I came upon a realization lately - there seems to be a common thread to…
I love to design, and this pandemic has given me a new reason! You won’t believe how I make a pattern of a face. Here’s a new Ultimate DIY Fitted Face Mask & Pattern and how it came to be.
I hear you laughing… I was trying to laugh too. Yes, when you want to create a pattern from a 3D form what do you do?! I could not put my face in silicone soooo, tape is the next best thing. To create the ‘space’ that I wanted inside the mask I created (taped) a bunch of paper towel in from of my mouth and nose.
Next step is to cover my face with tape as close to the shape as possible. I know you are wondering if I could breathe – yes a little. But it’s all for the sake of making people a bit safer with a good mask so it was worth it! The masking tape underneath would allow this to come off a bit easier. Who needs facial waxing?! This pattern is great (thousands have downloaded) but our face does not have a centre seam. ‘And I love the challenge of forming a pattern. I have done that most of my life but never for a face! How unique the facial form is…
I have made forms of bodies and feet this way but never a face. I know it’s ‘my’ face but I think I’m pretty average… ok I have some cheeks!
Before the digital age I had taught 3D design (when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth) and we would deconstruct shapes to flatten into fold up paper structures so this is much the same since fabric is as flat as paper.
It needs to be symmetrical and looking for the flattest planes helps to where to cut it into pieces.
Marking where pieces attach & line up is the same as the notches in sewing patterns.
From these pattern pieces I added 1/4″ seam allowance to the DIY Fitted Face Mask Pattern.
You can download the pattern here
Cut the Pieces for the DIY Fitted Face Mask:
Once you have printed the pattern (100%), cut the pieces as marked. This pattern makes an inside layer and outside layer; pretty identical shape but the sides are open to allow easy turning and also to make a filter pocket if you want to insert filters.
**UPDATE: I have updated the pattern file as there may have been a layer that obstructed the view if printing. Feel free to download the fixed one.
The hardest part of this design is the top of front nose piece. To make it easy clip the top inside (as marked on pattern) curve so that it can stretch around the top curve of the nose piece. Matching notches, sew with the large face piece on top so that you can see as you slowly sew around the curve.
After opening up the front (press if desired) I topstitch it towards the outside. It will keep it’s shape much better and therefore not always be touching your lips and nose.
The rest to make this fitted face mask is quite easy. The chin piece gets attached to the bottom matching notches and centre. You can do a bit of a ‘fit test’ to see if you need adjustments.
Again to keep the shape I topstitch towards the bottom. This is a polyester knit so it keeps it’s shape well. I know many suggest cotton however I wonder about the way it absorbs moisture and keeps it. Why is all workout wear not cotton? I suggest that you make your own choices of fabrics and also filter products as there is so much conflict for each material.
Repeat all the same with the lining fabric. In this fitted face mask I used a cotton.
Fold the lining ends inward (edges can be finished if desired) and only sew top edge
The there is a nose wire/metal band ironed next to the seam as I did with the Snug-nose Bridge Mask.
Fusible webbing and some strips cut from cans like sardine (top flap) or tomato work great.
With right side together sew the bottom seam again folding back the lining sides.
Turn right side out.
Carefully fold bottom and top edges.
I top stitch the bottom chin edge to keep it flat.
Fold inward and stitch the casing with straight or zigzag stitch.
I have started to not use elastic due to the irritation it can give and also I like to use up what I have. Cutting t-shirt fabric 3/4″ (across the knit) or so will make a nice round somewhat stretchy cord that is soft.
This fabric had so much stretch that I just used a strip as a tie.
Oh the stash of fabric remnants I have… Now I can have a mask to match each garment I had sewn prior.
This DIY Ultimate Fitted Face Mask pattern fixes some of the design challenges of the chin fit as well as the room for lips & nose. The nose bridge does not have a seam so it can be very flat incase your glasses it on top. All these make a little difference but over hours could be annoying.
When you make a mask for the first time for yourself, test the piece before you put the lining in. Adjustments can be made by slightly adjusting seam allowances as well or printing the pattern at a slightly smaller size.
I have been enjoying some sketching again as that’s how I best visualize all those ideas floating around in my crazy-artist-brain! Let me know how you like your mask. Stay safe and we all look forward to the future…