Limited Edition Face Masks To Benefit Relief Fund

I wrote about a fun thing a month ago cutting out a set of lips and heat set it to a cream face mask, adding details by hand using marker pen. Despite saying I couldn’t see myself going into production, there are various ways to do this, for example take some fabric to be commercially printed with the image to then continue with making some masks, or brush up on my stencilling skills, make a stencil and use paint. Thinking more about this though, I decided I could make a limited number and sell them to raise funds for one of the pandemic relief efforts, of which there are many around, and I’ve asked a Uruguayan friend to recommend one in particular. While he’s working on that I’m continuing to make them, and when most are finished I’ll put the word out.

One friend said I need to document them. I don’t think she reads my blog, so wouldn’t realise I often document things as I make them, so would be taking a few pics for my visual diary, anyway. The number of these I could seriously consider making I set at 25, the chief determining factor being only having enough high quality cream fabric to make 24 more, but I had in mind my sustaining momentum to do more than that 🙂

I found this wonderful free clipart image of a nervous biting of the lips (upper left corner of first photo) which I felt summed up the atmosphere of this pandemic so well. I cut it out, cut out the teeth area in the centre (all this cutting a finicky dedication, believe me) and used this template (reversed) to trace around onto the backing paper of the Steam-a-Seam adhesive already on one side of the red fabric, so that when it’s turned over for ironing on to the cream background, the image is oriented the right way. These various stages are respresented on the left side of the first photo.

I made my masks of a rectangle of fabric cut about 10″ x 12″, folded to about 6″ x 10″ . The design is placed in the middle of what becomes the front when sewn. The elastic ends are caught in the side pleating as the ends are sewn.

The lips from the first one I made were appliqued using Misty Fuse – a web heat set adhesive. The machine stitching close to the edge prompted a little minor fraying which meant a less distinct edge – so I ran a fine line of Fray Check around the edges, and will wash gently by hand, and will advise everyone else to wash gently by hand, no bleach, and air dry before ironing on a cotton setting. Though for the rest I used Steam-a-Seam 2, which is a more ‘solid’ adhesive and the result was much better, compared with the top pic.

Also, the only red fabric I had sufficient of for the rest is a little darker: but, joy+luck, of the two red threads I have in my meagre thread stash, I just happened to have an exactly matching red for the darker fabric, though it is a quilting/thicker thread – but, hey, there’s a pandemic on.

Shading and teeth were details added by permanaent marker pen, fine point, and a line of dots rather than a solid line, mostly. The dots also helped cover the worst of the frayed edges on the inside edges of the lips. From samples first I found brown looked better than black.

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