1. SOJAO dustbag
4. Fabric Marker/ Pen
6. Sewing Machine/ Needle & Thread
7. Elastic band
Unstitch the two sides of the dustbag. Or cut as closely to the seams as possible to create a flat sheet of fabric. Remove coconut button carefully with a scissors, be careful not to damage fabric beneath.
Print, cut and assemble the pattern template available here. Remember to print to scale on an A4 piece of paper. Align and tape down edges Y and Z. Following the pattern, mark out the measurements onto the fabric’s underside. You should have one big rectangular piece measuring 36cm by 20cm, and two smaller rectangles of 4cm by 11cm.
Note: If dustbag is very crumpled, do give it a quick iron to flatten it so that the markings will be accurate.
Following the following template, draw the pleat-folding lines from the center line to the two ends.
Fold the fabric into half, pressing the fold line to crease it in order to create a visible mark for visual reference.
Crease down the 0.5 fold at both ends and press it down.
Match the orange lines to the blue lines, according to the template and press the fold down and pin. Repeat until you have three pleats on each side.
Stitch the 0.5 seams at each end down.
On the long sides of the fabric, stitch down the pleats to lock them in place.
On the two remaining 4cm x 11cm rectangles, mark out 0.5cm folds on the short sides. Press the folds down.
Note that if the mask is for someone with a wider face, add 1-2cm to each 4cm side accordingly.
Stitch the folded sides down with the marked out 0.5cm seam and fold in half the long way and press down. Repeat for both pieces.
Fold the main piece of fabric into half with front side inward, and press it down.
Loop a elastic band into each of the smaller pieces of fabric, measuring 20cm.
Sandwich each smaller piece inside the main piece on each side.
Match outer edge to outer edge, and pin them down on both sides.
Stitch on both short sides with a 0.5cm seam.
Flip the right side out and topstitch the short side, turning the corner and stitching another 3cm along the opening side. This will result in a smaller opening that will allow a you to insert a mask filter if you wish to add one for added protection.
And there you have it! Your very own reusable organic face mask. This mask provides adequate protection by filtering out bigger droplets. You can also insert your own filter made from dried wet wipes, baby wipes or kitchen paper towel, for increased filtration. It must be noted however, that this is not a direct replacement for surgical masks or similar protective gear that frontline healthcare workers should be using.
A bendable wire can be inserted to the top of the mask for a better fit at the nose bridge with some tape.
The same pattern and steps in this tutorial can also be replicated using other tight-knitted cotton fabric that is breathable. Do also remember to wash the mask daily after use with soap, and ensure that it is dry before a fresh use.
Stay safe and happy sewing!