Soft, Stylish Face Mask for Fashionistas & Finicky Ones


This is an adaptation of the contoured Olson Face Mask tutorial (a free face mask pattern designed by and for health care workers).  It takes longer to sew than the rectangular pleated mask style, but gives a much better fit.  This style is great for showcasing beautiful floral prints or fun novelty fabrics, and because it’s lined with an old T-shirt, it’s super soft and comfortable against the skin — making it a great choice for a child (or adult) who has clothing sensitivity issues and is bothered by scratchy tags, seam allowances, etc. Since I’m making these masks for my family’s use and not for health care settings, I eliminated the filter pocket from the Olson Mask pattern and lined the mask with a soft, old T-shirt.  The center contoured seams are clipped and pressed to either side so the fabrics overlap at that seam, offering better virus protection (seams pressed open have openings between the stitches that are huge compare to the size of a virus microorganism).  I’m also using a single tie that is threaded through both side casings like an upside-down “U.”  That way there is only one bow to tie and it’s easy to adjust for a custom fit.  Although I used double faced satin ribbon for the ties on this mask for myself, I’m using 45-60″ shoe laces for other masks and they work really well.  One pair of shoe laces does two masks. Special sewing notes for Bernina owners: I sewed my quarter inch seams with foot #97D, Dual Feed engaged, pivoting with the FHS around the curve, with all purpose polyester sewing thread.  When sewing the quilting cotton outer layer to the T-shirt knit lining around the mask perimeter, I sewed with the T-shirt on the bottom so my feed dogs would work to prevent the knit from stretching.  The side casings were stitched with edge stitch foot #10D, Dual Feed engaged, needle 3 clicks to the left of center using Triple Straight Stitch #6 since these seams receive stress from the mask ties.  The casing for the nose wire at the top of the mask is 1/2″ single fold bias tape with the ends folded under 1/4″, and I stitched those to the mask through both layers using edge stitch foot #10D, Dual Feed engaged, needle 3 clicks to the left of center.  My nose wire is a pipe cleaner with the sharp ends folded back on itself with a pliers — this is important to keep those sharp wire ends from poking a hole through the mask fabric. I’m machine washing these masks in warm water, in a lingerie bag designed for bras, after each use and then reshaping them and line-drying them. More step-by-step instructions, links to the free patterns and supplies, can be found on my blog at CheekyCognoscenti.

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