sewing

Putting On A Mask

When I was a kid, putting a mask on meant donning my gorilla mask from Bristol zoo and jumping out of the bushes to try and scare my parents. For my kids, putting a mask on means keeping themselves and others safe when out and about. I decided a while back that I would do what I could to at least make it fun for them.

Initially I made one for each of us (and the extended family) using this pattern from Hello Sewing. It is super easy to make, and I got pretty quick at putting them together. I had a bit of a production line going which made the process quicker. I liked this pattern because it has three sizes – large (men), medium (women and teens) and small (kids).

Because I initially made them in May when the UK was still in full lockdown, our masks didn’t really get put through their paces. Also, in May, I was naive enough to think that one each would be enough.

WRONG.

Last Friday, wearing a mask in a shop became mandatory in the UK. We are still trying to avoid shops and enclosed spaces as much as possible, but the other day I had to venture out. The ducks needed more food (they are eating SO much and growing so fast). I also needed to pop into coop to pick up some essentials. Two masks needed just for a quick trip to a couple of shops. It became apparent that we need a stash so we always have some available to wear.

Cue: a day of mask sewing.

I decided to try a different pattern so we could see what we preferred. I chose this one. There are two size options, adult and kids. I have actually found the fit and comfort of these masks to be better for me. My husband also prefers them. The kids have yet to actually wear one for real so they can’t comment.

I whipped up a few in both the adult size and the kids using some Harry Potter fabric I found on eBay. My kids (and I) are big Harry Potter fans, so I am hoping this might help encourage them to wear a mask when they have to.

Rosie wearing a Dumbledore’s army mask

When I found this Alice in Wonderland fabric I knew my sister (who is called Alice) needed a couple in her life. I may or may not have made one for myself too, because LOOK AT IT! If we’re going to have to wear them, they may as well be fun, right?

Once they were done I hung our collection of masks on a hook near the door, along with the bags for life. That way we are ready for when we need to pop to the shops. My ten year old decided we needed a better system. She spent a couple of days cutting fabric, hand sewing and embroidering these bags. Now we all know exactly where to find a suitably sized mask, and can pick the style we find most comfy. Also, it makes me super happy that she is beginning to love making as much as I do.

Even after just a week, putting a mask on is beginning to feel “normal”. I think that’s a good thing, given we are likely to have to do this for some time and this is actually the new normal. I already have some Christmas masks planned. My advice if you find putting on a mask difficult; try a different style. Find one that works for you, because unfortunately I think they’re here to stay.

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