By Ana Lewis
The mask that you wear is the best mask. I know that saying applies to a lot of things, including exercise. The exercise that you do is the best one for you.
Over the past few months, I have made hundreds of masks. I like doing it, as I can make them on the weekends, or when I am done with my work. I like textiles, and I like quick and easy projects. I have a lot of excess fabric stashed in my studio, so it seemed like a good fit. And it is.
The first time I made some masks, I was inspired to make them for my son’s girlfriend, who is in the medical profession. It was at the beginning of the pandemic, and there was (still is) a big shortage. I made about twenty of them. She still has them and wears them to this day. At that time, masks were only recommended for medical personnel, and that has also changed.
HOW TO MAKE A FABRIC FACE MASK
I got the first easy pattern from JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores. They have a special program now, “For Every Mask You Purchase, We’ll Donate One to a School.” There were no special programs when I first started, but now times are changing, and the more we can work together, the better. My pattern has changed due to fit issues with the first pattern. Because “one size fits all” is a misnomer, I found other patterns offering size ranges that I have been trying.
My current favorite comes in four sizes and is domed, which makes it easier to breathe. So far, I have been able to use all four sizes for different family members. The pattern is designed by the Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum (imagine that?) and it works.
HOW TO WEAR A FABRIC FACE MASK EFFECTIVELY
Face masks have become such a huge deal, we thought we would help with resources on how to use and wear a face covering to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
WHO: Helpful videos on how to wear a fabric mask safely
CDC: How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings
Today Show: How to wear a face mask correctly: Common mistakes to avoid
San Francisco Department of Public Health: How to Put on and Remove a Face Mask
FACE MASK FASHION (it’s a thing)
Masks are vital, and there’s a style (or styles) out there for everyone. After all, just like any article of clothing, if it’s not comfortable we tend to avoid them, and in the case of masks, not wear them securely or safely.
Finding the right fit and style is crucial, so why not make it fun, fashionable, quirky, or incorporate it into your personal style? As long as you’re following the safety guidelines, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity. Whether you’re looking for ideas when creating your own, or trying to find a mask to add to your wardrobe, there are plenty of places to look for inspiration:
Fashionista showcases 32 reusable fabric face masks
Refinery29 has a list of 30 fashion-forward face masks for every personal style
Vogue lists 40 breathable face masks with lots of alternatives and varieties
Etsy artisans and craftspeople have gone above and beyond
FACE MASKS AND…
And don’t forget all those reminder methods to help us all observe the three most important things that can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Here’s one:
The Three Ws
WEAR a mask (safely)
WASH your hands (correctly – check out these memes for correct handwashing!)
WATCH your distance (6+ ft)
Preventepidemics.org also has it in Spanish:
Las 3 M
MANOS bien limpias
MANTENER su distancia