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Surgical mask pattern/info sharing thread :-)


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Hi all!  I have seen, on several different posts, pattern options/advice for making surgical masks for our first responders.  I thought we could put them all here so they are easier to find :-).

After looking at a lot of patterns, this is the one I'm going to try today.

https://www.gfclinic.com/approved-pattern-info-for-homemade-masks/

It has a YouTube video for them as well.  I am doing the one with a filter slot and wire nose (using floral wire).  My first few I am mailing to my sister who has direct patient contact at a hospital.  She wanted a pleated surgical mask with ties, not elastic, so I'll be adding either material fabric as binding tape and straps (I have some binding tape ordered, but won't be here for another week) or cutting up t-shirts and putting them through like the elastic, but leaving them open ended for tying (her preference I think so they have a little give in them as she re-adjusts through her shift).  She has hospital masks for now, but we are planning for the future at this point.

I also have some elastic that I will use for some ear loops masks using this pattern.  

I am not a sewer, but had some fabric on hand to make fabric wreaths and some other craft projects.  I don't have a lot of it though.  Where can I find the best deal on fabric from an on-line seller?  I've seen quilting fat quarters on Amazon, but those pieces are only 18 x 22 and that won't make a lot of masks.  As I'm not a sewer, I don't have a nice stash of fabric.  Cross-stitching and scrapbook supplies coming out my fanny, but not fabric -- LOL.

I might also look at old shirts that I was going to donate or get rid of to cut up and use for masks.  Any thoughts on that?

 

 

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8 hours ago, mlktwins said:

I might also look at old shirts that I was going to donate or get rid of to cut up and use for masks.  Any thoughts on that?

 

 

 

I think that’s a good idea.

 

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1 minute ago, Pen said:

I think making masks for our mail deliverers, grocery workers etc could help too...

https://youtu.be/BoDwXwZXsDI

 

I think the idea of public 'mask trees' for people to pick up handmade masks if they need them is a great one , as talked about in this fantastic video about mask use in the Czech Republic (no exponential growth there!). Also with lots of data about other places.

 

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Since elastic is in short supply I wonder if just a little elastic along with a stretchy fabric would work for ear bands or tie behind head straps

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1 minute ago, Pen said:

Since elastic is in short supply I wonder if just a little elastic along with a stretchy fabric would work for ear bands or tie behind head straps

I'm planning on using bias tape for ties...

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1 minute ago, Pen said:

Since elastic is in short supply I wonder if just a little elastic along with a stretchy fabric would work for ear bands or tie behind head straps

My friend who is sewing for a hospital is using stretchy narrow  head bands from the dollar store. She and a couple of her friends made 1000 masks last week. Hair elastics are too small, fwiw.

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1 hour ago, Matryoshka said:

I'm planning on using bias tape for ties...

Me too!  I have some on order, but it isn't here until next week.  I've got a little elastic and will make bias tape from matching fabric.  I think I have a few of those elastic headbands here -- I tried one, but didn't like it.  You can also use strips of told t-shirts if you can't find anything else.

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I read that healthcare workers are sewing buttons to their hats to put the elastic ear-loops around, as the 1/4" elastic worn 24/7 is wearing out the skin behind their ears. 

I am using ribbons, a loop of 16.5" on the top and same on the bottom, with a cord lock on each.  Both ribbons go around the head; the bottom loop gets cinched low on the back of the head; the top one sort of on the crown of the head.  

NOW the problem is that my cord-lock supplier is running low and deliveries are mid-April.  I asked my friends to dig deep in into their sewing boxes and so far they have come up with enough elastic to make about 35 more masks...maybe by then, the cord-locks will have arrived... 

I am *thinking* of creating a new design:  a loop of fabric sewn to the NW, SW, NE, SE corners of the mask (mine are rectangles with pleats) and running one long ribbon through the loops so there is only one cord-lock required per mast.  

And of course, an alligator clip could work just as well.  :0)  But part of what I want to do is make them pretty, so people *want* to wear them.  So it's a bit of a "hmmph" to recommend alligator clips.

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Every hospital within an hour's drive of me has their own preferred pattern right on their website. We ran out of elastic last week, placed an order online, had it cancelled, placed another, and the elastic from that order just arrived. Starting up the maker-space again tomorrow!

