Update: you can watch the video tutorial for this here.
PPE! You’d have to be hidden in a cave these last few weeks not have seen a massive call to arms for sewists to make masks for medical providers, essential workers, vulnerable community members, and the general public!
Today’s livestream class (5 PM PST on my Facebook page and my Twitch) will demonstrate how to draft and sew a mask custom-fit to your face (no matter how big or small you are), as well as a surgical cap/hair covering. This mask uses cotton ties (not elastic), is contoured (not pleated), and is washable and reusable. The cap has optional button locations if you want to install them (to combat ear fatigue when using masks with elastic ties).
Before we start, there are a few notes I have to add:
First: there are dozens, dozens of free mask-making tutorials and patterns available, and each build of mask has pros and cons. If you are in need of a mask and want to sew your own – please, use my tutorial or one of the many provided online, and make sure the mask you are sewing is the type of mask you want. If you want a mask RIGHT NOW, I suggest local social media – or an Etsy search.
The mask furor will die down soon but it is currently at a peak and a lot of sewists are quite belabored by it all. Please remember that contacting someone who sews – especially if you don’t have a close relationship with them – and asking them for masks is not necessarily doing them a favor. One advantage of doing your research first – on local sites or on Etsy – is you’re going to find stitchers who are able, who are willing, who are set up, and who want to make them (for free or a fee). Please consider that route before DMing, tagging, and texting your sewing friends.
Moving on! And to our surgical cap:
For a hair covering, RAD Patterns put together a free surgical cap pattern! This cap is reversible and has three versions; short hair, long hair, and a bouffant style. I will also be demonstrating this project today as well. It’s a bit easier than the mask – but both projects are suitable for beginners with a working domestic sewing machine.
So! Without further ado, here is what you need to sew along. As per all my tutorials, you need a tuned-up sewing machine capable of a balanced zig zag stitch, and your machine manual.
Supplies for the mask:
mask fabric: 7″ by 13″ scrap inner fabric; 7″ by 13″ scrap for outer
ties or strip, 1″ by 50″ (I use cotton bias tape, 1/4″)
Supplies for the cap:
short/long style: 1/2 yard cotton fabric
bouffant style: 3/4 yard cotton fabric
By 5 PM today you will need:
Your cap pattern, printed & taped
Your fabrics, pre-washed and dried
Paper, pencil, and ruler (for mask-drafting)
(optional:) Tracing medium/carbon paper and tracing wheel
See you at 5 PM today!