospital the girls work at decides how many they need and who is making them.  I don’t want to make 300 and then don’t need them.  I’m off work and can always jump on the bandwagon again if they need more.  I’m finding I think in a good day I can make about 20ish.  I know some patterns are quicker..some are not.  This is what I can do with the pattern I’m using.

I did come up with a little short cut.  I am suppose to sew from the two top edges in.  I was having to stop and pin them all.  UGH.


That was slowing me down.  So..I came up with this plan.

I sandwich the pieces right side together.  I start sewing.  I marked two lines on my sewing guide (I have this Lori Holt one).  I sewed from the beginning edge until the fabric goes to that back Sharpie marker line.


I pick up the foot, and reposition like this…Notice the front edge of the fabric is at the line.


Then I sew all the way to the edge.  This way I eliminate the step of pinning.

I don’t have all of the same solid fabrics so I started using one color on the sides of the mask and another color for the ties.

I’ve gotten questions from many asking about how I am doing the ties.  I am cutting two pieces the width of the fabric long, 2″ wide.  I iron it in half hotdog style.  Then I turn the edges in and sew one seam.  This way I can avoid having to turn things right side out.  Karl has been my ironer.

After that I cut the ties in half making them about 21″ long.  I tuck the ends into the sides and then sew.

BUT…Stop the presses.  I was chatting with Connie via messenger as I was writing this and Connie said, “So you feed the width of fabric strip through the hole on the side”.  DUH!!  Why didn’t I think of that???

So, tomorrow I will cut two 2″ width of fabric pieces and I will feed them through the hole….they will need to be tacked in the center though.  These are going to be washed and the ties will come loose if I don’t.  THANKS CONNIE!!  I swear by the time I’m done making these, I’ll be a pro.

I ended up getting 22 made.
Do you recognize a fabric that you might have sent me??

I have this pile of masks in progress..I’m hoping I can finish most of these up today.
Making the ties is the most tedious part.

I’ve been asked about what I’m putting in the pocket.  To be honest, I don’t know.  All I know is that I read that a non-woven fabric is best.  The problem is, what is exactly a non woven?

I’m guessing that it might mean an interfacing…felt…batting…I don’t know for sure.   Right now I’m making them.  I’m sure something will come out in the next few days to let people know what would be best.

That’s what I know for today…what a crazy world!!  Who would have ever thought we’d be making masks because hospitals didn’t have them??

27 thoughts on “Mask Update

  1. Sandie Mackintosh

    I’m using the “fabric” from Filtrete Furnace filters. They are supposed to filter virus’s and particles as small as .3 microns.

  2. Jeanne Mcardle

    Jeanne from Tucson AZ,
    Dear Jo
    Hope you got my package that I sent to you. Hope pieces were of some help.
    Sending good wishes your way.
    Xxooalways
    Jeanne

  3. Elle

    As a Surgery RN who lived in masks for nearly 39 years, I discourage adding something between 2 layers of fabric. We have to breathe through these. When I started working in surgery, we still wore cloth masks. They were 2 layers of what we would now consider loose weave.

    I made 6 masks yesterday. When I “put them on”, it’s enough. I am currently sewing for an entire dialysis unit who will soon be out of masks.

    My personal thank you to every quilter taking care of our Healthcare providers. We love you from the tips of our toes. Thank you Jo for spreading the word! Your exposure here is fantastic.

    Don’t know where to send masks? Worry not. I promise you, the call will come. We can be ready!

  4. Arline Hansen

    I am in the process of making the masks in a similar way as your current posting but am using bias seam binding of which I seem to have an unusual amount of stash, putting the tape inside the end unit before stitching down the folded edge I am securing the ties at the top and bottom of the mask and knotting the ends of the tape to avoid raveling.

  5. Jo Post author

    I did…I haven’t got a blog post written about it yet. Soon I hope. THANKS SO MUCH!

