| Masks shown above are "Bone Embroidered Gauze" and "Purple Geometric" |
What? This blog is not about making funky ice . . .
You are correct. But as most of you know, experimentation is my thing. I am just swapping ice for fabric at this point in time. After receiving multiple requests for masks, I decided to dip my toe into the mask-making waters to see what happens. It will definitely be a side gig and I am hoping that the retreat of the Covid-19 bug will put me out of business for good. Besides, it is summer and I have my garden to tend, my home to keep clean and organized, my graphic design and proofing work with my husband's business (Hedbergmaps.com) and of course, Tom and I are working to make the coming WINTERCRAFT season as amazing as possible. We will all be looking for fun family wintertime activities that also make our homes sparkle!
Why did I decide to start selling masks? After making and donating about 500 masks, I realized what worked and what did not when it came to masks. I wanted to make a mask that was comfortable, breathable and that people would WANT to wear. So, I tried and altered a slew of mask patterns that I found online. Having a limited supply of elastic created a challenging obstacle, but each time I worked with a mask pattern, the goal was the same: make a better mask! People who had received my masks started wanting more . . .
Please keep in mind that the masks I make are NOT MEDICAL GRADE. Each mask has a FILTER POCKET, so you can ramp up the protection, but it will still not protect you as well as an N95 or other medical grade mask. In this time of Covid-19, we all know that masks are worn for other people. It is my belief, that while we are asked to wear masks in public, we should feel good about it - on all levels.
How to order masks? Order here or use my email to contact me: jh at wintercraft.com.
How to pay for the masks? Pay via the website here, but I am completely open Venmo, too! Just contact me at the email above or via the contact form.
The Mask Pattern
What makes this pattern special is the structure of the mask. The way the fabric is folded and stitched creates "bones" of fabric that hold the continuous front panel of away from the nose and mouth. This creates a gigantic breathing and talking space. Need to wear a mask at work where you will be talking all the time? This mask is for you!
The continuous front panel was another feature that sold me on this pattern. With a solid front panel, a pretty fabric would not be skewed by lots of folds or seams. Below is the first mask I made using this pattern and it sold me on the idea!
In the initial phase of the Covid-19 lockdown, we all had to be creative. I did not have much fabric on hand, but I did have old sheets and clothes that I had bundled to be donated. I pulled out the clothes that were made of 100% cotton and other natural fibers and started making masks for my family and neighbors. Then a kind neighbor dropped off bags of cotton fabric and I started making masks to donate. My stock of elastic ran out, so I started making the Olson variety that used hair bands. (With two long-haired daughters, I had a huge stash of hair binders). But I was not satisfied with the fit and comfort level of this mask pattern, so I went searching. There were many online and I tried about 12 versions.
Not only did I play with the main structure of the mask, but I tried several different ways of holding the masks on the head and used whatever fabric I could find. When my supply of elastic completely ran out and needed something longer than hair binders, I turned to 1" strips of t-shirts with an added pony bead to allow for the strips of t-shirting to be adjustable.
When the consignment clothing stores opened up again, I was first in line and headed down to the basement where they are practically given the clothes away. I found shirts, skirts and dresses made of fine linen, cotton and silk, and for my purposes, the bigger the better. I found a 4x dress made of beautiful cotton lawn fabric that produced enough fabric for 20 masks! Did I say it was $4? Jackpot! So, that's how I started using reclaimed clothing for my masks.
Because the pattern creates "bones" in the fabric, that allows me to use lightweight, high thread count fabric and the mask stays on the face. If I am using a heavier weight fabric for the front, I will use super lightweight fabric for the lining pieces to keep the mask airy and breathable. If I am using a very lightweight gauzy or a fabric with embroidered holes in it, I will used an extra lining sheet.
Elastic Loops or T-shirt bands Options
1. Elastic ear loops with a strip of t-shirt material and bead to make it adjustable. This way is intuitive. The elastic goes around the ears and the t-shirt material pulls it away from the back of the ear to improve comfort and make it adjustable. The mask lowers easily, and if the t-shirt material is used, can be hung around the neck when the mask is not over the face. Easy on-easy off. This is how your mask will look unless you choose option #2 below.
2. T-shirt material that criss crosses in the back behind the neck. A binding must be added for the t-shirt material. Some people are challenged with how to use this style, but in the long run, the t-shirt material near the ear make this option considerably more comfortable for long wear. The mask lowers easily and can be hung around the neck when the mask is not over the face. The t-shirt material does not have as much give as elastic, so it is harder to take all the way off and all the way on. Add $5 for this option.
Current Fabric Selections - link to fabric selections
The above link goes to another blog entry that has an alphabetical list of fabrics by fabric name and includes the type of fabric and how many are available to be made.
If a fabric was gleaned from a used shirt or dress, there will be a limited supply. If the fabric was purchased from a fabric store, there MIGHT be a way to buy more.
The picture of each fabric shows a close up of the fabric to see the "tooth" of the fabric and what a mask made with this fabric could look like. Each mask made with large-patterned fabric will be different.
Example of Fabric Selection:
Fabric name: Architecture
Fabric type: Lightweight cotton
Source: Donated fabric
Number available: 6
As I mentioned before, feel free to contact me via my email: jh at wintercraft.com to order masks or ask questions.
Final note: Models used are my daughter Lena and her boyfriend Ty. They were paid off in masks :)
Enjoy the glow of knowing you are protecting others and looking good!
-- Jennifer Shea Hedberg, The Ice Wrangler
©2020 Wintercraft. All Rights Reserved. This blog post may be linked to and credited, however, the contents including all photos, videos and text may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.