Basic Pleated Mask
Here’s the first mask I made using the basic pleated pattern and it’s the only one I made using this pattern because it doesn’t fit worth a darn.
It gaps on every side. So it’s one advantage—that it’s easier to breathe with this type of mask—is it’s major disadvantage if this is your sole protection.
These masks work best when worn over some other type of mask to keep the other one cleaner longer.
Mask with Darts
The next one I made was this one. It has darts at the top and bottom and pleats on the side and it fits much better.
The advantage here is that it makes it easy to add embroidery since there is no center front seam. It just takes longer to construct.
If you’re freaking out because the embroidery creates needle holes, I’ve applied a fusible non-woven interfacing.
PLUS, the mask is lined and then it has a pocket for an optional filter. You’ll get more bugs coming in around the edges where it doesn’t conform to your face than through the embroidered areas.
Then I moved on to the Olson mask, which is very popular. It has a center front seam and fits better yet.
I made about 2 dozen of these for friends and family. No embroidery on these because of the curved center seam.
More on the Jesse Mask
The Jesse mask comes in 8 sizes for 3 face shapes: Average, Wide, and Narrow. You’ll need to measure your face to select an accurate size. (Instructions are included with pattern.)
This mask is the most comfortable and best fitting of the the masks I’ve made so far. The curve under the eyes doesn’t interfere with my glasses either.
The Shark Face version is an applique with embroidered teeth. The set includes all 8 sizes. The average size is a full outline if you have a large enough hoop.
I have a large enough hoop to do both sides of the mask in one hooping:
A second version is included for just the front center curve seam placement. This version is designed to accommodate smaller hoop sizes and to work with wide and narrow sizes.
Individual versions of the shark mask face are also available. You’ll need to download the Jesse Mask pattern for construction details.
The Quest for a Better Fit
1. Floral Wire
2. Disposable Aluminum Baking Pans
Then came aluminum baking pans, which I cut into strips. Even with two layers, which I wrapped in a scrap of no-show mesh, these were still pretty flimsy. I used a lot of these.
3. Peel and Stick Strips
Face Masks – A New Fashion Statement?
I suspect that masks are not going away anytime soon. If you have to wear one, it might as well be something pretty or fun, be machine washable, and fit well.
The only downside to the strip thingys is that they’re mostly sold in packages of 1000 from big supply places.
I’m not doing production mask sewing so we’re selling the bulk of these in packages of 12, which will make 2 dozen masks. Shipping is included for U.S. customers.
UPDATE: We have sold out of these and due to shipping costs, we will not be restocking. Check here for other options.
So that’s it! That’s my tip for a little product that is easier to use and works better for shaping a mask over your nose area.
Where to Find the Mentioned Products
- How to Sew a Surgical Face Mask for Hospitals – Free Pattern.
- Darted mask from Riley Blake
- Olson mask: UnityPoint Health
- Jesse mask + more mask tips: Fabric Patch
- Another Fabric Patch video with good tips for fitting kids