Gingiber Face Masks Tutorial With Tea Towels
Written by Natalie Crabtree
Most of us are in the same boat right now. We are looking for resources to create masks for our families, for friends, and some are making masks for health professionals. This tutorial is done using Gingiber floursack cotton tea towels, which you can find HERE! But you can also use quilting cottons - Gingiber has some Fat Quarter Bundles in assorted fabrics you can find HERE!
The CDC recommends using homemade face masks that have multiple layers of fabric & filtering materials. They recommend masks that can be laundered and machine dried. (Please place your tea towel masks in a bag while washing.) Tea towels could be a great, and fun alternative. Who says that the face masks can’t feature cute, hand drawn animals to brighten our quarantine days? The tea towels are also a light weight material, which will be welcome in the coming spring and summer months.
Now here is the disclaimer. Of course, even N95 masks don’t block out 100% of harmful particles. The only way to completely prevent contracting the virus is to completely 100% social distance, not leaving the house at all. But we all need groceries, gas, medicines etc. So it is recommended to create a barrier for your mouth and nose.
This mask will not 100% prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, but being preventative and proactive can’t hurt. This mask will help you stay healthy while running the necessary errands. It also helps promote small business, and promote the arts during this stressful time.
This mask is made using (3) layers of materials and a slot for a filter. Filters can be an actual face mask filter, paper towel, shop towel, tissues etc. Replace filters after each use and wash frequently.
Tea towels measure approximately 25”-26” square. You can make (3) masks per tea towel if you cut wisely, or (6) masks if you only use the tea towel material for the front side and an additional fabric for the back side.
Alrighty, let’s make some masks! Gather the following:
- If creating masks using ties (my favorite for the sake of my ears) cut (4) 2” x 20” strips of coordinating fabrics. Just an FYI, the bird mask in this tutorial features Moda Bella Solid Cornflower, and the hedgehogs feature Bella Solid Etching Stone.
- If creating the masks using elastic, gather (2) uncut thick elastic hair ties or elastic using whatever width you have on hand.
- Medium weight craft interfacing. Interfacing will give you the best results, I prefer it. If you do not have interfacing, as many places are sold out at the moment, get creative! The more layers the better. I used a polyester blend batting for my filtering layer as I happened to run out of interfacing just before this tutorial so I made due. It’s more fluffy and bulkier than interfacing, but it’s better than nothing. Also I do recommend polyester verses 100% cotton battings for this as it may help prevent the chance of mold or mildew.
- Like colored thread.
- Scissors & pointy object such as a turning tool or chopstick.
- (2) pieces of fabric using the cutting guide below.
Use the following guide to cut your tea towels for men, women & children’s sizes. Please note that these were tested on my family. My daughter is 2, and this size fit her well. Adjust as needed.
Begin making masks with ties by folding one end of all (4) 2” x 20” strips by approximately ¼” and press. Then press the long strip in half lengthwise to mark the exact center of the strip. Then unfold.
After you have unfolded the strip and there is a crease running lengthwise through the exact center, fold both raw edges over to the crease and press again. Then fold the strip again lengthwise so that all raw edges are hidden, and a tie is made. Press thoroughly, or pin to secure.
Topstitch all (4) ties to finish. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the tie. Press.
Prepare the tea towel rectangles by folding fabric a ¼” along the bottom edge of the tea towel and pressing to secure. Topstitch this fold. (Please note: This process is to create a secure slot for the filter and will hide raw edges. If your fabric is directional, complete this process on the bottom of the directional fabric.) See the picture below to check out the topstitch along the long side of the bird tea towel rectangles.
Next, we are going to sandwich our layers together while also placing our ties. Place the fabric rectangle you wish to be the front of the mask right side up, and the folded stitched side furthest from you. Place ties approximately ½” from the top and bottom of a fabric rectangle. See two examples below.
Next, align the interfacing or batting with the other fabric rectangle. The interfacing should be the layer on top, with the fabric rectangles right sides together as shown. Pin in place thoroughly, pinning where the ties will be to secure. (If using elastic, this process is the same.)
Gather the loose ties and let the ties hang out of the folded stitched side of the mask, because we will not sew approximately 3” at the center of the mask. Mark a 3” space in the center of the folded stitched edge of the fabric rectangles to indicate where we will not sew. (This is very important as we will pull the mask right side out through this hole.)
Stitch around the outside edges using a ¼” seam. Do not sew past the marked 3” space. Backstitch at the marked points. I stitched off the edges when I came to a corner, then turned the mask and started again with a new seam. I also backstitched over the area where the ties were placed.
Once sewing is complete, trim the corners of the mask to reduce bulk. Do not cut into the stitching.
Pull the mask through the 3” opening and ensure that all ties have been secured thoroughly. Use a turning tool or something similar to poke out the corners. Press the mask at this time so that it lays flat.
Next, whether you are using elastic or ties, create (3) even pleats and pin to secure.
Stitch over the pleats, creating the stitch about ½” from either side of the mask. Backstitch at the beginning and end.
If you are creating a mask with ties, the mask is now complete! Unfold the pleats and widen the mask. Enjoy! (A note to our long haired readers, I have found that a pony tail creates a great prop to keep those ties in place at the back of the head! A hat also helps create friction keeping the ties in place. You’re welcome!)
If you are adding elastic, fold the pleated ends of the mask overtop an elastic hairband as shown. Pin in place and stitch to secure.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and informative! Of course, everyone’s head shape and size are different. Sometimes these tutorials aren’t one size fits all. Test and adjust as needed.
We look forward to seeing you again. Keep sewing, keep quarantining…..and stay healthy!