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  1. #1
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    Any DIYers here making masks?

    With coronavirus on the rampage, governments starting to require face coverings in public, and mayhem in the supply chain for commercially-made facemasks, it seems that making masks at home has become quite the popular thing to do. Are any of you DIY kiltmakers doing it? Are you interested in doing it for fellow XMarkers? A lot of online communities have started sharing resources and helping each other with masks, and I'm sort of surprised I haven't seen something like that here. I don't know how this would work within the rules of this forum - perhaps Steve could guide us on that.

    I have purchased a few masks from various places online. Some of them leave a lot to be desired in terms of fit, function, and style. There are a lot of DIY mask patterns online, some of which are more shaped to the human face than others. I have some ideas on what I, personally, would like in a custom facemask based on one of these patterns, using custom material (perhaps even wool tartan or tattersall). I even have big boxes full of tartan scraps. But I don't have the wherewithal to make one at home.

    I've been working from home for the last month, but my boss is making noises about bringing me back to the office. I am going to need quite a few masks so that I can change them out periodically during the day, and have several days worth of masks so I don't have to wash them every night.

    So ...any sewing aficionados here willing to take on masks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    Which pattern do you prefer?
    And what "N" rating do you think you need?

    I personally have a few dust respirators from my wood shop. These have replaceable filters rated N-90 to N-98. Basically I cannot smell bacon cooking through these.
    They are very comfortable to wear all day long if needed.
    The filters are designed for all day use in a wood or other dust environment so should be good for more than a couple of days of normal use.

    I use the blue latex exam style gloves from my existing stockpile too. ("Two by two, hands of blue".)

    I can remember the Doctors and other health care workers at refuge quarantine camps when I was in the service. They had their "clean zones". Basically the hospital tents and their living and sleeping areas.
    They would don new gloves and masks anytime they stepped outside of their "clean zone" and dispose of them before re-entering. It is called "Infection control and mitigation".

    Often, due to the lack of funds, the slow supply chain, and the remote areas they work in, many of these health care providers would use the same type of respirators and gloves I have
    I figure that if it is good enough for them, I can't be too far off my thinking.

    So my home, and car, I consider my "clean zones". Gloves and respirator go on just before stepping out of my clean zone and come off just before stepping back in.

    I may not look as stylish as a custom fabric face mask made from fancy prints or Tartan. Let people look at me funny but I really don't care. To me it is the gloves that are more important than a face mask. The mask just reminds me not to touch my face.
    It is the gloves that protect me from all the surfaces I come in contact with. No, I do not touch my phone or even my car keys with the same gloves that may have picked up something.

    Here in Victoria it has been amazing. Grocery stores and even Home Depot have been limiting the number of people inside and have lines on the sidewalks spaced 6ft. apart for the line-up outside. All the carts are wiped down each time they are returned.
    Older customers and those with special needs have special hours just for them.
    Most of the restaurants and many other stores have figured out ways of home delivery or servicing customers by bringing your items out to you at the door.
    And we have been doing this starting in late February. Life goes on and people adapt.

    But the thing I notice most is the politeness of my fellow Victorians. We still say hello and smile to each other as we all line up (here it is called 'queuing') It seems that my fellow Victorians have adopted the idea that it is "we" the entire human race, against a virus. We know we can't really stop it but we can flatten the curve so that the system does not become overloaded all at once.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  3. The Following 6 Users say 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    Well, I don't need N95 level filtering or a clean-room level of protection. I work in an office, not a medical environment. For this purpose, masks are just an aid to social distancing, to minimize larger respiratory droplets that tend to fly about. A tight weave, multiple layers of fabric, should be sufficient along with regular hand-washing and smart hygiene.

    In the tests I had done a while back, wool tartan material, when agitated in hot soapy water, tightens up nicely. I can't see pinpoints of light through it. I would think that this should be tight enough along with an inner liner of cotton to satisfy current CDC guidelines for social facemasks.

    I'm thinking of a pattern something like this one below, with a bendable nose piece made from pipe cleaners or similar. And simple elastic straps that loop behind the ears.

    https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/

  5. #4
    Join Date
    3rd June 15
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    Iíve made at least 100-150 masks (probably more)
    They are for myself, friends, family and I have a little stall set up on the lawn for all the neighbours to grab 1-2 as they walk past.
    And yet my fabric stash hasnít really decreased.

    Donít bother with the wire, itís a pain to put in, doesnít wash well and is uncomfortable.
    Instead - On the inside after sewing the two fabrics together, at the top, run a couple rows of shirring... from mid cheek, over the nose to mid cheek in the seam allowance.
    Turn through and construct as usual.
    Itís much more comfortable and fits tighter than the wire method.
    (This is for the shaped mask style - the square pleated style doesnít need it)

    Theyíre so easy once youíve made a few, that I now have one for every outfit & colour combination in my wardrobe.

    Todayís masks for my friends and myself were the Matilda Poppy (for the returned service men & women) as itís ANZAC Day here and we had to have the dawn service in our driveways with lamps and the Last Post/ Revile playing on our phones.