It makes sense to me that non-healthcare-people would benefit from these, too, at least minimally.

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I like this one because it has lots of visuals for someone to print and follow

https://www.froedtert.com/sites/default/files/files/2020-03/MaskInstructions_V2.pdf

ETA:

no elastic require 
“You will need:
1. 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric 7” x 9”
2. 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric 1 1⁄2” x 6”
3. 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric 1 1⁄2” x 40”
4. Ruler
5. Pins
6. Scissors
7. Sewing machine & thread”

Edited by Arcadia
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25 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

I like this one because it has lots of visuals for someone to print and follow

https://www.froedtert.com/sites/default/files/files/2020-03/MaskInstructions_V2.pdf

ETA:

no elastic require 
“You will need:
1. 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric 7” x 9”
2. 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric 1 1⁄2” x 6”
3. 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric 1 1⁄2” x 40”
4. Ruler
5. Pins
6. Scissors
7. Sewing machine & thread”

Is there any reason that the two pieces cannot be one folded down, with a pocket sewn into the top for a pipe cleaner?   People love that feature in the ones I am sEwing but overall this looks like a faster pattern.  

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So, where do you buy craft supplies when you can't see what you are getting?  It's nothing expensive, but I want what I want.  Any favorite on-line craft stores?

I need pipe cleaners, thread, skinny pins with flat flower heads...  

?

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6 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

So, where do you buy craft supplies when you can't see what you are getting?  It's nothing expensive, but I want what I want.  Any favorite on-line craft stores?

I need pipe cleaners, thread, skinny pins with flat flower heads...  

?

Amazon should have all that, with pictures and star ratings.

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13 hours ago, mlktwins said:

Hi all!  I have seen, on several different posts, pattern options/advice for making surgical masks for our first responders.  I thought we could put them all here so they are easier to find :-).

After looking at a lot of patterns, this is the one I'm going to try today.

https://www.gfclinic.com/approved-pattern-info-for-homemade-masks/

It has a YouTube video for them as well.  I am doing the one with a filter slot and wire nose (using floral wire).  My first few I am mailing to my sister who has direct patient contact at a hospital.  She wanted a pleated surgical mask with ties, not elastic, so I'll be adding either material fabric as binding tape and straps (I have some binding tape ordered, but won't be here for another week) or cutting up t-shirts and putting them through like the elastic, but leaving them open ended for tying (her preference I think so they have a little give in them as she re-adjusts through her shift).  She has hospital masks for now, but we are planning for the future at this point.

I also have some elastic that I will use for some ear loops masks using this pattern.  

I am not a sewer, but had some fabric on hand to make fabric wreaths and some other craft projects.  I don't have a lot of it though.  Where can I find the best deal on fabric from an on-line seller?  I've seen quilting fat quarters on Amazon, but those pieces are only 18 x 22 and that won't make a lot of masks.  As I'm not a sewer, I don't have a nice stash of fabric.  Cross-stitching and scrapbook supplies coming out my fanny, but not fabric -- LOL.

I might also look at old shirts that I was going to donate or get rid of to cut up and use for masks.  Any thoughts on that?

 

 

 I am using t-shirts that are thick, 100% cotton.  It is working well.

4 hours ago, Pen said:

Since elastic is in short supply I wonder if just a little elastic along with a stretchy fabric would work for ear bands or tie behind head straps

I did one with store-bought non-stretchy bias tape, one with homemade fabric strips from a cotton shirt that had a bit of stretch, two with 1/8" elastic, and one with my daughter's hair elastics.  My favorite is the one with the hair elastics.  They are fabric covered and skinny-just the right size.  The stretchy fabric ties and bias tape are fine too.  The 1 /8" elastic is uncomfortable.  I don't recommend that.  I will be removing those and replacing them.  These are the hair elastic that were just right.  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Goody-Girls-Ouchless-Elastics-Assorted-Colors-2mm-Hair-Ties-72-Ct/10320147

 

37 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

Is there any reason that the two pieces cannot be one folded down, with a pocket sewn into the top for a pipe cleaner?   People love that feature in the ones I am sEwing but overall this looks like a faster pattern.  

It works fine that way.  That is how I did my last two.

