Mask Making

Here are the steps I go through to make masks.

MATERIALS: cotton fabric(9′ x 15′), polypropylene(8′ x 12′), elastic straps (8.5′-9.5′), pipe cleaners, heat bond, threads, toggle beads.

Fold material face in. If it has an orientation be sure the upsidedown side is pinned to the folded polypropylene. Mark a 3 inch gap to remain open for flipping mask right-side-out and inserting nose piece.

Sew the two sides of the gap. Then take it to the ironing board to iron along seam, shift seam down 1/2 an inch and iron again.

The space you created is where you will glue the nosepiece / pipe cleaners.

Clip elastic straps to the corners to be sewn. These are inside which will be the outside.
I sew back and forth across the straps three times to make them secure.
Flip the mask right-side-out through the three-inch slot. Pull the straps out to square the corners.
I twist two pipe cleaners together and then iron heat bond glue on both sides.
I iron in the nose piece either before or after sewing the pleats in.
Sew down the pleats after pinning them. I make two pleats. One for the chin and one for the nose.
I sew down the pleats and iron the mask flat.
I sew along the pipe cleaner nose piece to keep it in place.


After a last ironing, I put toggle bead on the straps for adjustment.
Do I look tired to you? I am tired…sew tired.


FLOW on the SEW

Sewing Instead of Sowing

I hope you have noticed my absence as The Flower.

I have been dealing with the pandemic in my own way.

Since proper PPE has been so hard to procure,

I have been manufacturing it in my basement.

I have my own cold little “sweatshop” which I call Purgatory.

I have been making masks and sending them where I think they are needed.

I have designed them to be comfortable and beautiful.

I am trying to curb the culling of Covid-19.

This is what I am doing instead of being an epidemiologist.

Flow…biologist turned seamstress.

Who knew? Nobody. That’s for sure.


These Waves

These waves

random yet relentless

dark and blue

knock me down

again and again.

I must

fight to stand

over and over.

I wonder

what would

become of me

if I

stayed down

and let

gravity win.

Would I drown

or could I rest

from the wrest?

Hurry spring!

Bring your

bright sunshine

to warm

my face

as it

breaks through

these waves.


Fake Masks

My quest started when I ordered masks for Rose to take to college.

I let her pick out what she wanted.

The masks were delivered.

I was aghast.

Most were only one layer. Most were stretchy.

NONE complied with the CDC and WHO recommendations.

I contacted two of the suppliers and sent them links to proper mask requirements.

They both disappeared off the student website.

A mask is PPE not a fashion accessory.

That is when I started making masks for my family, although I hated sewing.

I did research on the best materials and patterns.

I intended to share this information earlier.

I thought others might find it helpful.

Then I began to notice what others were covering their faces with. It seemed anything would do if it seemed like there was some effort. It occurred to me that maybe folks only wished to APPEAR to comply.

The event that pushed me to the edge of the crazy cliff was a visit from my dead father’s financial advisor. Here was this man, standing over my grieving mother wearing a DIRTY, OLD, USED, WELL-WORN disposable mask. I whisked masks onto my mother and sister and discreetly squirted Germex onto their hands after using his pen. (Don’t mess with my family!)

Ever since that day, I have been broadening the circles of safety around my family and friends.

Which brings me to the POINT.

REAL MASKS have at least three layers. (See links at the end of this post)

It is best to have POLYPROPYLENE in the middle.

Polypropylene is a nonwoven plastic.

Here is what it looks like through a microscope.

I think of it as “virus velcro.” It has a charge that traps and holds the virus.

Not all of it is the same. Here is a thinner version.

This is what the mask filters are made of.

I put two layers in most mask. Some thinner masks get three or four layers.

Real masks only work if worn consistently and properly.

Tired of hearing about masks?

I have friends with a dead parent, huge medical bills or residual health problems.

This virus is real so…


Love Flow