This amazing face mask is a true anti-fog solution if you wear glasses. If you don’t wear glasses then it is still a great option for you. It not only has a nose wire that will help keep it in place on your nose and adjustable earpieces, but the 3D quality of the mask will keep it from being pressed up against your mouth.
While not being the easiest mask out there to make, it is not the hardest either and I love the fact that it is a solid panel on the front and isn’t stitched or folded. I was gifted a brand new embroidery machine by a friend and I think these masks might be the perfect thing to get started on. How fun would an embroidered design on the front of these masks be?
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Let’s face it, masks are not going to go away anytime soon, and they can be expensive if you have to buy them all, especially if you want one that will stay in place and be comfortable. Making them is much more cost-effective and the variety of different patterns and colors available is incredible. One thing you want to be sure of though, is that you are using a high thread count fabric as the lower thread counts are far less effective at preventing covid transmission. How do you tell if a fabric has a higher thread count? After all, thread count is usually not listed on the bolt. While there are exceptions, for cotton fabric it is fairly simple… you hold it up to the light. If you can see through it, the thread count is not high enough to prevent covid. The higher the thread count, the less light will show through.
I will include lots of pictures of the process because I am not sure how easy this will be to explain without pictures to follow along with. Rest assured, however, even if you do not know a lot about sewing (I don’t) these are pretty easy to make.
Supplies for the 3D Face Mask
- Material for front of mask ~ cotton is best, two or three layers total fabric (I use two)
- Material for back/middle layers of mask
- Peel and Stick Tin Ties
- 1/4″ elastic
- 9mm Pony beads
- Yarn needle
- Sewing Machine
- Fabric Clips
- Cutting Mat
- Rotary Fabric Cutter
- Quilting Ruler
- Fabric Scissors
- Small piece of cardboard or cardstock
I make my masks with two layers, so for illustration purposes, I will give direction for a two-layer mask.
Cut a 2″ right triangle from the cardboard or cardstock. Set aside for now.
Cut two pieces of coordinating fabric to 10″ x 7″ and iron smooth. Place cut fabric pieces right sides together and line up the cardboard triangle with one of the corners. You will be using this as a guide to place your ruler in the correct place.
Lay your ruler along the angled edge of the cardboard and remove the cardboard triangle so you can cut your fabric with the rotary cutter, I use this one.
Once you have the fabric cut, clip the pieces together, right sides in.
Stitch all the way around the mask using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave the top edge open.
Notch all the corners of the mask, being careful not to cut the threads. This allows for the hem to lay flat once you turn the mask right side out.
Now it’s time to turn the mask right side out. Once the mask is turned, take the bodkin and gently push the corners out.
Now it’s time to turn the open hem. This is easier than it sounds. You simply push the sides of the opening in and pull the open hem tight and it will turn in on its own. Hold the turned him in and press with a hot iron. At this time you want to press all the edges.
Once the edges are all pressed it’s time to place the wire into the top of the mask. I cut about an inch off of the tin tie and pulled the backing off of the adhesive. Then I centered the tin tie under the hem, pushing it back into the crease. I then used a clip to hold it in place just in case the adhesive should give.
Next, I stitched a 1/8″ stitch all the way around the entire outside edge of the mask, starting with the top edge where the tin tie is. I stitch right over this as the wires are on the outside edges and the plastic in the middle is thin enough to stitch right through as long as you have a strong enough needle. I have made many of these and never broken a needle on this step. The 1/8″ topstitch is necessary to add stability to the outside edge of the mask.
Once the 1/8″ topstitch was done I pressed folded the mask lengthwise at the top and bottom using the corners as a guide, like shown below, pressing each with my iron so that I had a nice, crisp fold.
Next, I cut two 12″ lengths of elastic for the earpieces. Each piece of elastic gets two pony beads. Thread the elastic onto the yarn needle, then run the elastic through one of the pony beads. This pony bead should be halfway back on the elastic. String the second pony bead onto the elastic and remove the needle. String the other end of the elastic onto the needle and run this through the second pony bead as well. I then had something that looks like the last photo below. Repeat this with the second piece of elastic. These are the adjustable earpieces.
Once I had the beads strung I clipped the ends into the folds of the mask, one piece of elastic on each side with the ends tucked about an inch into each fold. I clipped them into place so they would not move. I then topstitched another 1/8″ around all four sides of the folded mask, with the folds facing up. I took care to backstitch around all four corners in order to secure the elastic in place. When I was done it looked like this.
This last step is the one that makes the magic happen and causes the mask to form a 3D shape. Fold the bottom flap down onto itself so that the folded-over corner is parallel with the outside edge. Along with the fold that covers the elastic, it will resemble an “N” as in the first picture below. Clip the fabric in place. Repeat this on all four sides.
Once the “N”s were clipped I made sure to backstitch along the entire length of the leg of the “N” (the fold I am pointing to below) so that it had some strength along the fold. After the backstitch I sewed up the top of the “N” fold I stitched down to the lower fold and again backstitched that one. I repeated this on the other side of the mask. Once done it looked like the second picture below.
That is it, the mask is done! Yes, there are a lot of steps but even my first attempt at this mask, being a novice sewer, this project still only took me about 20 minutes. These do pass the test of not fogging my glasses and they don’t push up against my face making it much more comfortable to wear while still fitting well on the outside edges.