 

Anyone who is using a pleated pattern, you will probably want a needle for jeans.  I happened to have that in my machine already and I decided to leave it.  I did fine.  Other ladies around here have been breaking their needles when trying to get the bias tape over the pleats.

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35 minutes ago, Syllieann said:

snip

Anyone who is using a pleated pattern, you will probably want a needle for jeans.  I happened to have that in my machine already and I decided to leave it.  I did fine.  Other ladies around here have been breaking their needles when trying to get the bias tape over the pleats.

I had MUCH better luck when I ditched elastic and used a walking foot.  MUCH better.  I have a Bernina, so YMMV, but to get a quarter inch seam, I scoot the needle two stops to the (whatever direction).  Regular needle, no problem.  I will let you know what happens when I go back to elastic ears which I will for about 20 masks--but now I will be using my walking foot.

 

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If anyone is interested in buying Bernina walking foot (it works with my 145) let me know.  I have two...and one machine.  :0). I won't scalp you, but I would like fair value.  That will pay for more cord locks and pipe cleaners.

 

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I have some floral wire I am using up now.  I want to order more from Amazon.  What size (gauge) are you using?  I also want to send some to my sister so she can replace as needed over time.

Thank you 🙂

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1 hour ago, mlktwins said:

I have some floral wire I am using up now.  I want to order more from Amazon.  What size (gauge) are you using?  I also want to send some to my sister so she can replace as needed over time.

Thank you 🙂

People are using what they can find. I would think anything 18-22 would work ok.

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15 hours ago, cintinative said:

I do not sew but there is a large group here making an organized effort and they posted these. FYI--they noted please do not use wire based on discussion with healthcare workers.

https://sewmasks4cincy.org/sew-masks/

So...maybe we shouldn't be putting in the wires?  Was just going to order some from Amazon.  My sister works in a hospital and wants a wire, but she is planning to wash and reuse hers.

Do you think/know if these health workers are keeping and washing their masks when they get them?  It doesn't really matter, but am curious as I will make less time consuming ones if they are getting trashed.

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15 hours ago, cintinative said:

People are also asking for these because the elastic digs into their ears/skin. 

Image may contain: one or more people and closeup

Do you know of a good pattern for these?

 

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On 3/30/2020 at 12:52 AM, prairiewindmomma said:

Pipe cleaners rust horribly upon washing. Just FYI. We discovered that in testing. Floral wire is better.

Mine have washed well.  But I've run out of pipe cleaners anyway LOL.  I've started to use copper bead wire instead

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15 hours ago, cintinative said:

I do not sew but there is a large group here making an organized effort and they posted these. FYI--they noted please do not use wire based on discussion with healthcare workers.

https://sewmasks4cincy.org/sew-masks/

I can see why hospitals wouldn't want wire if the masks are to be used as n95 covers and be industrially washed.

OTOH, if the mask is going to be used on its own, and washed by the user, then a wire is probably better than not.

The masks I'm making are for use in the community.  They're being used solo, and washed by the user.  I'll keep using wires for now.

Our hospitals haven't requested home-sewn masks just yet.

 

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I read somewhere today that they want different fabric for inside and outside the mask.  Also, to tell people to take the masks of carefully, not just fling them off and spread all the germs everyone.  Sort of fold them off your face and put them in the laundry.  My "inside" fabric is going to have a big magic marker X on it, because I"m not re-sewing these.

Also, the cloth headband idea is good...but I wonder about expense at some point.  I am using ribbons with cord-locks on them, but I am almost out of cord locks...more arriving in 10 days.  People have liked these better for all-day wearing.  BUT elastic is better than nothing.  

I asked my personal friends to dig deep into their sewing kits and send me any quarter-inch elastic they could find.  So far, I have received about 10 yards of it.  That's about enough for 30 masks, using my pattern.  I might go to a simpler pattern in a little while.  The one I am using is time-consuming and I'm also getting bored with the repetition.

 

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I just got back from RiteAid--they had 1/4" Scunci's so I bought a pack.  My "recipe" calls for 6.5" of elastic--these are 5.5"when I cut them apart.  Looks like someone is going to get gifted a pack of Scunci's, minus the one I cut in half.  It was worth a try.  

