Why sewn face masks and no crochet?
Here in Belgium it is recommended to wear face masks, you are even asked if you can sew to make them yourself. There is a site Maakjemondmasker.be which has a pattern that is recognized by the government and scientists as the best pattern for a fabric mask. I want to follow this guideline and I certainly follow the reasoning why!
If you are not familiar with stitching, you can also visit my shop!
Nederlandse versie vind je hier.
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Crocheted face masks
Many patterns circulate on crochet face masks on the net. There are certainly very nice ones, but I agree that these will not be as safe as the fabric ones made with densely woven yarn. There is also a video made with a test explained by one of our best known virologists Marc Van Ranst, if you spray with a spray on the face mask, as few drops as possible should go through. The test as well as the how and why of wearing a mask is clearly explained. So I can conclude that crocheted face masks will not really come out of this test.
Stitched fabric face masks
A piece of history
Yes, indeed, stitching is completely out of my comfort zone. I don’t have a lot of experience with a sewing machine, luckily I do have one. I was once convinced that I could learn to sew like that, with a little knowledge of what I had seen my mother do.
I sat beside her for hours watching the unwieldy sewing machine my mother had. In the kitchen there was a large low cupboard, in my world I called it the magic cupboard. In that cupboard was hidden a very heavy machine. My dad always had to come and help to get the thing out of the closet. The thing hung upside down on a shelf, that shelf had to be folded open and tada, there was the machine and my mother suddenly had a long sewing table with it, handy right ?! On the side of the cabinet there was a large wheel with a black band around it, which was connected to a smaller wheel on the machine and some sort of rocking board at the bottom of the cabinet. You went up and down with your feet, the big wheel started spinning, the small wheel began to spin too and the machine was up and running. The big wheel flew around so fast that I was more interested in the wheel than my mother’s sewing. Touching the machine was out of the question.
The tips my mom gave me were of the following nature: make sure the seam is wide enough, do not go too fast, do not pull the fabric hard, …
Later when I was about 18, the device was discarded, the cupboard was left in the kitchen for a while, but a new modern machine came! Nice for my mother, she was finally able to work without help! The machine could be anywhere. The fun of the wheel was gone for me, but my mother was more than happy, stitching in the kitchen, stitching in the living room, she took the sewing machine everywhere! The tips she gave me now also became a bit more extensive, how to sew and turn, bobbin, insert a bobbin, etc. At least she felt more relaxed with the new instrument. And I got just enough advice to shorten a pair of pants today, but nothing more.
But with these small number of tips I get to work!
Step 1: find the first fabrics
I still have some fabrics lying around, some laptop sleeves that I hook are lined. I checked whether this material is sufficient, and practice! I can already get started. So they will be white and black masks, we will be penguins, my daughter says! In the meantime I have already ordered several fabrics, which I unfortunately still wait for.
Step 2: making and drawing patterns
You can simply print the patterns and attach them together with adhesive tape. There are 3 different patterns, I start with the small pattern. And that was not so smart, starting big is better, I now know! The patterns are soon ready and the transfer can begin.
Normally I don’t take it very closely with lines etc. So neither the first time, if it just works out I think, it will come true. (I went against mother’s advice here, she used to say to me that I had to be more accurate. ;-))
And now cut.
Step 3: pin and stitch
First check the working method on the video. Okay, I mimic what I had seen, but in my own way. That’s just the way I am, that is also the case with my crochet work. I start following a pattern, but then I continue in my own way. I can not help it! It is therefore the result that counts and not how you do it.
After pinning I start to stitch, luckily the machine I have had for years still works. Oops, that didn’t go as smoothly as I suspected. The spool gets completely stuck, I relax and think about my mom’s lessons. Sure enough, with some relaxation and reflection everything will come back. I start quietly, and the machine stitches happily. The little bag shows up, and now I have to attach the ribbons I think! I stitch it on top and after a couple of times, the first version is ready.
I turn the thing as it should and look, …. hm, not bad for the first time, but showing it to someone, no, that’s just a bit too much to ask :)). I am certainly not half as good as my mother at the time.
Practice makes perfect, so there are several attempts, adjustments to my working method, especially applying the ribbons is not so easy in two and three, that has to be done in a different way. Also the pleats have to be placed much more carefully, so here I have to admit to my mother again, yes I work more carefully ….
Tada !. I can now also write on my list that I am a face mask stitcher! : 🙂 Hip Hurray! Below you can see the better results.
For the moment I only have this fabric, other fabric I have ordered and so other motifs are coming! The inner fabric still remains the lining for the laptop sleeves, and the outer fabric comes from a sheet that was out of service! A good idea if you want to start yourself, take a cotton sheet and you can already get a lot out of it! I also do not need the rubber bands, I stitch the ribbons myself and that is already going very smoothly!
I you are not so handsome with it you may always buy it from my store!
You can always contact me if you have questions![ngg src=”galleries” ids=”5″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]
PS … and now I have to wait, the last needle is broken and I have to wait for new needles ordered ….
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PS update…I found needles in the local store! The machine is sticking again!