Scuba Face Mask
I know there are hundreds of face mask patterns available, so do you need another one? This design came about after chatting to my mother about her trouble with masks. She wears glasses and hearing aids, and regular masks with elastic that wrap around the ears do not work well with either, let alone ear-rings. After some research, I started to see masks made from neoprene that looks a lot more comfortable - and wearer friendly. And the sampling began.
The mask is in three sizes: child, regular adult and large adult. I quickly realised grading doesn't work with maks, the large adult size needed to be a very different shape to the regular adult, but I am pleased with the fit of both. I don't have a child to test the fit on, but given the demand for masks, I am hoping it is ok. Let me know if there are any issues, and I will adapt the pattern. This may be free, but the fit is still important to me.
Conversations and listening are the best design inspiration. Design isn’t just about the pattern making, it is construction too; how to put things together. After talking to a friend in Melbourne who wanted masks but doesn’t sew, I realised that we need some techniques for mask-making without machines. At a push, you could even staple these together!
The other advantage of scuba is that it doesn't fray; the edges don't need finishing, and you only need a single layer, which means you can cut and trim to tweak the fit. This mask pattern can be made either with a sewing machine, or by hand for those that do not have machines, and uses minimal materials. Scuba and neoprene do not fray, so these are super quick to make: one seam and attach the straps! I used an overlocker to finish the edges, but as scuba doesn’t fray, you can just use a regular straight stitch. The button is optional; if you don’t need it, you can just sew the straps on both sides when you are happy with the fit.
After encouragement by @gilliannalletamby, I decided to make the pattern available to everyone, so here it is, free when you use the coupon FREEMASK at the checkout!
There is a shortage of elastic everywhere, so while that was a consideration, I also know that it is uncomfortable. Making this inclusive mask from scuba, which has stretch, eliminates the need for elastic, and it moulds to the face. It is designed to be more comfortable by relieving pressure over the ears with a single strap. This should be helpful for those wearing hearing aids or ear-rings, and the snug fit works with glasses.
It even passes the flame test*!
*based on @billnye’s TikTok video
Some ready-to-wear clothing is made from scuba, so an option is to up-cycle second-hand clothing - or lightweight wet suits - to make masks. Shown here are the regular adult (handsewn) and large adult size (machined) masks made from scuba.
Don't forget to tag me when you share your makes, I love to see customer projects!