Easy Nose Wire Hack

Who knew? Old lady hair pins with coated tips are ideal for adding a removable nose wire to fabric masks for the exact same reason the idea was rejected. They’re too thin to sew in… you can wiggle it out between the threads of your stitching.

Yes, just wiggle it in between the threads of the edge seam ye a couple inches down from the center of the top, slide it on up where you want it, and bend it as desired. What’s cool is those wiggles on the pin landed ye about where I usually bend and the top stitching works like a little casing to hold it in there until you are ready to wiggle it back out without breaking a thread.

I only tried the “thin” pins… there are usually two bundles of pins per package, with one bundle of pins being thinner than the other. You can find them in most any store that sells hair products. A pack of 100 only costs about a dollar.

This will work great on the lightweight reversible “Casual” and “Summer Masks” that I sewed without nose wires, mainly because both styles are shaped so a nose wire really isn’t needed but, some people still want a nose wire.

Oh… my little online mask store is open! Here’s a link if you want to check it out: https://mice4mars.square.site/

It’s a free version “weebly” store from Square… of course, all the features I want require upgrading to the pricey mid-level of their monthly rate plans. I’m sticking with the free for now because mask sales are as temporary as this virus and I do not anticipate art sales to be high enough to justify the cost… opted not on the custom domain thing, too.

The downside is no product pages. If they’re there, I’m not seeing them. Testing shows me a popup with a bad crop of the first photo and NO way to see or even know that more photos exist. So, it was like okay… forget posting variations in one listing, create an individual post for each pattern variation and GIMP those “first” photos that do show up so peeps can see the back or lining color. It does have a Messenger chat thing, so someone could ask questions or arrange for local pickup, whatever. That’s cool.

A major perk is my items are not held hostage for potential fees (sites like eBay forbid selling listed items elsewhere) so if someone wants to buy in person instead of online, all they have to do is let me know and I can pull it off the site (so no one else comes along and buys it). Same goes if they want to buy via email with a PayPal invoice.

That’s another downside, or should I say “incentive” to jump to middle tier on the pricing plans. You have to upgrade to add PayPal as an on-site payment method. Thinking you have to upgrade for integrated shipping (ability to print shipping labels on-site) so I would definitely upgrade if sales warranted… until then, good ol’ USPS website for labels, eh?

Well, that’s my thoughts on the free version of weebly right now… of course, it’s not totally free. Square charges ye the same fees as PayPal for processing payments. If you want, check out my store and share your thoughts.

The denim/batik mask shown in photos is one I made for myself. Here’s the main photo again because I’m going to share this to my Facebook page and it always shows the last photo… yeah, gotta wiggle around all this tech stuff. Thanks for reading!

Fabulous Batiks (and real pipe cleaners)

I have to show & tell, even though they’re gone… maybe I should show the next batch here before posting on Facebook? Anyways, I had the pleasure of sewing masks from batik fabrics that a friend ordered from Amazon in a stack of fat eighths. Here are a few that were photographed before finishing with strap or ear loops.

The last photo shows how I improved my pattern to create a better casing to slide in elastic ear loops or a shoestring strap (not sewn in, so can switch up later, replace the elastic or whatever). All have a non-woven layer inside (featherweight Pellon) and a pipe cleaner nose wire. A real one… not the cheap kind that melt when ironed.

Hey, it has to feel good, too.

Here’s what I use… shown on top of Autumn Leaves fabric (with unbleached muslin lining) cut to make a pleated flat with a hidden pocket for my sister Jai up in Michigan.

If you want to see what Autumn Leaves looks like finished (or other masks available for purchase), here’s a link to the masks4sale page. Thanks for reading!

Buggies

Couldn’t help but smile while sewing a stack of fun buggies… they will be finished to order with the buyer’s choice of ear loops or a shoestring strap.

Yes, I altered the sewing method by not sewing the sides, then added casings after turning and stitching the pleats. Not only is my machine much happier (less layers to try to stitch through), but those casings makes it so ear loops can be replaced, if need be. I love the “new” elastic, too! It looks nicer and feels better, plus ties nicely into square knots that can hidden inside the casing instead of sewn-in, so those knots can be re-tied for a custom fit.

