2020: A Summer of Sewing Face Masks

Hi all! I was cleaning up my photo storage and decided to write a litte post of the one activity that kept me busy all summer – sewing face masks. Most of them were for family and friends, but I was also able to donate a couple and sell some more to replenish supplies. Below are a couple of masks I made, and my thoughts behind switching from the rectangle one to the curved one.

The Netherlands went into lockdown on 23 March 2020. I was unable to teach at the studio from this date onward untill June 15th, although I did keep myself busy by both moving house and moving my studio in April. Anyway, about the face masks…

The first batch of masks I made in March / April were 50 rectangulare masks with filter opening and nose wire. About 20 went to my Stepmum’s friend, who works in palliative care and dealing with face mask shortages. The rest was donated to a central point and distributed to health care workers.

It took me around 10 minutes to sew 1 face mask, and I used the La Maison Victor face mask pattern.

I made 6 colours and used cotton twill tape for the strings. All online stores were completely out of elastic at this point already (end of March) but I ended up liking the ties more. Less pressure on the head.

Something I took away from mask sewing was the use of the Pilot Frixxion pen, which disappears with ironing. This really cut down on the time it took to wash out the water soluble marker and ironing the masks dry again!

I made nose wires from floral wire and washi tape.

Of course I kept a couple for myself. Masks have long been optional in The Netherlands, but I always felt that at some point they would become mandatory…

Update Oct. 1 – the government has “strongly advised” to wear masks in public indoor places. Luckily all my friends and family already have their masks!

When restaurants were allowed open again in June, I made 15 black masks for my Stepmum’s restaurant for the waiters to use.

Here’s the 15 black masks and another 15 green masks for male care workers who were IMHO being unnecessarily difficult about wearing prints! So I may have picked the absolute blandest colour of green for them! Sorry but in these times, when you get free masks, please don’t complain! Wear them with the white side out if you must! Ugh…

Here’s two I made for my Dad (top) and Stepmum (bottom), to use with their sick, elderly mother. She was in the at-risk group and the masks just made it a little safer. I especially love the gardening fabric!

At the same time in June, face masks became mandatory in public transportation and I used my rectangular ones for a while. They are not very comfortable or close to the skin. So I decided to try out the curved ones (these are from

My step-BIL was allowed to resume kendo training, and ordered a whole bunch of fitted masks for him and his kendo buddies. This was around mid-August, where people returned to work, classroom and sport clubs. I was finally able to get some more supplies and made another 30-35 masks for friends and family.

Honestly the curved ones are a lot less work and fit better! I made around 12 for my BF and I.

Wearing them now every time I go onto public transportation. I especially like this Cotton + Steel print with the goose, that I like to think is the Untitled Goose Game goose!

Anyway, not sure if this post had a point, but I just wanted to document my summer of sewing face masks!

Thanks again for reading,


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