Riley Blake Designs is concerned about our community and in an effort to support all of the amazing sewists out there who are creating face masks, we have compiled several of our favorite tutorials for you!
With all of the information floating around, you may be confused as to whether you should be sewing cloth face masks. We found this ARTICLE to be helpful.
“If you think that a handmade mask cannot be used, think again. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a place for them — in times of crisis, like the one we are in right now. On the CDC page: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks, they explain that as a last resort, a homemade mask is acceptable. Frankly, we are at that stage right now. Here’s how they explain it in the Crisis Strategy section, When No Facemasks Are Available, Options Include:
“Healthcare personnel (HCP) use of homemade masks:
In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.””
You can find more information from the CDC HERE.
The New York Times weighed in on the effectiveness of fabric face masks:
If you are lucky enough to know a quilter, ask them to make you a mask. Tests performed at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., showed good results for homemade masks using quilting fabric. Dr. Segal, of Wake Forest Baptist Health, who led the study, noted that quilters tend to use high-quality, high-thread count cotton. The best homemade masks in his study were as good as surgical masks or slightly better, testing in the range of 70 to 79 percent filtration. Homemade masks that used flimsier fabric tested as low as 1 percent filtration, Dr. Segal said.
Our first mask is designed to fit over medical grade masks in order to prolong their usage.
After making Jessica’s fabulous A.B. Mask below, we made a few changes. We switched up how the mask is assembled which meant we needed to adjust the template, plus we added a pocket option. You will need 8” x WOF to make this mask.
You can print out our adjusted template HERE.
In addition, we have created a VIDEO where Cindy demonstrates how to make the mask.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The facemasks and patterns described in this video are not considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cannot prevent the spread of any virus or disease. These facemasks should only be used by Health Care Professionals as supplemental protection or to help extend the life of N95 or other PPE masks as described by the CDC in Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks.
Our next mask, called the A.B. Mask, was created by Jessica, who is a nurse. The design allows space to fit an n95 mask underneath, which is helpful to medical personnel who are trying to extend the life of their medical grade masks.
The fabric ties are helpful for fitting the mask to each individual. You can find Jessica’s original tutorial HERE.
The next mask is from a pattern made available at FREE SEWING.
They have a quick video you can watch which we found very helpful. A couple of tips: The seam allowance is NOT included in this template, so be sure to allow for that. The strap measurements are given in cm. We found that cutting 2 – 2″ x WOF strips worked great. This gave us 4 approximately 18″ straps.
This mask offers good coverage, although it isn’t roomy enough to fit a medical grade mask underneath.
Finally, a great option for beginners is this TUTORIAL by Deaconess. This mask uses simple 6″ x 9″ rectangles with 3 small pleats. With elastic running low, you may need to sew cloth straps instead. This would be an easy adjustment.
We love being part of this amazing sewing community! You inspire us to work hard and think big! Your generosity is a beautiful thing! Please feel free to reach out with any further questions. We can’t wait to see and share all of your handiwork!