Monday, June 24, 2013

Handmade Cloth Face Mask for Little Ones 小孩布织面罩

If you have been reading the news lately, or you are living in the same part of the world as I am - Malaysia, you will probably know how bad the air pollution condition is in town now due to the thick haze resulting from the agricultural forest burning activities in Indonesia. The air quality is so bad that everyone around us are either falling sick  due to eye, nose, throat discomfort or dizziness and headache. Even schools were closed yesterday due to the high psi index.

Big Guy and I had been wearing a mask to work, unfortunately we can't find one small enough to fit our little ones. So I decided to make one for them each.

All you need is a small piece of cotton or flannel fabric and with about 20cm of elastic band for the ear loop.

I picked the flannel cotton that has cute rabbit prints for my little captain, and the pink Riinokumi bear cotton for my baby girl, hopefully they will be attracted to the cute prints and obediently wear the masks... *fingers crossed*

Looking good on my little ones? just trying out how they look like when wear on... :)

I have compiled 2 different tutorials using different fabric, as flannel generally doesn't fray, so the method differ slightly.

Tutorial 1 - Using Flannel:

1. I used an existing adult size mask as sample, then cut the fabric according to the face measurement with 2cm extra on each side.

For both my little Captain (4yo) and baby girl (19mo), I cut a piece of 18cm x 10cm. Give about 2 cm for seam allowance for cotton and 1cm for flannel.

2. Hems both top and bottom (with about 1cm fold back), sew them using zigzag pattern for a neat finishing.

3. Next, I make few pleats on the sides and sew them with a pin to hold it in place, this will ensure the mask fits nicely onto the face and jaw line.

4. Cut 2 elastic band of approximately 10cm each, secure them onto wrong side of the mask using fabric glue or multiple purpose glue.

5. Sew the joining points with a few straight lines like picture below.

6. You may leave as is or fold back both sides and sew on to create a neat finishing. Your custom made cloth mask is now ready!

Tutorial 2: Using Cotton Fabric

1. Cut the fabric according to size (I used 18cm x 10cm with extra 2cm for seam allowance). I added a lining layer for extra comfort & filter since this is a light cotton.

2. Arrange the fabric to have the right sides facing each other, then sew straight line on top and bottom (see picture below). 

3. Flip the fabric inside out. Insert the elastic band onto the sides, pin them in place and sew on. I used soft elastic bands that I bought for making baby's headband when she was still an infant. How fast had the time passed that she  wouldn't let me wear headband for her anymore...

4. Create the pleats like step above.

The complete fabric masks, now I'm going to give them a wash and can't wait to try them onto my kiddos!

Wait! It's Important to Know...
That fabric mask is not proven effective in blocking the small particles in the polluted air, however I rather make extra protection than letting my little ones exposed to the filthy air with their naked nose; the smokey smell is just too strong and this cloth mask will at least filter out the smell.

On top of this, we also installed air purifying / humidifier for the home and make herbal drinks & Manuka drinks on daily basis to boost the immunity. Really doing every bit we can to protect our little ones.... Oh, and pray hard that rain will come soon to wash all the haze away so we can see the clear blue skies again. :(

Be safe people. Hope you find this tutorial useful ;)

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