Doing our Part for the New Normal...
The last several weeks have been unprecedented and we have all been living life very differently. Like me, many of you have been making and wearing face masks. It is one way we can do our part in helping each other stay safe. As businesses begin to reopen, wearing a face mask will be required to enter some establishments- and will be the "New Normal" for a time. There are free patterns and creative ways to make masks popping up all over the web...everything from No-Sew to In-the-Hoop and more! I found the FREE In-the-Hoop face mask cover from www.Kimberbell.com. After making a few, I made a couple of modifications, but the basic pattern works great! I figure if I am going to wear one, why not have a bit of fun!
This cover was designed to be used by healthcare workers by placing the cover over a N95 mask, however they can also be used for personal use. The directions and Free pattern download for a 6x10 hoop are very well written and easy to follow. They suggest that a non-woven interfacing can be used for the personal use version.
I was able to cut two covers out of one 100% cotton fat quarter and used some cotton muslin scraps for the back of the cover. If all you have are some smaller pieces of fabric (8"x10.5" for the mask and a 1"x12" for the loops), like the three completed covers shown above, then grosgrain works really well for the ties. Whatever you choose, make sure it can stand up to daily washings.
There are a few helpful tools that make the assembly go faster and easier. A pressing pad (mine has seen a lot of projects) and iron in close proximity to your machine, Best Press spray starch, paper tape, a bias tape maker and stiletto, and a pair of scissors. These will all work together in making the loops and straps.
I used my rotary cutter and mat to get all my parts and pieces cut out and ready to sew.
The bias tape maker shown below keeps my fingers from getting too close to the iron. I found that it works best to cut the strip at an angle to help feed it into the maker and then spritz it with a little Best Press.
Then I use the stiletto to feed the fabric through to the tip and the maker will form the strip! What a handy tool!
The bias tape makers come in different sizes and can be used for several applications.
I've used this tool for making bias tape, belt loops, and of course these strips which will also need to be folded over one more time and then stitched to create the 1/4" loops and ties.
Using the Best Press will give a nice crisp fold and make it a breeze to stitch. I used my open-toe foot and my 1/4" guide to keep my stitches nice and straight. I decided to chain stitch and did a little reverse stitch on each end to prevent them from coming undone, since they will get washed often as well as tied and untied a lot.
The spray starch will come out during washing and it is not necessary to reapply. However, I found the lavender scent is very calming and makes wearing it a bit more pleasant.
Another very useful notion to have is paper tape. Here, I am using the Kimberbell brand. It has a great balance of adhesive- not too much or too little. I have also found that I can reposition it and often times I can even reuse some of it.
This step is probably the trickiest part in the assembly. It is essential to keep the loops in place and out of the way of the foot while stitching in the hoop.
If you want to learn more, there is a video tutorial at www.Kimberbell.com
I hope that you are all staying healthy, making and creating, and now Inspired to make a face mask for you or someone else!
Blessings and Smiles,
of Inspired Remnants LLC