Included in this tutorial was a link to the Olson Mask pattern.
I was not initially a fan of the idea to promote or make fabric face masks because I believe that a fabric mask gives a false sense of protection as far as the current virus situation is concerned. I changed my mind after seeing the Olson Mask Pattern and the tutorial to make the HEPA filter inserts.
I decided to make masks to give to all the high risk people I knew in the North East. In my mask making journey, I tweaked the pattern instructions and developed my own process to sew the mask quickly using a serger. If you have a serger, I hope this process will help you if you decide to make this mask.
The first step in my process was to cut out all of the pieces included with the Olson Face Mask Pattern.
I then serged the edges all of pieces that would have an exposed edge (not included in a seam once the mask is complete). I also serged the 2 face pieces of the pattern (right sides together) along the curved edge.
Next, I serged together the Mouth pieces together along the curved edge. (right sides together) as pictured below.
I start the last step in the serging process by laying the serged face piece down on a table with the right side of the fabric facing up.
I then line up the mouth piece, right side of the fabric facing down, on top of the face piece.
Next add on the Cheek pieces, right sides facing down. To do this, I lined the ends of the Face Piece up with the ends of the Cheek pieces. The Cheek Pieces will overlap the Mouth piece. This forms the pocket for the filter.
Once I have this layered, I pin at the center of the face and mouth pieces and at each of the Cheek pieces as shown in the picture.
Now I take this to my serger and serge along the top and the bottom edges of the face mask.
REMOVE YOUR PINS AS YOU SERGE,
BEFORE YOU STITCH OVER THEM!
Once both the top and bottom edges are serged, I serge the two ends.
The next step I added to the original pattern:
I felt that adding a pipe cleaner would help people be able to better form fit the mask to their own face. After a couple of attempts to add the pipe cleaner, this is the process I have decided to use.
I cut a pipe cleaner in half (my pipe cleaners were craft pipe cleaner and measures about 12 inches). Once cut, each pipe cleaner made two 6 inch pieces.
At this point I take the serged mask to my sewing machine.
Set the sewing machine to a zigzag stitch with a width of 4 and a length of 3 as shown in the photo below. This stitch was wide enough to easily stitch over the wire in the pipe cleaners I used.
Next, line the pipe cleaner up along the serged seam. I can see the wire in the pipe cleaner I am using, so I run that wire directly in the middle of my presser foot as I sew. I sewed the pipe cleaner in on the side of the mask that has the filter pocket openings showing. When the mask is turned right side out, the pipe cleaner will be completely enclosed on the inside of the mask. It is also a good idea to start your zigzag stitch a little bit before the pipe cleaner. I found that this hold the end of the pipe cleaner down so it is not poking up through the fabric of the finished mask. See the picture below.
Now, turn the mask through the openings for the filter pocket and finger press along the seams.
I used the hair ties as described in the original pattern. Be sure to set your machine to a straight stitch for securing the hair elastics on the face mask.
With the filter pocket side of the mask facing up, add the hair tie over the end of the mask. Fold fabric at the end of the mask over the hair tie and stitch down.
As a final note, I did decided to make the HEPA filter inserts as described in the tutorial. I also serged these together. I serged every exposed edge.
I hope that my process can help you to make your masks!