Sunday, 19 July 2020

Mask making 101

So it has just been announced that masks are mandatory as of midnight this Wednesday.
Luckily I have been trialling patterns this week, and did some batch cutting yesterday.  The Craft Passion pattern is the most comfortable and is quick to sew, with no darts or ironing. I mean you could press the seams but I have neither the space nor time for that! What I do have is the overlocker set up on my cutting table ( not much room left for cutting though!) and the sewing machine over its little table, and a clear pathway between the two!
Pattern wise I realised when I printed the pattern it is slightly under the scale, but fits ok. I printed the mens size, which measures along the bottom at 13.5cm ( to fit me) and  I enlarged the pattern ( by drawing around it with 2 pencils!) to be 14.5cm , which fits the tall 19 year old comfortably.

So my instruction for batch making masks are:
Cut out 3 layers. 1 outer   2 liner   3 inner ( the bit that touches your face)

I have been using either some weatherproof fabric for the outer ( a random Spotlight find years ago, knew it would come in handy for something! Catch is I only have pink or a dull orangey- red) with a liner and inner cut from old sheets.
 Version 2 is cut from poly- cotton outer, liner from cut up shopping bags ( made from non-woven polypropylene / viscose), inner from poly cotton sheeting. Lucky I have a pile of second hand sheets I use for quilts, and pattern muslins!
Elastic or t shirt yarn (strips of t shirt fabric - which is more comfortable on the ears than elastic) is used to hold it on. I prefer 1 long piece about 65 cm, that goes around the back of the head twice. Can be worn over or under the ears.

Black= outer
blue= liner
13.5 cm  or 14.5cm across, handy that it randomly lines up with the 10cm mark on the cutting mat!

If you want to include a removable piece of wire my method is to use  a scrap of t shirt fabric or something that won't fray or require a hemmed edge. Sew a little rectangle ( drawn on to pattern above) onto each  of the INNER pieces BEFORE sewing together/ Much easier than trying to sew a pocket into the 3D shape once it is sewn together. Use the gap in the centre to insert/remove wire for washing/ But I have found the mask sits ok on the face and doesn't really need the wire.

Sew curve edges together, I find it easier to start at the flat base side, otherwise the pointy bit can get stuck in the feed dogs of the machine. Sew each pair together.

Now I swap to the overlocker and overlock the edges for a neat finish and to save having to do a double hem later. Sew right sides out.
By overlocking the outer and liner together, I can then treat it as one piece and not get the wrong layers together, which I did on one of my practise ones!  I had a slightly textured fabric for the liner but it ended up as the inner, and it tickles my nose to much.  A nice smooth sheet is much better, or even something softer, might try some satin lining fabric, although  it can be a bugger to sew as it frays like crazy...

Now there are 2 pieces to work with.

Pin or clip the 2 pieces together, right sides together. Sew  TOP and BOTTOM but not the short sides.
Turn right sides out, I find a chopstick is handy.Hand roll the hems to make the edges neat ( quicker than ironing!) Nearly there!

This is where the overlocked sides are handy. Fold the edges in about 1cm on  either side to make a casing for the elastic. Sew one side, then turn and top stitch the top or bottom edge ( depending on where you started!)

Done! Cut about 65 cm elastic, thread on a large needle or bodkin, in one loop through each side. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Off to the beach pt 2

Once I finally figured out how to place the strips - pinning them to a large pinboard really helped!- and that I needed to stagger each strip by half a block, not a whole one ( which looked like bricks!) things started coming together!
The finished quilt!
When I gave it to my sister she said " It's the beach!" - yay! 

Monday, 6 July 2020

Off to the beach pt 1

Looking for ideas for a gift to make for my sister’s birthday, I came across this image on Pinterest. I lot if searching ( Pinterest is garbage for anything other than just pictures!) I finally found the pattern had come from a book on Bargello quilts.

I coudn’t find anyone with a copy, but my quilting pro MIL did have this book, which I borrowed. It was very helpful in planning my design. There was a lot more involved than I had first thought! But after weeks of trying to puzzle it out myself, the book was really helpful to understand the process.

It even has graph paper to photocopy and plan with.

This was my colour plan, crinkled from being carried to Rathdown Fabrics and Spotlight to find some fabric!