DIY Face Mask - the ultimate 2020 fashion accessory!

From today we are all advised to cover our faces in busy public areas, so yesterday I whipped up this little number in our Lemons Cotton Poplin.

You may have seen a flurry of makers in masks on your social media yesterday, this was in response to the fabulous initiative set up by Sewing Bee's Patrick Grant, called The Big Community Sew. The aim is to get Britain sewing, and for anyone who can sew, to make a mask for their friends and family. This is what Patrick Grant had to say;

"We’ve launched The Big Community Sew to help ensure that every person in every community in Britain has the face covering they need.

There are around six million sewing machines in homes across the UK and if every one of those machines can be used to make just a dozen face coverings that would be enough for every person in the UK.

Sewing is an intensely practical act of kindness and we want this campaign to build on the community efforts established during the pandemic. Check on your neighbours to see if they need face coverings, just as we asked if they needed help with shopping when we first went into lockdown.

Find out who in your community needs face coverings, and get making. And if you’ve not sewn in a while, we’re providing how-to videos, patterns and guides to help."

Here at Sew Creative, we are definitely on board with The Big Community Sew. We have also been making masks for our local businesses, to help them go back to work safely. Please note, however, we are not making and selling masks for the general public (we just don't have the time I am afraid). If you are in need of a mask, and don't have a sewing machine to make your own, then please check out local trader Swank Style, as she is making masks that are as practical as they are stylish.

Should you want to get sewing, then there are plenty of free mask patterns out there, however I used Olson Mask by Unity Point Health, which you can download for free by clicking here. This mask pattern was developed by health professionals, and we think the fit is fantastic. It is also a simple, beginner friendly pattern, so perfect if you are new to sewing. The instructions are pretty clear, however please see below for our step by step photo guide.

Step 1:

Cut out 2 of each pattern piece. The dotted inner line on the pattern is the stitching line, so use a 5mm seam - you can do this by lining up the edge of the fabric with the edge of your foot.

You will also need to notch (cut into the edge of the fabric slightly) the Cheek pieces, where the vertical dotted line crosses through the pattern piece. Just make a little cut into the fabric at the top and bottom of the line.

Step 2:

With right sides together, stitch down the curved edges of the Face and Mouth pieces. Then fold over and press the straight edge of the Mouth pieces only.

Step 3:

Next, fold over and press the longest straight edge of the Cheek pieces. I have overlocked the edges of my fabric, but this isn't necessary.

Step 4:

Next, we are going to attach the Cheek and Mouth pieces, which form the inside of your mask. You want to place all your pattern pieces right sides up (the outside/nice side facing you). Line up the folded edge of the Mouth pieces with the notches that you cut into the Cheek pieces earlier. The pieces will overlap by approximately 2.5-3cm. Stitch the Mouth and Cheek pieces together at all four overlap points, as indicated on the photo.

Step 5:

We are now going to join all the pieces together. Place the Face pieces right sides together with the stitched Mouth and Cheek pieces. Match the centre seams and edges, pin then sew all the way around the perimeter of the mask.

You can then turn the mask to the right side, via the gaps between the Mouth and Cheek pieces.

Step 6:

Give the edges of your mask a good press with the iron, then press over the straight edges to the inside. I pressed my straight edges in by approximately 2cm, however try your mask on and make sure it finishes comfortably just before your ears. Stitch the folded edges down, close to the edge of the fold. You want to make sure you can fit your elastic through the gap before sewing!

Step 7:

Cut a length of elastic, mine was 18cm, and pull through the gap at each end, use a safety pin to help you pull through! Overlap your elastic and stitch together using a zigzag stitch - make sure you have stitched enough to make the elastic secure!

And there you have it, your very own mask, the ultimate 2020 fashion accessory!

If you want to join in The Big Community Sew and make masks for your friends and family, then you will only need some cotton fabric and some elastic. 0.5m of fabric will make around 4 masks, and max 50cm of elastic will be needed per person.

Have fun with your fabric choices, maybe make one to match all your #memade outfits! Check out our fabric picks below.

L-R: Hot Coral Linen; Tropical Toucans Cotton Poplin; Navy Geometric Cotton Poplin; Monochrome Rainbows Cotton; Skull Print Denim Chambray; Lemons Cotton Poplin; Space Pugs Cotton Poplin; Art Gallery Fabrics - Coral Pineapple Cotton

Stay safe, wear a mask(!), and happy sewing! Kate & the team x

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