Wow, the world is now crazy with fear of the novel coronavirus, and as far as I know, in many places around the world, people are rushing to buy face masks. I have heard that Chinese people are stocking up on face masks in many countries – Korea, Japan, etc., and many pharmacies are out of stock!
I personally am against using the 1-time disposable face masks – you know the environment does not love it either. And as far as I have read from many trusted sources, the normal face masks are totally good in protecting you from the tiny droplets that coronavirus bearers spread out when they cough or sneeze.
That is why today I am posting the pattern for face masks. I make a lot of fabric face masks for my family – my husband, my son, and me. We are happy with them, and as long as you keep them clean (wash right after use, or if you are more careful, boil them for 5 minutes to kill all the hateful viruses), and keep your hands clean (not touching your eyes, mouth or nose and wash your hands frequently with soap), you are not likely to catch the virus.
And of course, do not panic. The 2019-nCOV does not seem to be too dangerous (fatality rate is just about 2%, much lower than SARS or MERS or any other corona family). If you don’t believe in me, search for more trusted sources (the WHO, for example).
Now, let’s start sewing to protect our family with my face mask pattern. I make it in two sizes: for adults and for kids, so you can sew for any one you care about. The face mask is made with the shape and form of the 3D mask that fit the face perfectly.
As usual, print this pattern in full size on A4/Letter paper. Test with the test square before sewing to ensure best fit.
You can download it here: Fitted face mask (kids and adults)
Update 1: A reader named Marc informed me that the pattern is too small for American male face, so I added a pattern for male face and updated the pattern. You can see the file now has two pages, with patterns for male, female and kid.
Update 2: Many asked me for the instruction to sew this pattern, so I made a simple photo tutorial for those who do not know where to begin with this pattern.
First, cut 4 pieces from your fabric of choice. In this tutorial I used my original pattern piece (without seam allowance) so I have to add seam allowance. If you use my pattern, you don’t need to add seam allowance.
After cutting, you’ll have two pairs of fabric like this (sorry the stretchy fabric curled up. I did not have much time to iron it.) You can add a middle layer of antibacterial fabric to make it more protective.
Pick two pieces, align them right side facing each other. Sew along the pink dashed line (0.5cm from the edge).
Clip the curved edge.
Open the sewn piece and sew a flat felled seam.
This is how it looks after being sewn.
Repeat the steps above with the other pair of fabric. I sewed them wrong side together so you can distinguish the difference.
Now put the two pieces right side facing together and sew along the long edges, leaving the short edges open. Turn the fabric inside out like this.
Sew along the edge to make it sharper and more secure.
It will be like this after sewing.
Fold the short edge two times to hide the raw edge.
Sew it and make a loop to thread the elastic band.
Thread the elastic band through the loop and tie it. Hide the knot inside the loop.
And here it is on my face. Sorry I made a quick one so it does not look very neat. But it really works.