  6. Jeanine

    I made 20 masks yesterday for our local hospital, but the pattern we are using is not nearly as complicated as yours. At this point, I think they will be happy with anything. I used elastic, but ran out of what I had so had to quit. The pattern I used had a tutorial that was recommended by someone working within the hospital.

  7. Edna

    Hi Jo!
    Thanks for your post letting us all know about the need for masks. Our local hospital says they have plenty of the “real” ones. But, Dartmouth Hitchcock said they need masks, and they had a tutorial for a simpler, 2 fabric layer version. So that’s what I’m making, I didn’t start until yesterday afternoon, but have 11 finished for now. I’m going to wash them before donating.

    Thanks again Jo for all you do!

  8. Paulette

    Thanks for showing us your mask progress and shortcuts. I’m about to start on a few. One thought, since you’re going to start using your WOF strips a little differently anyway, why not wait to sew them lengthwise and apply them the sides of the mask as both an edging on the left and right sides of the mask, and then the long ends becoming the ties as well? Hard to explain, but hopefully you get what I’m saying.

  9. DebMac

    Lots of good ideas! I’m making 3 or 4 styles and using lining and nose wires in some of them. I figure different people will have different needs. I am using Shape Flex and read about using the fabric from filters. Elastic is hard to come by especially the braided elastic that is prefered. I may finish with ties. I had trouble with getting the wires to stay in place (I had a fabric coated wire I’m using until my twist ties come in) so think I will glue them down today. Finished 3 yesterday after researching, cutting patterns, and cutting fabric. I feel like a character out of a novel knitting socks, rolling bandages, and scraping lint.

  10. El

    Jo, what about using twill tape for the ties? It is sturdy, washable and easy to sew – can knot the ends. And is usually inexpensive and readily available.

  11. Lisa B

    It was requested locally that we make our masks with different Fabrics on each side. That way the user can tell the outside from the inside and not get it mixed up during the day. We are using batik fabrics since it is more finely woven.

  12. Kathy

    I tried making a fabric pouch for the nose wire (actually place wire in fold of fabric, tucked in the sides, and sewed close to the wire with the zipper foot.) Then I enclosed the raw edges in the mask seam.

  13. Sandie Mackintosh

    Just heard from my daughter who works at Walter Reed Military Hospital. They are all out of PPE, and have been told to cut a hole in a trash bag and wear over their scrubs, and tie towels around their faces. This is truly beginning to feel like a Stephen King plot line…

  14. Mary G

    Here in Pittsburgh, one of the shops that’s sewing them said they were requested they be lined with white flannel.

  15. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Why would you thread your ties through a separate piece on the end? Wouldn’t it be easier to enclose the end of the mask with the “binding” you are using for the ties? That would mean 2 pieces of fabric for the mask and 2 ties per mask…seems as though that would be easier to me. Yes, you would have to pin the pleats into the ties, but I think it would be fast. Love your masks!

  16. Ruth

    Re Connie’s question: “So you feed the width of fabric strip through the hole on the side?”
    What does this mean?
    I will watch the comments after this posts to see if there’s a reply here. I will also read each mask post and all comments (wish there were numbers on the comments) so I can keep UP with all the changes and improvements y’all are making!
    Thank you everyone!

  17. Debbie Romashko

    I made 19 masks yesterday but the pattern that was provided by Allina here is MN is much simpler and using elastic for the ties.

  18. Holly

    Where is the pattern and what kind of elastic can I use? Does it have to be round elastic “cord” looking stuff or can I use the flat kind? The ties seem a difficult way to go but maybe more comfortable?

  19. Janice Russell

    I cut ties from the folded 40″ material, 1″ wide only. Then I simply fold the l” material first one way, then fold the other side over the first, and zig zag it all the way. This makes a very nice strip, very long, which I can cut to make the ties. I make the top ties 18 to 20″ long, and the bottom ties about 16″ long. These work out very well and they are surprisingly stretchy too
    I’m waiting for my order of elastic from Amazon to come in. Elastic is almost pure gold now. The fabric ties work very well.

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