Sewing Tips from our Masketeers

Our super stitchers have learned a lot in just a week. We wanted to share some tips from them to make your sewing easier!

Patterns:

Materials:

  • What are the best materials for making masks?
  • If you don’t have elastic, use fabric ties, hair bands or rubber bands.
  • Don’t spend much time sourcing materials- we all have old sheets, t-shirts, etc which can be used. Instead of seeking out elastic, make your ties out of fabric scraps.

Time Saving Tricks:

  • Cut as many pieces as you can in one day. Next day, chain sew one step ( one piece/step to the next without cutting thread or lifting foot), then chain sew the next step and the next step. Even if materials are different colors- it doesn’t really matter.
  • If you make a mistake, put it aside in a special pile or box, and work on them another day. Don’t disrupt your flow. Often you can make complete masks when you put the mistakes together.
  • Make jigs: a device that saves you time. I use a jig for cutting ties: wrap long lengths of cord, elastic, crochet chains, ribbon, twill tape around a piece of cardboard cut to the right size, and cut at edges: voila many ties the right size!
  • Organize your work, materials, and tools.
  • One sewer created a pin template so she could quickly mirror pleats.
  • When sewing right angles or turning corners: Keep your needle down through the fabric while you lift the foot, carefully rotate your work, put the foot back down and keep sewing.
  • Use a seam ripper to make pleats.
  • For those of you who are stitching two layer masks with filter pocket and pipe cleaner, here is a trick I tried on my son’s mask today. This is to create a little opening for easy removal of the nose shaper to drop the mask in the washer, or to replace the shaper if needed. Just remember to stitch the fold about an inch from the edge prior to actually folding over the pipe cleaner, to ensure no loose threads at the opening.