Many of my quilting friends are making face masks according to the AB-Mask-for-a-Nurse-by-a-Nurse pattern. I made 5 of them this week, but changed the instructions slightly. The great thing about this pattern is that you don't need elastic, which is almost impossible to find.
Here's what I changed:
1. I added a layer of non-woven interfacing between the layers of cotton. This is to provide an extra layer of protection for our health care workers.
2. I added a pipe cleaner (cut in half and used just the half) inside the top binding so that it can be molded around the nose.
3. I placed the cotton pieces wrong sides together, instead of with the right sides stacked. I think this makes the masks prettier.
4. I cut the 1/2" seams down to 1/4" after sewing in the pleats, and before the darts were made at the top and bottom. I found that if I did this after the darts were sewn, the dart seams popped open. I did mark them while there was still 1/2" seam to insure proper placement.
5. I sewed the binding on the sides before I sewed the darts and while the mask was still flat.
6. The binding strips can be cut out of any fabric and don't need to be the same as the mask.
There you have it. It takes about an hour to sew one. But if you do them assembly style and cut a bunch out and sew the steps on all of them at the same time, the total time per mask is reduced.
I have 3 nurses in my family. One works in a Salem, OR hospital; one works in a hospice facility in Albany, OR, and one works in an Issaquah, WA hospital. In addition, I have one doctor in my family who works in a private practice. If you talk to any of them, they will let you know if they need these masks or not. At least one of my family members is working with no PPE! So even if you don't have any family members working in the health care industry, please use your fabric and skills to help them out. And don't forget to make one for yourself!
Stay home and stay safe. We are all in this together.