No gaps, comfy, breathable…
I’m going to be honest this is actually only the second sewing pattern I tried. But it was so good there was no need to look any further!
I made one sample and then made 12 in a weekend!
Here you can download the pattern, from Japanese Sewing Books, in loads of sizes and watch Yifarn’s detailed tutorial video here:
This pattern features an origami style shape which closely contours the face with minimal gaps. I’ve been wearing them since the pattern came out in June and this is the most comfortable mask I’ve worn.
It all depends on face shape but for me the pleated ones (surgical and fabric) fit really badly so this is a good one if you have gaps with those ones.
Despite the more complex looking shape of the mask it is relatively simple to construct, only comprising 2 pieces of fabric (as opposed to 4 like the ones with the centre seam). The shape is formed by folding and topstitching. A channel for elastic is also created which means you can replace it.
Fabric and elastic
For fabric I used a quilting weight 100% cotton outer layer. I love that some scraps of my favourite dress fabrics could be put to such good use. I’ve worn my duck egg V&A cotton ones probably 50 -100 times which is a lot more exposure than the dress (as seen below) ever got. 😂 I LOVE that colour.
For the inner I used a thin white cotton (but potentially poly cotton?) which someone passed onto me. Three months of quite a lot of wear and wash and the lining but not outer is beginning to bobble a little. Maybe would use something a bit more hardwearing next (perhaps even a gorgeous liberty lawn as that is so soft, supple and yet finely woven).
The elastic was from amazon. It is specific mask elastic which means it is rounded, soft on the ears and above all comfy. It has washed well and doesn’t seem to have lost its stretch yet either. I got about 50m for £9. You can get it cheaper but I wanted it quite quickly so paid a bit more.
Other alternatives for elastic are strips of jersey fabric, hairbands, fold over elastic or even just fabric ties. For me the elastic has been a worthwhile investment because of how much wear they get (although 5m rather than 50 would have been enough).
As I said I made about 12 in one go. I did each step on every mask at the same time (ie topstitch all at same time).
The fabric cutting shape is a bit fiddly. I actually imported the pattern into illustrator and used a cutting machine to cut out the fabric. If you get on with your rotary cutter then that could be an idea. Or basting a couple of layers of fabric before cutting (although I’ve never tried this).
Also getting the elastic in the casing can be a fit fiddly. Try an embroidery needle or place the elastic in before you fold the raw edges in and just make sure you don’t sew over it.
I hope you find the best mask fit for you! They also make suprisingly good gifts too 🙂