I made a single mask yesterday – way too fiddly with flannel as the inner layer! Seams were too thick and it was very awkward to pleat. I stopped at one! I decided to sleep on the problem. If my goal was to make just a few masks I could have carried on, but I want to make 100 – I need to be able to streamline the process.
This morning I decided to match up fabric pieces with fused non-woven interfacing with fabric pieces without – less bulk in the seams.
I made a single mask – first sewed elastic onto the ends of the front piece; then zigzagged two twist ties to the wrong side of the back piece. Then sewed the two pieces together leaving an opening on the bottom so I can turn the mask right side out.
Folded in half and pressed, then in quarters and pressed. Turned pressings into folds. Stitched the folds down as I edge stitched the whole thing.
After the first was completed I did four more production style – doing each step on the elements of four masks, next I put the four masks together.
Then I watched videos by Jenny Doan (Missouri Star Quilt Company) and Leah Day (a widely followed quilter). Jenny’s version (Instructions) of the mask is simpler; Leah’s is closer to what I’m aiming for (with an opening to add further protection (Leah’s instructions)).
Leah had a couple of innovations I hadn’t thought about – she used pipe cleaners for the wire support at the top (a really good idea), her way of creating the pocket is simple, and she used clips to hold the pleats in place.
I’m still going ahead with the fabric I cut two days ago, more or less following Leah’s instructions, which is going to make a stripe of fabric on the fronts – to create the pocket opening I will have to offset the top/bottom seams by 1/2″. (I’ll post a picture when I’ve done one).
Right now the masks I’ve made are in the washing machine; next into the dryer, then they’ll be good to hand out.
More pictures will come as I rework my production process. The idea is to refine production to be as simple as possible.
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