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    3rd June 15
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    Oh....
    You may want to try this for a beard
    https://cabfacf6-07d2-4904-a9ac-382f...26a3cbd647.pdf

    Again I used 2 rows of shirring in the seam allowance at the bottom for fit.
    It was overly complicated construction in my opinion

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    7th February 08
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    Abbotsford, BC, Canada
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    Had to search for information about “ shirring”, and found this article, which seems to explain it well ( now I just need elastic thread, with the fabric stores all closed :0(

    https://www.seamwork.com/issues/2017...astic-shirring
    waulk softly and carry a big schtick

  10. #7
    Join Date
    12th January 13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Grey View Post
    Don’t bother with the wire, it’s a pain to put in, doesn’t wash well and is uncomfortable.
    Instead - On the inside after sewing the two fabrics together, at the top, run a couple rows of shirring... from mid cheek, over the nose to mid cheek in the seam allowance.
    Turn through and construct as usual.
    It’s much more comfortable and fits tighter than the wire method.
    (This is for the shaped mask style - the square pleated style doesn’t need it)
    Do you happen to have a photo of what this looks like? I'm having a hard time visualizing it. I need something tight against my nose to help keep the glasses from fogging up, but haven't been fond of the wire marks left even by my soft-plastic-coated wire... as I've not put wires in all of my masks yet, I'm open to entertaining other ideas. (FWIW, I used the Olson pattern.)


    (And to answer the OP-- yes, I've made my own, plus a couple for a friend who needed them... and no, I'm never making another one as it took me so !#*$@& long! {And, for that reason, I will probably wear the ones I have until they fall apart, even long after this thing is over, lol.})
    Last edited by Katia; 25th April 20 at 08:01 PM.
    Here's tae us - / Wha's like us - / Damn few - / And they're a' deid - /
    Mair's the pity!

  11. #8
    Join Date
    3rd June 15
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    Katia
    Phew.... took a while mucking around to get the photos- and Willie the Wonder Dog wanted to join in!



    The Paisley I extended the length about 1/2inch to be more comfortable under my chin.
    The blk/wht flowers is the normal adult size
    Just wanted to show off the Matilda Poppy one...ícause!

    Let me know if you want me to take a picture with shirring as I sew it?

    As to glasses.... I donít think there is much of a solution. Drives me mad with sunglasses walking the dog.
    Iíve heard the same complaint from Doctors & Nurses. (I put my reading glasses on and they started to fog.)
    I did see a pattern for one shaped for glasses, Iíll try to find it and link.

    Hope that helps

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  13. #9
    Join Date
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  14. #10
    Join Date
    12th January 13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Grey View Post
    Katia
    Phew.... took a while mucking around to get the photos- and Willie the Wonder Dog wanted to join in!



    The Paisley I extended the length about 1/2inch to be more comfortable under my chin.
    The blk/wht flowers is the normal adult size
    Just wanted to show off the Matilda Poppy one...’cause!

    Let me know if you want me to take a picture with shirring as I sew it?

    As to glasses.... I don’t think there is much of a solution. Drives me mad with sunglasses walking the dog.
    I’ve heard the same complaint from Doctors & Nurses. (I put my reading glasses on and they started to fog.)
    I did see a pattern for one shaped for glasses, I’ll try to find it and link.

    Hope that helps
    Yes, I think I see. Thanks for taking the pictures! I know how time-consuming mucking about with them can be, so I appreciate it. Did you use elastic thread as mentioned above? I'm not 100% certain how you constructed it but I think I could figure something out now that I've see it up close. (I modified the chin on my masks by adding darts, as I had a gap otherwise. This is surprising because my jaw is more square than pointy, but I also have a small face so that could be it.)

    Willie is such a cutie!

    Yes, I'll never find a perfect solution. Even with a nose wire, my glasses fog a tiny bit, especially after I've worn the mask a while (I assume it gets damp-ish from my breath). Sometimes I find breathing out through my nose helps attenuate it a bit (I'm normally a mouth breather). I'll have to try the "flute breathing" technique. THe good thing about it is that unlike playing the flute, I can make this as extreme as I want... I just tried it with pulling my bottom lip under my upper lip and even teeth so it's like I'm breathing down over my chin (a person with an overbite would have no issue with this at all... I bet Freddie Mercury's glasses wouldn't fog!). I'm not sure I want to try the soapy-water technique, though... soap scum is annoying enough on my shower without also having it on my glasses... but I might try the spit trick (it's common for swim goggles/dive masks, and I'm not sure why one of the articles discourages it since it's my spit), or vinegar (though I'm not sure if that's healthy for the anti-glare coating on my glasses).

    I discovered that with my sunglasses, though, all bets are off. (My sunglasses are the type that goes over my regular glasses; my lenses are too thick for the clip-on type to work very well anymore. So, they're slightly larger than my regular glasses, and this is apparently just enough overlap to cause fogging issues.)

    Here are my masks (not shown are the two I made for my friend, which are entirely of the light-blue-with-stars pattern you see on the inside of the navy-blue-with-stars mask at upper right):
    Here's tae us - / Wha's like us - / Damn few - / And they're a' deid - /
    Mair's the pity!

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