Over the last couple of weeks I have made several masks, each time changing the technique and approach to make the process easier and faster. Here's my perfected technique for making a mask, although it may improve even more as I do it again. If so, I'll share my new plans.
Cut two pieces of tightly woven fabric -- I like batik because it's really dense. If you have a choice between two different kinds of fabric, hold them both up to the light. The one that blocks the most light is the one you want. One piece will be 9 inches by 8.5 inches. The other will be 9 inches by 7.5 inches. Cut a piece of interfacing 9 inches by 7.5 inches.
You will note that I left the raw edge of the fabric open. Because batik is so tightly woven, I'm not worried about it raveling. But if you're worried about your fabric, feel free to turn a tiny hem before you sew down the edge, or zigzag the seam down instead of straight-stitching it.
Turn the mask around and fold over the top side to hem it, just as you did with the bottom side. Mark the center, which will fit right over your nose. Hold the wire against the edge and eyeball where the ends will be -- about an inch and a half out from the center. Mark those places too. You are going to make a pocket to slip the wire into, just a little bit wider than the wire itself.
You will need two 40-inch strips of binding. If you don't have a piece of fabric that long, you can seam two pieces together. You can cut straight across from selvage to selvage, or parallel to the selvage; it doesn't matter. But don't cut on the bias.
Inspect the rest of the mask, front and back, and if you see any places where your stitching veered off the edge go back and stitch again to reinforce. Clip off any dangling threads. But don't be too precious about it. These masks are not going to be entered in the state fair where the quilt police would tut-tut your construction techniques.
If you didn't have two colors of fabric, write "inside" on the inside of your mask. That way if you have to take the mask off and put it back on, you can be sure to put the clean side next to your face.
Now comes the hard part -- you and your loved ones have to WEAR IT!! Wear it when you go to the store. Wear it when you go to work, if you still have a job. Wear it when you go to the park, unless you are absolutely sure there's nobody else in the park with you. Wear it when you drop groceries off for your mom. Wear it when you ride on the bus. Wear it when you pick up hamburgers at the drive-through window. Wear it when the grocery-store girl brings your stuff out to the car. Wear it when you open the door for the pizza guy.
You are protecting yourself and you are also protecting your co-workers and your mom and the bus driver and the pizza guy. And you should probably even wear it when you read my blog, because I don't want to catch it either.
Wear it in good health!!