Jun 8, 2020

The Mask Maker's Favorite Masks!

Guess who's finally decided on her favorite masks varistions and made some for herself?

I'm one of those slow learners who needs lots of practice sewing new things and changing things up as I go along. It took my first dozen to get one right,  two dozen to be pleased and past 3 dozen before I'd give them out having anyone know they were from me!

I used my simplified version of Ami Simms and her friend Valli Schiller's mask pattern "The Valami" and had a lot of help making it!

And then I made one for my youngest daughter. I used pony beads as sliding toggles as she had surgery for a badly broken wrist recently.  With little ones to keep up with during isolation, things need to be simpler.  I didn't use a one piece tshirt knit tie as they can slip out with use and adjusting..so upper and lower toggling.

Valami Face Mask

Its a great pattern and actually combined all of my favorite features.  And Valli's quilting fabric stash has some fabulous fabrics. Wish i had bought them when they were available!  

I added nose wires top at nose and bottom at chin just because I like that fit and look. And because we have narrow faces didn't add extra strap casings on sides.  

The Valami pleats top and bottom give more air space for breathing just as side pleats do and create a boxier look like many professional masks do.

For my family I used either my versions of the 

Valami: Ami Simms and Valli Schimmer Free Pattern (seen below and my opening photo)

or the Deaconess 

(From the Deaconess Hospital version)

Here below:

The Deaconess is similar to most hospitals masks with their vertical (side) straps which fit those with petite faces better. 

While others prefer the St. Charles Hospital version with horizontal binding and straps.

Here is my preferred vertical straps of the Deaconess free directions. 

  But I also used the  horizontal straps as I did below. This one for my older daughter and one for her partner too. They fit them perfectly. 

For my many, many donations, I used our Salem Health (hospitals and clinics) pattern

As Salem Oregon "sewists" (new term for the old "sewers" often mispronounced when read aloud...)  did upon their call out for mask makers by providing surgical drape fabrics and a free pattern. 

We made well over 10,000 of those and many of us made our own DIY ones with our own fabrics etc. for donation as back-up or to other clinics, nursing homes or our delivery workers and local essential store and business employees!

I put delivery workers masks outside my door and they disappeared with gratitude on all our parts!

 (similar to St. Charles Hospital pattern here with ear elastics  for a family using a hospital for their "growing" family ) 

And for others going to places where masks are required.

 Most of my donations has elastic for sewing speed. I used 1/8" to 1/4" elastic ear pieces depending on whether I was using children or adult sizing. I even made mask covers for the few hospital masks I'd saved over years of helping or visiting family in 6 hospitals over 3 states.

For my ties, I used my serger and edge stitched one layer of fabric strips of 1 and 1/2" inch wide. Folded and ironed in 1/2 they work so nicely as edge finishing straps instead of bias tape or turned strips.  And yes thin fabric versions will work pushing through a toggle lockstrap

Here a Valami and 3 Deaconess masks for one of my three kids and their family.  All with serged straps and bead toggles or lockstrap ones (removed from my folding lawn chairs storage bags!) 

Use what you have when you can!

My other posts on mask making! 

and my great big version with tons of ideas and free mask patterns and links!

( if you want to breathe when wearing one for any large amount of time!)

I made many, many multiples of the same fabric. So ten black and gray ones at once, or my gray print switching to straps, or lots of prints at once in various tones. 
Sewing masks every day until my hands or back needed rest.

Lots of work but even more fun as I knew I was helping others!

Still sewing, crafting and blogging since 2006
And I've done it only having a phone for almost 5 years!
So please excuse my psycho typos!

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.