For best results, launder and iron your mask kit fabric before cutting and sewing. Complete sewn masks and kits for sale here.
Instructions for machine sewing a 3-layer mask are here.
Hand sewing? Scroll down to the bottom of this page!
Instructions for machine sewing a 2-layer mask are below, starring my Momz, Jean Paley:
*Variation here: see footnote.
*Footnote: You may find it easier to sew the wire channel before folding and ironing the mask ends. The technique above involves backstitching and making turns to do this in one go. There are many ways to sew a mask. Had we not deviated from these instructions, we never would have arrived at this design, which we like better.
Yes, you can sew a mask with no iron, no pins, and no sewing machine. Just a needle and thread, scissors, mask kit, and a lot of time. My trial run (photographed below) took under 3 hours, giving me plenty of time to catch up on podcasts.
To hand sew, more or less follow the instructions above, but knot your thread every time, and avoid any extra stitching. Remember that screen printing stretches and distorts the fabric a little, so the pieces won’t line up perfectly. The important bit is to get those center seams properly aligned. Don’t worry about the rest being wonky, it will all be OK. I used a simple running stitch:
Notice that I still sewed a little bit inside the print area. It looks better when it’s turned inside-out, trust me.
When I sewed the two faces together, I started at the center seam, which allowed me to skip the pins. Hand sewing is slow and meditative, and allows you to gradually align the fabric as you go.
I also skipped the iron, and just finger-pressed.
You can skip the top stitching, although my Momz says that without it, the masks sort of puff up in the laundry and have to be re-ironed. So I whip-stitched mine after turning it inside out:
You can also see the running-stitched nose wire channel.
The result is a perfectly good, very time-consuming mask, and that surprising sense of satisfaction that comes from making something entirely by hand.