Now that I actually LIKE making pleated masks, I shall sew more… maybe next time, I’ll add pockets. Do people actually use them, or do they just like the idea of having a pocket?

NOTE: fabric was cut into 7 x 9 inch rectangles (or 5 x 7 for child size) and finished ye a half inch wider with the casings. The nose wire is a 6 inch plush cotton pipe cleaner (a real one, not the decorative kind for kiddie crafts) so it will not melt if you iron over it. More photos of the Buggies are on the masks4sale page, if you want to see what each looks like with the pleats opened. Hopefully, they will have you smiling, too!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Gold Swirl Mask

Elegant evening masks in gold swirled cotton wasn’t even on the back burner while sewing dozens of masks in children’s sizes as “going out” is not on my “to do” list. Batiks are my chili pot on simmer. I ordered lining fabric that will, hopefully, match the tropical colors.

Am I the only one who gets excited to see a FedEx or UPS truck pull up?

I’ve ordered so much stuff it’s like getting mystery packages. What will it be today? Elastic? White thread? A llama? Oh, it feels like fabric! I rip the bag open like a kid on Christmas to unwrap a pair of velvety leopard print pants. (Hey, I just discovered Jeggings. My kid gifted me a pair so comfortable that I hit online clearance racks to buy more.) The leopard print is black velvet spots on black, suitable for wintry holidays.

I made the gold swirl masks because a friend who had seen the fabric was tired of waiting… he wanted two “by tomorrow” so okay, I’m out of white thread anyway, may as well switch to black and sew a few while waiting.

The photo here shows the flat, pleated style. I also made the fitted style and they’re both “Strap-able” which is why the elastic for ear loops is not sewn in. You can also re-tie the knot to adjust the length for a custom fit, then hide the knot inside the casing. Personally, I prefer a strap… just one long strap, so it only has to be tied once. There is a photo of the fitted mask with a strap on the new “mask4sale” page (link on top).

Oh, mail’s here… two more packages! YES! Spool of nice elastic and a light bulb. I’m replacing a burnt out incandescent with one of those new LED types bulbs so I’m crossing fingers, hope it fits. Eh, drats… so much for that. It fits okay, same size socket, but it does NOT work in my old sewing machine. Anyone local need a light bulb? This one is a llama. Thanks for reading!

Of Mice and Masks

Preview in the works… I joined the ranks of mask makers, mostly for family and friends here in Youngstown, Ohio. Then requests started rolling in from their family and friends… how much for a mask? Can you drop it off? Will you mail it? Can I see your designs? Got any photos?

Well, no, not yet… just got a bin of bagged up masks.

So, photographing masks is on my “to do” list. Then I’ll I need a place to post them, somewhere to tell people to go look, so it may as well be here. I’m seriously thinking of upgrading this blog to something “ad-free” soon, too.

Should I give fair notice for people who don’t know me?

Straight up, I’m a disabled non-driver, blind in one eye, dim in the other, and sew slow as molasses. What I post as available is what is available (already sewed & bagged). If you are looking for perfection, custom orders, or mass production, I am not the one to ask. I also smoke like a chimney and live with two cats. Thus said, follow along if you want to see my creations.

I only make two styles now, the Strap-Able and Casual Compliance.

Strap-Able Masks are the only masks I like to wear because it doesn’t ride too close to my eyes, the nose wire helps to keep my glasses from steaming up, and I can talk without fabric touching my lips. They’re also made with a non-woven layer inside (no pocket) so you don’t have to stuff it with anything.

The best feature of the Strap-Able Mask is the elastic is NOT sewn in… you can replace the elastic with a strap. And, if you like elastic ear loops, you can adjust the length for a custom fit. How cool is that?

Here’s a photo showing how to wear a Strap-Able Mask with just one strap.

The girl with the gorgeous eyes is my 11 year old granddaughter. In the next photo, she’s wearing a “Casual Compliance” mask (which was gifted to her).

Casual Compliance Masks meet the bare min. requirements for fabric face masks… no nose wire, no pocket, just two layers of fabric but in a shaped design that is more comfy for people who can’t stand fabric touching their lips or eyes.

Experimental Masks are other styles and variations sewn while trying out different patterns and methods of mask making. You’ll see those when I start posting photos.

Well, guess I should get busy… thanks for reading!