Sunday, 29 March 2020

First Sewing Project in Years: Face Mask

For some reason I've had a strong urge to sew recently, after literally years of umming and aahing and putting it off. Occasionally I'd buy fabric but not use it; I'd just stash it. I know why I was procrastinating -- I'd lost the manual to my sewing machine and was worried I'd forgotten how to use it (re-threading the bobbin is the trickiest part). Worse than that, I was worried that my 25-year-old machine no longer worked!

With all of that on my mind, I have no idea where the strong urge to sew came from, but I got out my machine and gave it ago. I'm happy to report that the machine still works, and I made up my own 'manual' by sketching the bobbin and how the thread is arranged in situ. In fact, it seems to work even better now than it used to. Perhaps it's the patience of age which makes me run the machine slower than I used to?

I found a half-finished project from a few years ago. It was a pouch but I couldn't remember exactly how I was going to make it. When I saw this Face Mask pattern from The Stitching Scientist online, I thought it would be a good easy project to practice with. Not to mention current.

I went through my smallish stash of scraps until I found a piece of fabric large enough:

I thanked my past self for washing them years ago, though they did need ironing. Thankfully I also found some nice elastic in my findings stash. I cut out the pieces according to the pattern. I made the side bindings 1cm wider than the original, because I wasn't quite sure how that part worked, and I thought it better to be safe than sorry.

After sewing the front and back, and gathering the side pleats:

After inserting the elastic and sewing on the binding:

I'm really glad I have my pinking shears. They make it so easy to prevent fabric from fraying without having to muck around with double seams, etc. I got pretty confused about how the binding is finished off, and I think I fudged it a bit, but it still looks okay, I think: (Actually, I neatened it up a bit more after taking this photo.)

The finished product! Can you see me smiling at you?

It's a little loose around the nose, but a dart or shirring would fix that. Or use a shaped version, many patterns for which can be found online. And remember -- this type of cloth mask doesn't protect you from catching a virus.

Then I asked Husband if he would like one, and he said yes, and even offered up a spare Star Wars pillowcase that he had to make it from.

I matched it with some blue fabric I had on hand, which I think is left over from a sheet that I made into a skirt (maaaany years ago). I followed the same process but forgot to insert the elastic! Thankfully I realised straight away and was able to fix it without too much fuss.


He looks awesome, huh!
I've already started work on my next project -- a skirt. Updates soon!

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