I made myself a new face mask yesterday using the excellent free mask pattern from SeeKateSew. In the process I made a second modification that not only makes the mask fit my face better, it also eliminates one of the final sewing steps. Gotta love that! Here’s a look at my new mask:
Kate calls her design the 3D Mask but in my family it’s known as the Feedbag Face Mask, thanks to an observation my twin sister Diane made last year about my first effort involving a rather unfortunate choice of mask fabric on my part:
(You can read about it here. It still makes me laugh when I see that photo with the peapod lips and teeth.)
Kate’s pattern is essentially an elongated octagon. I extended the ends to allow for a wider casing for the earloops. That was my first modification, made last year. What you see below is her pattern along with the freezer paper pattern I made from it:
Through folding and stitching, the flat pattern is transformed into three sections (still in one piece). The top section goes across the nose, the middle section over the mouth, and the bottom section under the chin. The mask becomes three-dimensional when pleats are made along the ends of the top and bottom sections next to the casing. This photo of a mask I made last year shows what I mean:
On my latest mask I omitted the pleats at the top section. One result is that the top of the mask comes up a bit higher on my face but another — and better — result is greater comfort. That’s because the nosewire, which gets pressed across the bridge of my nose, fits along the top of my cheeks better. My older masks tend to leave indentations in my skin from the nosewires because the pleating at the top pulls the masks tighter across my face. My modified mask is still slightly boxy (and still snug) at the top while the greater boxiness at the bottom makes the mask fit nicely under my chin.
As long as the need to wear masks continues, we might as well go in style, right? For me that means fun fabrics and comfort.