We are already more accustomed than most to wearing masks as PPE in our day-to-day work but now that it's just a part of daily life, it's more important than ever that we have options of how to take care of ourselves.
Below are links to a pattern for a protective mask/mask carrier that was developed Nic Mominee and the family of Mominee Studios. It is something anyone with a sewing machine can easily make in less than an hour. It can be sanitized easily, too. It can be worn by itself, or has an internal pocket for the insertion of a soft respirator replacement filter, or (and this is a big one) it can be used as a shield/carrier for a standard N95 mask -- this means the fabric mask cradles the N95 in place on your face and you don’t need the elastic straps to seal the N95 to your face. The fabric mask has integral straps that go below your ears and fasten along the nape of your neck. It uses a Velcro-type tape (the double-sided kind used to bind office equipment cords out of the way) that can be adjusted to fit a large number of sizes, and it has a pull loop for one-finger release. If your mask gets dirty, you need never touch the front of it to get it off your head. It also has an open-ended pocket for a length of flexible coated wire (see the garden section of any store: flexible garden ties – a vinyl-coated small gauge wire, easily bent, easily cut, and cheap).
The mask can be used at full extension, as when being used as a N95 carrier. Or, you can tuck that fullness in for a less bulky look and closer fit when empty.
The PDF includes a full list of text instructions as well as detailed photos showing the process. They seem lengthy, but they are detailed such that even those with only modest sewing experience should be able to tackle.
Patterns and instructions are free, people can make as many as they want, and share it with anyone who wants them. Of the people in healthcare who have received them and used them, they are telling us it is far more comfortable than the paper surgical masks, and far less irritating to the skin.
Most of the time, you can just spritz them with alcohol (80% or higher) to the point of saturation, and let air-dry. They will withstand laundering in warm soapy water, or with some germicidal agents added to the bath. However, we recommend removing the wire from the nose pocket first. The wire can be disinfected separately, then reinserted once the fabric mask is dry. Obviously, if possible, masks air-dried in the sun will last longer than those put through a dryer.
Exact Template Sizes:
Two files, two sizes: M-L (Medium/Large) and X-L (Extra Large). For children, the M-L template can be reduced gradually, maybe starting at 80%, until a person finds what would accommodate their child/children. Make sure to print out at ACTUAL SIZE, or printers may reduce slightly by default.