Odds and Ends


I was inspired by Kate’s fabulous looking mask.

There is great debate about the efficacy of non-medical grade masks. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that, if you unknowingly have the coronavirus, wearing a mask may prevent you from spreading the virus further. They are not for preventing the virus getting into you. And I would imagine that this is more so for the cloth type that I have made. The US Centre for Disease Control has suggested that everyone wear a mask when outside.

Don’t forget that which ever mask you use it must be taken off carefully and disposed of/washed properly. The virus may be on the outside of the mask, or on the inside if you have it. Fold it carefully inside itself and dispose of. Then wash your hands. For 20 seconds and with soap. (The soap destroys the outer coating of the virus and it takes at least 20 seconds for this to happen.)

And of course, if you have symptoms STAY INSIDE!!! Mask or no mask!

Kate’s pattern came from CraftPassion’s blog and you can find out the details here. Watch the video, as it is for an updated version of the mask, which allows filtration material to be inserted.

The pattern comes in a couple of sizes. Yesterday I made the women’s size. When I was road testing it this morning I decided that it was too small. It wouldn’t stay in place, especially when I talked.

Today I made the Men’s size, and was happier when I road tested it. (I am not sure what that says about the size of my face. 😳) It stayed in place better, but talking was still a challenge, as the mask wanted to move around more. It may be a problem with the tightness of the strap. Conversation was doubly difficult because the Fella is quite deaf!

The issue of my glasses fogging up is better resolved now that I have a trusty bread tie to hold the top of the mask in shape around my nose. A pipe cleaner would probably be the best, but there aren’t any lurking in my stash.

I was particularly chuffed with the tie. CraftPassion has a neat tutorial for making yarn out of an old t-shirt. I realised that I only needed to cut one strip from the bottom of the t-shirt, about a cm wide, and cut it at one seam, to have a length that was ample. Tug it a few times and it rolls in on itself.

They are easy to make….well the second one was. For some reason I kept stuffing up the first one. One mistake was attaching the bread tie holder to bottom. That had me confused for a little while! And then annoyed when I had to unpick it.

I don’t do selfies, but it is hard to show off a mask without one….


22 replies on “Masks”

It’s a very stylish mask, and you wear it well 😀 I took a scarf with me to the supermarket, and I have proper medical masks left over from the swine flu, a gift from a boss who needed me to be at work regardless… but I think I’ll stay home if it comes to that.

Liked by 1 person

That’s the problem with masks; they make you think you are not vulnerable, and therefore able to wander at large. I agree that staying home is the best option.


Love your fabric! I’ve made versions with elastic round the back and round the ears, and on the whole, round the ears is better for safe removal. You just pull on the elastic loops, slide them forward over your ears and the mask comes away without needing to be touched. I have laundered one of them several times and the fabric and elastic both stand up fine to a 60°C wash, which is adequate to kill the bugs. I found the women’s size very snug, but best for a really tight fit, and using batik or other tightly woven fabric really increased the filtration effect: I could feel the fabric sucking in and out as I breathed.

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I think the ’round the ears’ version would be better, tighter, and as you say, safer to remove. Unfortunately I didn’t have elastic, and had to come up with the t-shirt solution. My top fabric is quite light, but I used a heavier poplin (?) for the lining. I felt it sucking in and out too.

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Looking good. I’ve printed out the pattern and might make one today even though I’m only going out in public every other week for a bit of essential shopping (aka wine).
This is the second project lately that I’ve wanted a pipe cleaner. I used to have a pot full of brightly coloured craft ones but think they may have fallen victim to one of my very rare ‘clear outs’.

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Mr T’s mask made me laugh, as did the idea of him enforcing social distancing while wearing it!
I am missing my supply cupboard that I had in my classroom many moons ago. It was full of little treasures like pipe cleaners. It probably even had some elastic lurking amongst the glitter.


Very fetching Anne! I am resisting the idea of using a mask. I am able to keep well away from anyone so it is probably unnecessary but its good to know there is a pattern if I| need one.

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I was equivocal about them too. I live in a big city, and while people seem to be pretty good at social distancing, it is silly to take chances I don’t have to take. However I worry that masks will make people feel less vulnerable, and therefore have them go out for non-essential business. Staying home is the answer.


I am missing hugs from the people I love but otherwise am quite happy to stay home. There is plenty to do. I walk the dogs and wave to people in cars but only encounter one or two others out and about so we stay on opposite sides of the lane whilst we pass the time of day.


Looking great Anne! So far I’ve resisted wearing a mask, though I keep one in my bag, just in case. We are so fortunate here, still only 6 recorded cases in the county, so we are still at the be cautious and take no extra chances stage.

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Of course the problem is that it can spread exponentially, so being cautious is the way to go. When I have been in a confined space, like the supermarket, when I get home I take off my outer layer of clothing (jumper, jeans) and put them in the wash. Sometimes I will even have a shower and wash my hair. Then I wipe down with bleach all the surfaces I may have touched on my way in! So I have just started to add in the mask as an extra layer. I fear for my Fella, who would be unlikely to survive a dose of the virus.

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Ooh, that’s a fancy mask!! I’ve been making a bunch that are basically just small rectangles (making them easy to mail/carry around), but pleated so you can open them to extend over the full nose and chin.

The only trouble I had was with the ties since I have no elastic. I have some with loops of ribbon to hook over the ears (which means it’s not adjustable), but yesterday I realized that we have dozens of shoelaces around here with no shoes for them, so my next batch is going have ties.

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I thought of shoe laces too. Unfortunately they are in the shoes! Cutting ties from t-shirts may be a solution for you. It certainly makes a good yarn. I have seen patterns for the masks you describe. Do you feel that they are close fitting enough?


They look great, Anne! I saw a video about making a mask out of a bra cup – no, I kid you not – but I wasn’t game to sacrifice any. Might give your recipe a go. 🙂


Smart idea with the bread tie so your glasses would not fog up. I am strangely getting used to wearing a mask now whenever I go outside/to the grocery store. Who would have believed a couple months ago we would be talking about masks….


They just can’t decide about masks in the UK, but I’m suspecting a lot of people will be wanting to wear them as we try to emerge from lockdown. And I may join the mask wearers – and if I do, I’ll be remembering you and your design and the bold fabric – and go ahead and make a his and hers from my fabric box. So thank you for sharing :>)


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