Fabric masks – to make and buy

posted in: Grow Mama, Uncategorised

Right. Masks.

New Zealand’s government has advised to wear masks or face coverings in certain situations and there is a flurry on mask buying and making.

My inboxes are filling up with people asking about buying or making masks themselves, so I thought I’d put everything in this blog post and direct folks here, rather than me repeating myself.

There are some awesome people making masks to sell and I strongly encourage folks to look local and support makers in their communities. I will be stocking some in the GrowMama Homesewn store but am focussing on making masks for my community first.

The fabric mask pattern

I trialled and have made up a range of masks from various patterns and have a winner. I like the face mask pattern from Victory Patterns. Its one of the best fits to the face, sews up easily, and can be used with woven and jersey fabrics. Warning, I haven’t looked at their instructions, I made it up as I went along! Victory Patterns has a good tutorial for those just starting out on their mask-making journey.

One big difference in the masks I make is that I use either jersey fabric or elastic loops around the ears, as my testers and I found the whole head elastic annoying and it didn’t stay on. One said it messed with her hair too, so there’s that! You can find the fabric face mask pattern from Victory HERE.

I’ll put a post up listing other fabric mask patterns in the next few days but have a google – there’s lots out there.

The filter insert fabric

The best filter insert fabric I found is Vilene’s ILC 151 (sexy name no?!), its soft, breathable, has a very fine pore size and can be washed up to 60 degrees. Its developed specifically for face masks to be used as a filtering layer. I couldn’t find it in New Zealand and bought some from the lovely Maiike from MaaiDesigns in Australia and am waiting for it to arrive.

In the meantime, I am making masks with a double or triple layer of cotton or linen, just so folks can get out and about. Some will have another Vilene interfacing fabric as extra protection. I’ll incorporate the ILC 151 fabric when it arrives. For those wanting to buy this filter fabric, Maiike is selling out of the ILC 151 as soon as she gets each shipment in, I think she has a waiting list now.

You can find the wonderful MaaiDesign website HERE. Get prepared to be tempted textile lovers, Maaike has the best selection of fabrics!

Special note for people who wear glasses

I wear glasses much of the time and find my version of the mask from Victory Patterns the best fit to lessen the fogging of my glasses when wearing a mask. Some folks have been sewing in a channel for crafting wire or pipe cleaner along the middle portion of the top of the mask too. This helps shape the mask to the contours of your face so any air goes out the sides of the mask, rather than up onto your glasses.

There are some tips on mask-wearing for folks with glasses HERE.

GrowMama Homesewn fabric masks

I am making customised fabric masks in small/children (soft stretch jersey fabric only), medium/teens and some adults and large/adults with lovely larger faces. My son is modelling size medium in these photos. The same size fits me perfectly too. I am happy to make extra-small or extra-large to order.

Locals: Once I get through orders from family and friends today, I will be posting masks on our local community facebook page and will do letterbox drops for delivery. I’ll also list in the GrowMama store – this will likely be in the weekend.

Haven’t had a chance to think about price yet. (I didn’t plan on setting up a mask-making project –I’ve been busy sewing garments for the GrowMama Homesewn pop-up and Community Sew Days – I’ve sadly put my pile of cut-out garments to one side to make room for mask mayhem). My driver is to make sure folks have what they need. I know many sellers of masks have sold out or have waiting lists and people need masks so I have started making them. The expense of buying masks is hard when you’re already stretched trying to make ends meet so there will either be a koha donation per mask, a buy-one/gift-one option or donations taken to make sure everyone can access groovy masks they feel good wearing. I’ll update here and on the GrowMama facebook page.

Kia kaha everyone,

Stay well and keep it kind!

Special thanks to my model. (I didn’t even have to pay him!)

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