A Most Excellent Mask Pattern

Hello fellow sewists! Seems like everybody is interested in making masks for the population. According to Mr. K, who is constantly keeping up on coronavirus news, consuming only info from experts, masks are going to be with us for a very long time.  Remember how silly people in the airport wearing face masks seemed months and years ago? Well, they learned from experience and had the right idea, any protection is better than none.


I found this pattern on the University of Minnesota website, it’s a good one;  tucks for a 3D fit, wire over the top edge to conform to your nose and a pocket for a filter. A PDF with instructions is here:  DYI Face Masks

sewing dyi covid-19 face masks
DYI Face Masks, click on image for larger view

I tweaked the pattern a bit, it’s a quite large mask, fits Mr. K perfectly, so I graded the pattern for a medium size, fits me well and a small size for children. I changed the method of inserting wire across the top; the pattern instructed to thread the wire through a channel at the top, what a pain! Instead, I zig-zagged the wire onto the mask before closing it up:

sewing a dyi covid-19 mask
Wire zig-zagged onto the mask, click for larger image

I also changed the elastic from going around the ears to going around the head. This made the masks much more comfortable, and you’re less likely to touch your face to adjust for comfort. When you get to your safe zone, you can let the mask hang around your neck until it’s needed next. Quite the fashion accessory! I used fine quality, 100% cottons from my stash, and coffee filters for the pocket…so cute!


Let me know if you’d like a tutorial on making this most excellent mask!



Fall Front Door Decoration

My favorite Fall colors are burgundy and purple. Not sure if that came about from the Fall asters in the fields where I walk my dog or some beautiful fabric I ran across one time or another. Sure I like to add some orange and maybe yellow but rarely brown. I wanted burgundy planters to decorate either side of my front door, I had some metal ones bought at IKEA and not used, so I decided to paint!

I made a little enclosure before spray painting so I wouldn’t paint the grass:

painted planter

To make the planter look more interesting, I sponged on a darker color with a metallic sheen: Voila! Perfect planters for my fall display. I bought the coleus at half price when annuals were on sale in August, planted the pots and put them under a tree in my back yard and they grew like weeds! (Can’t even see the planters, but I know they’re there!)   



A Shirt Dress for My New Teacher


Plaid Flannel Shirtdress

Plaid Flannel Shirt Dress

I always sew a lot of Christmas gifts. All year, my kids, husband and friends ask me to make things for them and usually I say “no”. Sewing is time consuming and I don’t have enough time to sew what I want for myself. After Thanksgiving, I devote the weeks until Christmas to making gifts. I’m rarely finished in time and often give a box of wrapped fabric with a promise to sew something. This year was particularly bad because we threw a graduation party for my daughter on December 20th.  The party was great but it put me even more behind than usual and I’m just finishing my gifts now.

Donna Karan shirt pattern
Donna Karan shirt pattern

For this dress, I used Vogue 1462, by Donna Karan. It’s a shirt pattern that I lengthened a little and I added a belt. The pattern went together very nicely and it has an easy, full fit.

On a trip to Germany last summer, I bought a shirt with a very small collar that looks so cool to me. Most blouse patterns have huge collars but this one looked small in the sketch on the back of the pattern envelope. It turned out to be quite big, but I like the rounded shape. I have given her the dress, so I can’t take better pictures, but she promised to send me a picture of her wearing it, which I will post.

I ordered the flannel from Fabric.com, they don’t have the same plaid anymore. It was nice to work with, I meticulously matched the plaids, so it must be a pretty well woven fabric to be able to do that.

I used a new method to attach the collar band, it turned-out well. Found it on a cute blog, Four Square Walls. Instead of constructing the collar band first and then attaching it, you attach the underside collar band to the neckline and then construct the band. It makes it easier to end the collar band at exactly the edge of the front band. Always love to learn a new technique, thanks Andrea!



Dancing in the Streets!


Graduation!After 12 years of tuition, room, board, books and extras, my 3 children are all graduated! And, they’re all working! Celebrate!

This is Jana, number 3, and her boyfriend Cory earlier this month. She started a long-term substitute position in a 5th grade classroom a couple of weeks ago. She’s going to be a fantastic teacher!

I’m proud of all of my babies, they are working hard and are wonderful young adults, whom I call my best friends.

Yippy! Time to sew!