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Coronavirus: how to make your own mask

With government experts urging people to wear face masks when they go out in public, which could become mandatory, and with medical supplies being needed for front-line staff, many people will have to take the DIY route if a new decree is issued in the coming days.

Here, Cyprus Mail feature writer Alix Norman outlines an easy fix for making your own mask.

DIY MASK

There are innumerable tutorials on YouTube for making a face mask. This version is one of the simplest to make, even for those with no sewing experience.

YOU WILL NEED

A piece of tightly woven fabric. (Quilting cottons work best, according to this CDC-approved tutorial)

Needle and thread (or even better, a sewing machine!)

1 metre of thin elastic

 

INSTRUCTIONS (NON-WIRED MASK)

Print or trace the pattern at https://bit.ly/2JDzwSm and cut accordingly. You will end up with 4 pieces of material, 2 of which are larger.

Sew the 2 larger pieces together down the curved centre seam (right sides together)

Sew the 2 smaller pieces together down the curved centre seam (right sides together)

Fit the 2 resulting pieces right sides together (pinning and ironing help here!) and sew them together along the top (the bit with a point in the middle)

Now sew the 2 pieces along the bottom (still right sides together)

Turn the mask inside out through one of the open sides, poke the point into shape, and press

Fold the left side of the mask twice in towards the centre (approx. 2cm for each fold). Press, and stitch close to the inside edge of the fold. (This creates a tube for the elastic)

Do the same for the right side of the mask

Run your elastic up through the resulting tube on the left side, and back down through the tube on the right. Knot the ends of the elastic together.

 

INSTRUCTIONS (WIRED MASK)

Experienced sewers may wish to add a wire to the nose bridge of the mask to ensure a tighter fit. To do this, add the following after Step 4:

Turn the mask right side out. Press flat. Sew a horizontal seam approximately 1cm below the top of the mask. (This creates a channel for the wire)

Cut your wire to size, and insert into the channel. (The wire only needs to go over the bridge of the nose and down to the cheekbones)

Still right sides out, sew a short, double line of vertical stitching on each side of the channel where the wire ends. (This stops the wire from poking out the sides)

Turn the mask wrong sides out and continue from Step 5

 

TIPS & TRICKS

If you’ve no elastic to hand (and don’t want to cut up old clothes), string or ribbon will work for the ties

Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic to help push it through the side tubes

Light garden wire works well for the wired version. You can also use twist & tie (the stuff that holds the plastic wrapping on a loaf of bread) or, at a pinch, an opened out paper clip

This pattern (courtesy of YouTuber Mimi G Style) will create an adult-sized mask, but can be easily adapted by cutting the pattern a little larger or smaller

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