The current COVID-19 pandemic is sending the world into a panic frenzy as communities resort to social distancing and nations limit travel in an effort to contain the spread. In many places, like here in Thailand, masks are running out almost everywhere. Last week I helped one of my neighbours sew 20 of a thousand masks which were going to be donated to a local hospital. A few people then asked me for a pattern, so I thought it would be good to make one and share the love. So here it is…

While it is important to keep yourself and other safe and protected during these times, we also need to consider the planet, which is, and will still be our home once we get past this global crisis.

Surgical masks are still the most protective barriers, but since they are single-use they create a lot of waste and have been reported to be washing up on beaches across the region.

I wanted to see if there were any good sustainable alternatives to single use masks.

On doing some reading and found this article that compared various materials for making D.I.Y face masks and rated them based on effectiveness and breathability. Cloth masks made from a cotton blend can be quite effective and reducing exposure to the virus, and they are also breathable. The article suggests using pillowcase and cotton t-shirt material combination.

I created a D.I.Y reusable face mask sewing pattern which allows for the insertion of a filter which makes it great for long term use and for both those who may be sick, or just trying to keep themselves protected. You can insert a folded paper towel, a dried wet wipe, a surgical mask or a filter cartridge if you want to add extra protection. To sew the pattern together, I made a sewing instruction sheet and I am working on creating a video tutorial too.

Here is the sewing how to in 5 steps:

I hope that these resources help you and your family stay safe, healthy and protected during this global pandemic.

Stay Healthy, Stay Amused.