I know I said that I was burned out on masks, but I found a resource for face mask elastic and it changed everything!
The one thing that I disliked about mask sewing is the massive amounts of binding I was making for straps. However, I saw that a local manufacturing company had started making face mask elastic – the soft, super stretchy kind that you find on actual surgical masks and I decided to give it a try:
The good: mask production has greatly increased and are actually fun to sew. Plus I found a “standard” measurement for the elastic that works for everyone!
The bad: The fit is now off. I think that the ties do two things: For one, you’re are generally tying them higher on your head than what the elastic sits so when tying, you don’t get as much sagging or gaps. Two, when you’re tying, you’re able to fit the mask perfectly to your face… a custom fit, so to speak.
After playing with the pattern and elastic some, I came up with a couple of solutions. First off, wire helps a bunch and the longer the better. Right now I’ve been working with roughly a 4″ piece. Secondly, I make a pleat. This seems to pull the mask tighter around your face, eliminating some of the gaping. Lastly, I cut my elastic 5 1/2″ – large enough for my husband’s head, but fits me as well.
I may do a bit more tweaking after I wear this around to shop, but overall I like the ability to slap this one without needing to tie.