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Hi ladies, I thought I would start a discussion here and I will copy the link to mine in Nuke Moms. But this way, you can comment here.

All of the information is at --

In my discussion there, I reference - - materials to use - Which has information on best materials to use. Pillowcases are suggested as a good option. I have been told that I could recycle my sailor's retired NWUs (blueberry colored), but when I found out those would not be regulation, I changed my mind.

It is my understanding, but this will vary depending on the command, and I may be incorrect as well - but it was relayed to us, that until the military could issue face masks anything was acceptable for the moment. - Again, that is specific to where my sailor is located. - This is the statement put out by the DoD and I guess may be enforced differently, since it says: strongly recommended if you are not able to keep your distance.   Most sailor's in A school are wearing uniforms, and accessory colors are generally black. 

If you are having difficulty finding black material, pillowcases, or bandanas, may I suggest looking in your closet for a pair of black pants that no longer fit, black leggings.  I am using a pair of my husband's black dress pants, which are a tight weave, that had a broken zipper which I had never recycled. 

Various different things have been suggested for making an optional filter, vacuum cleaner bags, air filter liners, woven Pellon (sew-in interfacing, not iron on), coffee filters. But depending on what you use, you either have to make a pocket to remove paper filters, or just hang your mask or bake in an oven (be sure to check out the links in the other discussion, these things are mentioned there.) I did notice that a YouTube which had suggested Pellon, was no longer suggesting that, I don't know if there was a breathing issue with it, or just lack of supply.

One easy, simple FB suggestion that I have seen is to take a T-shirt, and cut the armholes at the seam. She cut on the side toward the middle of the shirt, so you still had your sewn seam. Then you pulled the sleeve over your head with the cuff of the sleeve above your nose. She mentioned then putting a coffee filter between the sleeve and your face. Not sure how you would keep it in, but you could put two sleeves together and sew across, even by hand, a stitch to hold the filter in place and slip the coffee filter or other items, between the two sleeves. As far as using a T-shirt, I like this idea better than cutting the bottom off, like the CDC showed. The lady also pointed out that you still had a "sleeveless" T-shirt you could wear this summer.

I did finish one mask and got it in the mail for my sailor with his Easter card. It was Prototype II though and all orange, since he really likes orange and to my knowledge only currently wears his uniform on the ship, so I figured I would send him something bright and fun and have time to fix the black ones. Primarily, the pants were a little more difficult for me to cut the material straight, even with my rotary cutter, which might be dulling, than the orange cotton fabric that I had purchased for another project for him that I never used. I did have orange thread though, unlike not being able to find my black thread!! I also put a layer of an old tea towel (woven like our mothers used when dough was rising - similar to old flower sacks, I think they were referred to, without pilling or fuzz) between the cotton layers.

NOTE: DO NOT Microwave face masks that contain a metal nose piece, whether made out of floral wire, pipe cleaner, even twist ties or other. Also - DO NOT put face mask in a Ziploc bag and microwave it either.

Best option, make several masks so that they can be machine washed and dried. (Metal nose bridge can be left in with this option). 2) Make your mask where wire can be removed before washing or heating in microwave (although that is not my disinfectant suggestion). 3) Hand wash with hot soap and water, dry with a hair dryer and hang to dry, but leave 2-3 days between wearings (my suggestion, not official). 

It may be in one of my links in the other discussion, but I read that alcohol can start breaking down the fibers, if you soak it in that. I also think that bleaching them would be too strong for such continual use. I use Liquid Lysol concentrate (brown liquid, small bottle not the floor cleaner) that I use in laundry. I refer to this in the other discussion. 

Views: 106

Replies to This Discussion

Thank you for this! I also saw, on the Marine Corps FB page, a video with instructions on making a mask out of a skivvy shirt. Not sure if it would be acceptable for our sailors, but maybe worth checking out? 

MoMom - I am not familiar with a skivvy shirt, I will have to look that up. Even if it is not acceptable for the sailors, the DoD directive, addresses family, and I believe even civilians on military instillations. So, they could use it. The directive says it is strongly recommended to wear a face mask if not able to maintain 6' distance. I am sure that leaves it up to each command, and each specific work space, for the little personal experience I have with several family members under this directive. Since, I don't think sailors on a ship can maintain the distance, I am assuming they have to have them on even while working. 

The top mask is the back side. I stitched bias tape on three sides so that I could slide the floral wire in and it could be removed if need be. The bias tape is folded under so it makes a "pocket" for the wire to stay secure, but if you wiggle it, you can slip it underneath that folded part and slip the wire back out.

The first one secures with fabric Velcro - not my ideal but I had purchased it and wanted to try it out. The middle one is secured with two ear loops, I made two of those. The hardest part is my elastic is smaller than my sides, so I had to "gather" up the sides a little as I was stitching. I finally basted the top and stitched half way around then I basted the bottom and finished stitching, leaving either the side open or the bottom. I highly recommend going back and doing the top stitching. Topstitching is also helpful to keep the top layer "folded" over the under layer to the orange does not "peek" through. The bottom one has an elastic slip over concept and then it ties at the bottom with ribbon. The ribbon and the Velcro were the only two things I purchased. Everything else I happened to have on hand - including the black elastic!  I did stitch the ribbon all the way through (don't ask me to explain), I wanted to make sure it was secure and would not come loose. The elastic through is cut at the seam edge on the inside. 

This mask is three layers, the black fabric is from a pair of my husband's dress pants, the orange is 100 % cotton that was a piece I had purchased for something else for my son but did not cut up, and the middle layer is a cotton tea towel (old fashioned non-fuzzy variety.)  I also increased the size of my mask by 1" so I cut 10" x 7 ". My husband said it was comfortable and he could breath and it not fog up his glasses.

Thank you so much! You inspired me to make my own masks. I know it might be a little late, I mean it's been several months since masks became the necessity. 

I am sure about my sewing machine but I consider buying a rotary cutter (like one of these). So the question is, is there any need to buy it?

Wow LolaLiu, Those are some high fangled rotary cutters!!!  I just use my hand held Fiskars brand one that you can buy at Wal-Mart!! or other store. But no, you really don't need to have a rotary cutter. You can use a ruler and mark it it a pencil, or white marker, silver sharpie, white chalk if using dark fabric. Fold and pin and cut in the fold, or find the straight edge of the selvage if you know how to do that by pulling the woven thread. I just used what I had handy from my years of sewing and crafting. Other than buying some black Velcro (which I do not suggest!!), I actually had everything on hand (except black thread - borrowed from my daughter, not sure where mine disappeared to.) and recycled an old pair of my husband's dress pants. Even the wire my daughter had.

Oh got you, thank you for your reply!

You are welcome!

If you are looking at getting a rotary cutter (I too just use a hand held Fiskars one that I bought 20ish years ago at Walmart) you need an acrylic ruler to help keep your cuts straight, A Self-healing cutting mat to protect your flat surface from cuts and you may want to consider buying a cut resistant glove.  Again you can also cut the fabric with regular scissors just as well.  If you are Mass making masks then it may make sense to invest in a cutter but for a one off or even a dozen, you may not be happy spending the $25-100 for just a few masks.

BelovedbyHim - thanks for the reminder about the self-healing cutting mat and acrylic ruler. I have all of those, but did not think to mention it. I do no have a cut resistant glove though!! I just do my best to keep my fingers out of the way. I have weights as well. My daughter has made quite a few masks and just used her scissors. 

Best $5 I ever spent was a pair off Amazon.   I try and be careful but.... that's why they call them accidents.   We have a set in the kitchen too.  


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