Some snicker at them, others wear them: A sewn protective face mask definitely divides opinions.
I do not need one myself, since I am healthy and can isolate from other people most of the time. It drives me crazy to have something in front of my mouth – even face cloths bother me there.
But who knows what is yet to come. For this reason, I have tested a design and found it to be good.
The important information first: This type of protective face mask is not a safeguard against viruses and bacteria. Hand washing is THE method of choice for containing corona. The protective mask can, however, help you not touch your face when you are out in public, for instance when you are out shopping. The mask also retains droplets coming from the wearer. This might signal to others: “Be careful, I could be sick, don’t get too close to me!”.
Lately, social media frequently indicates that there is a desperate demand for handmade protective face masks. At first I honestly thought it was a joke.
But apparently the proper protective masks that fall under FFP1 to FFP3 standards are not easy to come by anymore. They should be reserved for medical personnel who are working in surgery or are in contact with people in the at-risk groups, or for those who truly require protection.
Still, there are enough occupations that have close contact with people, more so than they would like a the moment, and who do not have a storeroom full of protective masks ready for them: Physical therapists, the guy running the market stall, the nice woman in the bakery, just to name a few.
All of these people could at least benefit from the additional protection provided by a face mask, rather than no protection at all.
Sewing instructions for the protective face mask:
Cut out a rectangle measuring 22 x 24 cm.
Place the 22 x 48 cm piece of material right side to right side and stitch it up along the sides – don’t forget to leave an opening along one of the longer sides!
Turn it and stitch a tunnel along the side with the opening. This will close the opening. Do not fully stitch up the tunnel. Instead, leave an opening approximately one centimeter from the edge.
A wire or pipe cleaner can be guided through the hole so the mask fits better on the wearer’s nose.
I distributed the folds as seen in the pictures. First one in the middle, then additional ones above and below. Every fold is approximately 1.5-2 cm. The important thing is that the left and right sides are equal. The depth of the fold is not important.
Fix the folds in place and, depending on the materials you have, decide what kind of fastening to use: bias binding, jersey tube, or shoelace?
Keep in mind whether the materials are washable. If you want to wash the protective mask in a 60 or 90 degree wash cycle, as recommended, it is best to choose the bias binding and rolled strips of jersey. The seams will look best with thread that perfectly matches the material.
I got a little carried away here, but I could not resist the sparkling shoelaces. Or the price tag. Maybe it will make someone smile – laughter is supposedly the best medicine!
Herewith we explicitly advise you that all masks sewn according to instructions in the BERNINA Blog are to be considered as self-sewn face masks. They are neither medical products or protective equipment.
More information about self-made face masks you will find in this article: