Lola’s “3D Mask”

by Lola C

I have not actually made masks for the community yet. I wanted to, but was busy sewing gowns and scrubs. I also wanted to test patterns before making masks. And it took me 19 samples (! 😅) to finally settle on a design that I feel is a good balance between protection and comfort.

Here’s the design I chosed in the end:

It’s based on numerous “3D Masks” YouTube videos I watched. I tweaked the pattern to minimise bulk and improve fit. I also attempted to grade it up a size to fit my hubby.

What I like about this design is that it keeps the fabric off my nostrils and mouth when I breath in or talk, especially when made up with with crisp / stiff fabrics. That was the one thing that I think made most masks quite uncomfortable for me to wear. Most of the other patterns I tried were either too claustrophobic or too big / loose. The way these 3D Masks fit is like the moulded N95 masks – doming over your nose and mouth and only really touching your skin at the edges. I just feel as if there’s more air in there. It still gets a bit sweaty at the edges, but at least there’s less contact with my skin.

If you want to make this, you can download my pattern & instruction PDF file here. I’ve scaled the pattern to 6 sizes to fit nose-chin measurements of 6 – 11 cm (2⅜ – 4¼ inches).

For fabrics, based on an article about how filtering works in a N95 and a YouTube video summarizing a material science research experiment with different mask fabric combinations I recommend the following:

  • an outer layer of high thread-count tightly-woven fabric (eg old sheet, poplin)
    – acts as physical barrier for large droplets
  • 1-2 middle layer(s) of staticky polyester lining
    – filters out smaller virus particles through “electrostatic absorption”
  • an inner layer of absorbant but crisp / stiff cotton interfacing
    – absorbs your sweat and water vapour from your breath to help keep the electrostatic working longer
  • optional non-woven fusible interfacing for outer and/or inner layer
    – well, supposedly medical masks are made of non-woven to filter out super-small particles through the principle of “Brownian motion”. Also it helps to keep the mask stiff & away from your face when you inhale!

You can read more background info on my sewing blog.
Or just download the pattern & instruction PDF for the practical details.

Stay safe! Let’s beat this pandemic together❣️
And unleash your creativity on them masks 😉


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