I made a lot of cloth masks in December! My kids' daycare started having the kids (age 2 & up) and staff wear masks in mid-November, so I wanted to make my 2-year-old some fun masks that he would enjoy wearing - we'd been having him wear a mask on the (very rare) occasions that we visited with friends outdoors, but not for school - it didn't seem reasonable to try to get him to be the only person at the daycare to wear a mask.
I bought two Moda "Safety First" mask panels, each of which had 10 kid-sized and 8 adult-sized mask fronts. I made up the Christmas panel first, and I'm now in the process of making up the non-holiday ones. I tried out several different construction methods for both the kid and adult masks, before settling on our favorite style.
For the non-holiday masks, I'll:
- put the front and linings right sides together (I'm making the kids masks double-layered for ease of breathing but triple-layering the adult ones) and stitch the top and bottom with a scant quarter inch seam allowance
- turn right-sides out, press, and topstitch the top and bottom edges
- press in the pleats as directed in the panel instructions (basically a box pleat, most of the adult masks are done this way in the second picture above)
- for the kids' masks, bind the side edges with double-fold bias binding and thread about 18" of very soft lingerie elastic through. Tie a knot and use a lighter to singe the very ends of the elastic
- for the adult masks, I'm cutting the two layers of lining 6x7" (for a 6x9" outer layer) so that after pleating I can fold the outer layer back and tuck the raw edge under to make a casing on each side. Then I thread a continuous 1-yard length of 3/8" grosgrain ribbon through the casings.
We prefer masks that fasten around the back of the head instead of the ones with ear loops (although we do have a few ear loop ones that a family member sewed for us, and we like those for quick errands because they're easier to put on and take off). For adults, the ribbon ties are adjustable to get a better seal around the face, and for both adults and kids it's nice to not have the ear loops putting pressure on our ears.