If you live in Australia,
you can buy one of these masks at my Etsy store.
Or follow the instructions below and make your own.
Information you should know
Click here to find out what the American Centre for Disease Control says about mask wearing.
Note that wearing a mask is NOT enough to protect you against COVID-19. ‘Protection from COVID-19 requires social distancing and practising regular hand hygiene. Not to mention, you need a mask that fits, that provides good filtration, and you must know how to take it on and off without accidental contamination. How to remove it only touching the mask’s strings, for example, and remember to wash your hands before putting it on and after taking it off.’
This article (quoted above) from the Australian ABC covers everything you need to know in Australia. At the time of posting this, ‘The official advice [in Australia] remains that you only need to wear a mask if you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are looking after someone who may have COVID-19. If you are well, according to the Department of Health, you do not need to wear a face mask.’
The ABC article also says that Abrar Chughtai, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of New South Wales said, “Asymptomatic cases can transmit infection, so due to that reason, the CDC [American Centre for Disease Control] is recommending everyone use masks, because … we don’t know who is sick and who is healthy. … If the number of cases surge here at some stage, like in the US or China, probably then the Australian Government would also recommend everyone use masks.”
Another article by the ABC warns of some of the pitfalls of making your own mask, but this pattern is a good one in that it has 3 layers of filtering fabric, wire in the nose and it fits snugly. The important thing is using it correctly as explained in this article, and using the right materials.
The best material for effectiveness
‘Test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials. These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2 micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them comfortable enough to wear for several hours.’ See the research here.
Click here to purchase a ready made mask
To make one yourself
Click here to download the pattern.
Click here to download these instructions in PDF form.
Materials: Fabric (see recommended types above); medium-weight, iron-on interfacing; 1 pipe cleaner; 2 large hair ties.
Download the pattern, print it, and cut it out.
With right sides together, layer 4 pieces of fabric. (The 2 for the lining could be different fabric)
Lay pattern on top and cut 4 mask pieces.
2 are the lining. 2 are the front.
Layer 2 pieces of iron-on interfacing, right sides together. Fold pattern along dotted line and cut 2 iron-on interfacing pieces from the front part of the pattern.
Iron interfacing onto lining pieces, matching the shape.
With right sides together, sew lining mask pieces together along front curved edge.
With right sides together, sew front mask pieces together along front curved edge.
Layer front mask and lining mask pieces right sides together, paying attention to orient the top sides together. Pin edges to secure.
Stitch, leaving a gap open at the bottom.
Turn the mask right side out, by pulling through bottom opening. Using a pencil will help to get the corners completely turned out.
Cut a pipe cleaner in half.
Push it inside the mask up to the nose bridge. Centre it on the centre of the mask.
Pin in place and stich on outside to hold in place.
Fold edges of bottom opening in. Pin together and stitch closed.
Either use 2 hair ties or cut two pieces of narrow elastic (no more than 3/4 cm wide) to 18 cm in length, overlap 3 cm and stitch into circle. Add hair tie or elastic circle by folding fabric 2.5 cm over it.
Sew to secure.
Click here to purchase one ready made
Instructions for wearing:
Once the mask is on, do not touch it or any other part of your face.
Try not to take it on and off during an outing.
When taking the mask off, do not touch the front of the mask, only the elastic.
After use, wash immediately in warm soapy water, and wash your hands as you do so.
For best results iron after washing.
Keep your distance and stay safe!