I started this latest batch of face masks four days ago – that’s how long it’s taken me to complete this batch of 50. There are a lot of steps which I’ll itemize.
To get this far I had to:
- Cut 50 fabric pieces 9″ x 13″; cut 50 interfacing pieces 8 1/2″ x 6″; cut 100 elastic pieces 7″, cut 50 pieces of pipe cleaner to 5″ lengths
- Fuse interfacing to one end of the fabric
- Fold right sides together
- Stitch the end seam in two sections (leaving an opening in the middle)
- Press the seam open (rolling the tube to position the seam 1/2″ from the “top” edge)
- Pin elastic on one side, pin elastic on second side
- Stitch both side seams
- Turn face mask right side out
- Position and clip pipe cleaner at opposite fold from the seam
- Sew 1/4″ seam along edge to encase the pipe cleaner
- Trim threads
Next I had to:
- Press each face mask in half, then in quarters, then pleat at each fold
- Stitch across the pleats on one side; on the second side
- Trim threads
- Wash in washing machine
- Hang to dry
That’s where I am at the moment: 50 masks to be delivered tomorrow are hanging and drying.
I still have to:
- Place in bags
I’m just about to press them and bag them and then they’ll be ready to go.
In a factory setting these tasks would be going on simultaneously as small batches would be moved along. In this one person sweatshop each step for all 50 masks has to get done before passing the masks on to the next step – it’s been more labour intensive than I imagined before I started.
I actually have managed to scrounge supplies for another 50 masks (elastic and non-woven fusible interfacing are now in short supply both locally and online), but I’m not rushing to commit myself to making them. We’ll see whether the nursing home I’m delivering them to REALLY needs me to do another 50 or whether their call to the local sewing guilds will produce enough masks for them that I can put those supplies aside and get on with other sewing.