“Face Mask 2.0”

This pandemic has proven to be a real “norm changer” for all of us.  My family and I think that face masks will be in our foreseeable future longer than we ever thought they would be.  Of course, if that helps to keep me, my family and those around us safe and healthy, we’re all in!  I have been making masks with horizontal pleats by the dozens ever since March, but have found after wearing them for a while, the fogging of the glasses gets to be a bit annoying.  When I came across this video today for a mask with vertical pleats, I just had to try it and share it with you.  I followed the directions in the video very carefully, so the first mask took about 45 minutes from cut out to finished product.  Now that I have done it once, I think I will put my own spin on it and things will go much faster as I make more.  Follow the link to the original video and I will share with you the little things I did to change the process for me.

Besides my machine, iron, rotary cutter, ruler, fabric and elastic, these were the other tools I used for this project. The slender blue tool in the middle is a heat resistant stiletto. If you have never used one, I highly recommend it! I always use it when turning and pressing narrow seams. Really saves the fingers!
Since all my seams would be a quarter inch, using my quarter inch piecing foot just made sense.
In the video, the pleats were pinned and then sewed. I took time to press each pleat so I didn’t have to worry about sewing over any pins when everything was stitched down.
Once all my pleats were pressed in, I took the mask to the machine and held the pleats in place with my pointed stiletto and sewed slowly. The only pin I kept in was the one marking the center, to make sure the inverted pleats were in the right place.
Since I had pre-pressed the pleats, when I folded them to the middle, they just stayed there without having to secure them. This made sewing them a breeze!

I did make some small changes to the original pattern given in the video. I changed the elastic to an 8.5” cut.   Also, the cut size of the fabric given in the video (6.5”x9.5”) produces a mask that fits me, but is too small for my husband.  I will have to play with the fabric’s cut size to find something that fits him comfortably.  He will also need longer ear elastic and would probably benefit from the stoppers used in the video.  I didn’t have any of those on hand, so the elastic on my mask was measured to fit me.  Also, the mask, since it uses an inverted pleat, has a definite right side/wrong side.  The horizontal pleats lend themselves to reversibility, but the inverted pleat used in the vertical pleat mask, really fits best one way.  The inverted pleat will mold best to your face one way better than the other.  Wearing it “the right way” is very obvious.  Once I tried on the mask, I was pleasantly surprised how much more comfortable it was for me and my glasses had no fogging!  I will be making more of these tomorrow!  Happy Sewing!

My finished mask. I really like it. The inverted pleat allows the mask to sit away from your face, which I find much more comfortable.