FIRST POST: Do you ever wonder where you can find a cloth face mask that is fun AND comfortable to wear? I just Ask For A Friend....
....I mean, MASKFORAFRIEND.com
Jokester website names are ALWAYS more clever when you explain them. Just ask for a friend.
See what I did there?
I was late to the mask making game. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that we now NEED TO WEAR A FACE MASK in public. It felt like if I took on a project to make cloth face masks, I would be admitting that we are going to be wearing these for quite awhile.
Well, guess what... we have to wear them...for awhile.
I accept that now. And honestly, it is the least I can do for myself, my family, my friends, and people I come in contact with when I actually leave my house.
The CDC says that most handmade masks will not completely protect you from Covid-19 or many other airborne viruses. However, it is better than nothing. In addition, it helps with slowing down the transmission of any cooties I may carry with me to my friends. Now isn't that a good reason to mask-up?
I'm sure you have seen the meme going around social media about the "Urine Test".
If not, here it is:
This message illustrates the need for US ALL to wear masks PERFECTLY.
So, no need to fight it, just wear a mask in public and move on. Nothing political about it.
I wear a mask for you. You wear a mask for me. Easy Peasy.
How this all started:
I made my first mask on April 8, 2020. From then on I've been obsessed with finding the perfect face mask pattern and the most comfortable fabric combination. Believe me when I say, I've tried MANY, MANY, MANY patterns. Most of the patterns just didn't fit my face well. And few of the patterns fit my husband's face well. And don't get me started on them fogging up my glasses. That part of face mask wearing....annoying. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.
I knew if I wanted to keep making them for donation to front line and essential workers, they needed to be comfortable, allow for a tighter seal to prevent fogging glasses, be effective, allow you to breath freely, and I wanted them to be attractive. I don't know about you, but I just don't want to go around wearing just anything on my face.
My first masks were made from the Mimi G pattern that she posted on YouTube. It is a good mask pattern, but it did not fit my face well enough. It also did not fit my husband's face. I have made adjustments to the pattern since I made the first ones that make them a good fit for folks with more delicate features than I have.
I love the YouTube channel and Instagram pages of Mimi G and her husband Norris Ford. They are so talented and a sweet couple. I highly recommend that you check them out. If you are in the sewing community, you probably already know them. If you are new and want to start learning to sew, I can't recommend them enough.
Here is Mimi G's tutorial for the face mask that she posted on YouTube at the beginning of the Covid-19 lock down. If you sew, you can make them yourself. If not, please buy them from me. Please, and thank you.
After I made several masks from Mimi's pattern, I went looking for another pattern that would fit us better. I still wear the ones I made from her pattern, but we are large folks that need more coverage. Having said that, Mimi's mask is perfect for the summer months. The mask doesn't go under the chin as far as the one below which would be better in the summer months. This style will also be great for teens and petite folks.
The best pattern I found so far for cotton or woven fabric masks that provides more coverage for larger faces is this one:
I'm being very honest here because it is more important that we all have attractive and comfortable face masks to wear every day than it is to be secretive with my "sources". If you sew, have the fabric and time, you can make these. But if you don't, buy one from me. Fair enough?
Another point of honesty; this pattern from PrettyHandyGirl.com is great fitting, but it is a lot of work. That is why this style brings a higher price tag. It is my favorite pattern so far, but it requires the most fabric and notions and takes longer to make than some of the other styles I offer.
Why? (I know, you just ask for a friend ;-) )
When I make these out of cotton, cotton/poly blends, and sometimes a combination of woven and stretch fabric, I actually add interfacing. I have also added adjustments to this pattern so that the filter pocket is easier to access and easier to make. I don't use the stretch paracord that she recommends with the bead to make adjustments. Instead I offer the mask in a looping drawstring tie version (for the tightest fit around your face) and a version with 7" of stretch knit as ear loops instead of elastic. It is MUCH more comfortable than standard elastic with this style. If you find that you need an adjustment, you can simply cut the knit and tie it in a knot OR use the 2 beads I include in the package so you can make the adjustments that are perfect for you.
After I made the first batch, I modeled and posted them on Instagram and had many folks ready to buy them. I couldn't quite commit to making them in mass quantities. Instead, I started giving them away to friends, family, and family OF friends. I have essential workers in my group and folks who are in ill health. I wanted to be sure the right style of mask went to the right person.
As the days of quarantine went by with days filled with making face masks (and experimenting with different patterns), I decided to start selling them just a few days ago. Here I am to offer up my wares.
When I finally committed to doing this on a larger scale, I knew I needed supplies. As folks who sew will tell you, supplies are hard to find right now. The supply is better in the month of May, but it is still slim pickin's. Luckily I have a large stash of fun fabric from years of sporadic sewing. My stash combined with that of my mother who passed away in March of 2019 has created a nice collection that I can offer to you. But when it came to the notions needed, well let me say this about that: It has taken me the better part of May locating what I needed.
By the way, one of the trademarks of my masks are the vast majority are sewn with RAINBOW thread. I use it exclusively. It goes with everything and adds a little detail that few other mask makers are offering.
Also, you may be interested to know that I have two other websites currently.
In addition to MaskForAFriend.com I have:
(More about YNAD in the coming days.)
I sell masks on all three sites as well as the associated social media accounts for all.
Why did I get yet another domain name? (Again...I know, you just ask for a friend ;-) )
Because I saw a hashtag on Instagram that just fascinated me: #MaskingForAFriend. It is a great movement that really inspired me. I credit that hashtag Instagram movement for inspiring me to start offering my creations to the world. I don't know who started the movement or the hastag, but I loved the name. It was clever and it sparked my creativity and courage to move forward. MaskingForAFriend.com was taken by a cosmetic company which really does not have anything to do with the IG movement of the same name. No need to wear a lot of cosmetics when you are wearing a face mask (FREEDOM!!!). But I could not get the hashtag out of my head.
In addition, although I tried not to, I got political on my IG page. I found one of my major creative outlets to release all the horror inside me was drawing political cartoons. I have quite a few of them as well as other drawings and photos. I find that drawing is a healthy release of this confusion and anger I have been feeling during this pandemic. I did a separated the masks from the politics. One of the most discouraging and frustrating developments in the current climate is this notion that wearing a protective face covering is somehow a political statement. We are all human. We are all Americans. We are all GLOBAL CITIZENS that are ALL being impacted by this GLOBAL PANDEMIC. We have to look out for each other. Because if we don't, who will?
So, there is even more honesty for you.
If you are brave and so inclined, you are welcome to visit:
You can see some of the many face masks I've made since April 8. I'll be posting more images here and on the other sites and social media pages.
That is all.
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