So, in case you’ve been living under a rock since February, there’s a pandemic on. And with pandemics come masks.
My youngest daughter can’t wear the usual ear loop masks, because she has one ear that rolls forward and the suckers just slide right off. School started here last Monday, and she was required to wear masks for school, so we needed to find a solution that didn’t repeatedly try to escape her face. Ear loops were right out, and the pretty little ribbon ties on the first batch of masks I made her last spring definitely wouldn’t work for school, since she can’t tie them herself and there’s just no way her teacher would have time to retie it repeatedly all day. Same problem with the crochet ear savers with buttons – sure I could have whipped up a few of those, but I’m not sure she would have the dexterity to hook the ear loops to one, or (and more importantly) the ability to keep track of the ear saver when she took the mask off for lunch and recess.
Enter momma’s ingenuity and fabric stash. After a little noodling, I came up with a mask that a.) doesn’t loop around her ears, and that b.) she can put on and take off by herself. A couple of people have asked for the pattern, so here you go!
1. Cut two 5.25″ x 7.5″ fabric pieces.
2. Press long sides under .25″. (Note: I am lazy and skipped the pressing step entirely but best practice would be to do it. I am a terrible seamstress who hates the extra effort involved in using the iron, even though I fully acknowledge it both makes sewing easier and makes for a better end product.)
3. With wrong sides together, seam short ends, unfolding pressed edges as you sew (assuming you’re a more responsible human and actually pressed them, of course).
4. Turn right side out, press flat.
5. Beginning .5″ from one of the short ends, sew pressed edges closed along long end .125″ from edge, stopping .5″ from the other short end. Turn your work 90° and sew along the short edge .5″ from the edge, leaving a channel. When you reach the other long edge, turn 90° again, and sew it closed .125″ from the edge, stopping again .5″ from the short edge. Turn again, and sew a second channel .5″ from the short edge. You should now be back where you started. Sew around the same rectangle again following as close to the original stitching as possible.
6. Cut a 20″ piece of elastic and thread through the channels so the loops are on the top and bottom (the long sides). Tie off, trim ends, and pull the knot inside a channel.
This is what they look like laid flat (ish) with the elastic added, how they loop around the head (for school we usually put her hair in a ponytail to keep it contained, and one loop goes above the ponytail), and how the finished mask looks when worn. It seems to be fairly comfortable, because my not-quite-seven-year-old doesn’t mind wearing it and she has absolutely no problem telling you if she’s not happy about something.
If you make this mask, please tag it #serenitys_mask