FYI

 

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11 hours ago, wathe said:

I can see why hospitals wouldn't want wire if the masks are to be used as n95 covers and be industrially washed.

OTOH, if the mask is going to be used on its own, and washed by the user, then a wire is probably better than not.

The masks I'm making are for use in the community.  They're being used solo, and washed by the user.  I'll keep using wires for now.

Our hospitals haven't requested home-sewn masks just yet.

 

I'm using two kitchen twisty ties twisted together.  The last one I did I left a bit of the seam open so the wire could be removed for washing.  Maybe that would work if you're unsure if they want wires.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

@Laurie

This pattern might go well over your N95 masks or use by itself. No elastic needed.

Template Letter https://freesewing.org/fu-facemask-freesewing.org.letter.pdf

Template A4 https://freesewing.org/fu-facemask-freesewing.org.a4.pdf

Instructions https://freesewing.org/docs/patterns/fu/instructions/

 

This is the pattern I'm using only I turn the sides in to form a casing and thread it with ribbon. SUPER easy and fits well. No metal and the large fits over a commercial mask. I haven't made any with pockets but you could leave the bottom open for that if you wanted to. Most of my masks have gone to non-clinical settings. I hope they're OK!

Edited by Sneezyone
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10 hours ago, cintinative said:

 

I don't sew, but I did find this?  The thing I am not sure about is I am hearing it is hard to find elastic right now.  https://stayfitmom.com/diy-fitness-headband-tutorial/

 

 

I've cut out about 25 of these headbands to sew tonight and will drop them off alongside the traditional surgical-style masks we've made.

We've also made some of the more form-fitting mask style, which are (imho) nicer, but take longer to make. We opted to not use the wires on any of them as it was a PITA to use and most of the places we're dropping off at seem to be using them over their n95 masks.

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

 

This is the pattern I'm using only I turn the sides in to form a casing and thread it with ribbon. SUPER easy and fits well. No metal and the large fits over a commercial mask. I haven't made any with pockets but you could leave the bottom open for that if you wanted to. Most of my masks have gone to non-clinical settings. I hope they're OK!

What width ribbon are you using? I’ve been trying a couple patterns, and the ties are the part I’m still not happy with, and they take me so long. Ribbon would be so much easier. It stays tied well and will wash fine?

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4 hours ago, kand said:

What width ribbon are you using? I’ve been trying a couple patterns, and the ties are the part I’m still not happy with, and they take me so long. Ribbon would be so much easier. It stays tied well and will wash fine?


I’ve been using 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” grosgrain depending on what I can find. I prefer the 1/4”. It ties well and is a little grippier (not a word but it works). I don’t know how it will ultimately hold up but it’s working well so far. I do stitch the bottom in place so the ribbon won’t slide out in the wash too.

image.jpg

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Lest anyone think their contributions don’t matter, I’ve had two decent size requests in the last week, one from visiting social workers in HI and one from a daycare in WA serving the children of first responders. They want 40 child size and one for each staff member. ☺️

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Can someone link to the American Korean guy who talked with the head of one of the hospitals in S. Korea about masks?  I think it's on the big CV thread and I'm not willing to sift through 100 pages to find it.  I've already tried a youtube search without much luck.

 

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How are you all finding where to send these or who wants them, outside of family or friends? 

I’m a reluctant sewer - I don’t really enjoy sewing but I will when it accomplishes my purposes. I have some cotton fabric from previous projects and have scared up about 14 yds. of slim elastic. I also think I have some cord elastic in my Christmas stuff. I can see this is one way I can contribute to my community, but I don’t know how to find out who is looking for masks. 

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Has anyone ordered masks from say, Etsy or Ebay? My sewing machine is packed away in storage. When I decided to store it I figured I could live without it for a few months. Ahh, early February was still mostly an innocent time. Anyway, I don't want to take away from health care workers and first responders but would like something for me, dh, and adult ds. Washable and reusable, maybe 2 for each of us.

If anyone here is willing to make some I'd be glad to pay you for them. I don't need free and I don't need N95. I just want some protection for when we can't avoid going out. Or if you have a link for where to buy them. I looked at Etsy and there are so many it's almost impossible to figure out which ones to go with.

ETA: PM me if you can make some for us.

Edited by Lady Florida.
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