Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Latest in Italian Fashion....

The face mask! I designed my own using just some scraps and a bit of bias tape. I hope the pattern process that I'll try to explain below makes sense.

The lines represent where you should measure.


  1. The Red line is from the bridge of your nose to just under your chin, where you want the mask to cover.
  2. The Yellow line is from top of your cheekbone, under the nose, to the other side of your face.
  3. The Orange line is from the top of your cheekbone, under the chin, to the other side of your face.

These are the only measurements you'll really need.

The Pattern

I tried to do a video and well, I'll try again tomorrow to show how to really draw this pattern out. The red line is the same as the measurement above. Just draw that on your piece of paper, marking off about 1" below the top of that line. Now, draw the yellow horizontal line there using your undernose measurement. Using your measuring tape, as best you can, draw the underchin measurement - this will not be perfect and you'll notice it will not reach the bottom of the red line, that's okay.

Now for the slightly tricky part. Draw a curve from the end of the yellow line to the long end of the red line - this is the green line in the pattern picture above.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  I like using the Frixon markers for this because they are erasable!   Now, measure the difference between the end of the orange line to the bottom (chin) of the red line.  It's typically around 2", give or take an inch.  Whatever that measurement is, half it.  Now, from the red (Center) line find where that measurement hits the "green" line outer edge.  This is the start point for the bottom purple line.

Draw the curved purple line to just an inch or less above the orange line, hitting the red line.  Hopefully the picture makes that make a whole bunch more sense.

The blue line is nothing more than a very fat bell curve.  Again, it doesn't have to be perfect - you'll fix any issue with the mock up.  The top purple line starts along the blue line, about 1 cm or so from the red line and curves down towards the red line right where the undernose yellow line is.

If you want a decent curve, add the gray line - it's really a hand drawn very slight curve joining the two purple lines.  The inside of the two purple lines, the gray line, the green line and the top blue line becomes the outline for your mask.  (Shown in black above.)

The Materials

I used two layers of quilting cotton and one layer of wool. Wool is known to be antimicrobial, making it an excellent inner layer. You can absolutely use just three layers of cotton. I just prefer the wool.

  1. 1/4 of quilting cotton - you probably will not use all of this and can just use scraps from the scrap pile like I did
  2. Fat quarter of wool - again, scrap pile; I used an 8" strip of wool I had
  3. 2 yards of double folded wide bias tape
  4. Cotton thread
  5. Fabric scissors
  6. Sewing pins

Trace around the pattern on to the fabric.  You'll want to cut four piece of the quilting cotton and two pieces of the wool.  Mark, for your own sanity, what the inner seam is.

Once you cut out the fabric, using the wool - or whatever you have for the inner layer- sew up the center seam.  I used a small zigzag stitch but any will do.  Now, unfold it with the unfinished seam out, and hold it to your face.

Look in a mirror and see where you need to make adjustments.  Mark those, recut the wool, if necessary, and then make sure you also recut the cotton and, using paper scissors, recut your pattern as well to the "better" fit.

Once that is done, sew up the center seams, right sides together, of the cotton pieces as well.  You should have two quilting cotton layers and the one wool layer.  Sandwich them.  Have the "fashion fabric" or finished sides of the quilting cotton out (it doesn't really matter which way you have the wool).  Pin the edges, particularly at the chin, the bridge of the nose, and the "corners".  Stay stitch all around.

Now, the bias tape.  Start with a tail of the bais tape about 14"~16".  This will be one of the ties.  Sew the bias tape around the top edge of the mask.  Leave a similar tail on the other side.   For the bottom part of the mask, you'll need your seam ripper.

About 14"~16" into the bias tape, make a small hole with your seam ripper, right in the middle of the fold of the bias tape.  The hole only needs to be big enough to fit the upper tail through.  Once you've done that, sew the bias tape around the bottom edge until you are sure where to make the next hole to pull the other top edge tail/tie through.  Leave another 14"~16" tail.

That's it!  It sounds way more complicated than it really is.  I made this in about a half hour this morning and will make another one tomorrow.  These are 100% washable which is fabulous.  It also uses up some of  those scraps you have been hoarding in the corner.  :-)  Do NOT use silk, polyester, velvet, tapestry, a heavy twill, or any other materials other than quilting cotton, linen, and tropical weight wool.  You need to be able to breathe.


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