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Make a mask in less than ten minutes

Sew this cotton face mask in under ten minutes
Sew this cotton face mask in under ten minutes(Sarah Smith, WTOC)
Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 2:03 PM EDT
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This is one of the most effective masks you can construct at home. It is easy to make, washable, and can be used by anyone, including medical professionals. Many health providers are being asked to re-use N95 masks, so the cloth mask provides a washable cover that can be re-used and worn over the protective N95 mask. This construction has been recommended by surgeons and health care systems such as Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN.

The mask is so quick and easy to make that Dr. Bertice Berry and her family in Richmond Hill have made over 1,000 masks using this process. You can see WTOC’s exclusive story about them here.

As the CDC continues to study the spread of Coronavirus, it is now saying that cloth masks can be effective basic protection for people when they leave their homes. Recent studies show that a person can transmit the virus to others even before showing symptoms. Wearing a mask may protect others if you are a carrier, as much as it may also protect you from them. Proper social distancing of more than six feet is still necessary, as is proper mask hygiene etiquette.

Mask hygiene etiquette Wash your hands before touching your clean mask. Do not touch your mask or face again until you remove it. Wash your hands prior to removal, and when you take it off, do so by the ear straps and not the cloth covering. Discard or re-wash the mask before wearing again. Do not put it in your purse or pocket for later wear.

How to sew a mask Materials needed: 2 pieces of fabric measuring 7-9 inches* 2 pieces of ¼ inch elastic measuring 6 ½ inches** thread straight pins sewing machine iron

*100% cotton fabric is best ** You can cut wider elastic into strips, but it may fray.

Instructions Place a piece of fabric face up. Lay the second piece of fabric on top of it face down, so that the right sides of fabric are facing each other.

Starting in the middle of one of the long sides, sew toward the first corner. Stop about an inch from the end, and insert a piece of elastic at the corner between the two pieces of fabric. Continue to sew to the end, with the elastic sandwiched between the fabric. Backstitch about ½ inch, turn your work 90 degrees, and sew down the first short edge. Stop about an inch from the end. Place the other end of the same elastic in the corner between the two pieces of fabric, and finish sewing to the end. Backstitch about ½ inch, turn the work 90 degrees, and sew along the second long side, stopping 1 inch from the end. Take the second piece of elastic, sandwich at an angle between the two fabrics, and finish sewing to the end. Backstitch about 1/2 inch, turn the work 90 degrees, and sew along the second short side. Stop about 1 inch from the end, sandwich the other end of the second elastic in the corner, and finish sewing to the end. Backstitch ½ inch, rotate the work 90 degrees, and sew along the first long side, but don’t sew all the way to where you started. Leave a 1 ½ inch opening so that you can turn your mask right side out.

Remove your work from the sewing machine, and carefully turn the mask right side out. At this point, you can press everything neatly with an iron, or you can smooth carefully with your hands.

Make three accordion pleats, lengthwise along the fabric, pinning carefully on each pleat at each end. Top stitch around the entire mask, securing the pleats in the process, and leaving about a 1/8 seam allowance from the edge of the mask. If you wish, you can top stitch a second time to make the seams extra strong.

Run a steam iron over the mask to press the pleats.