Masks for back to school

As we ramp up for a new school year, a lot of us are adding masks to our lists of must-have school supplies. The online sewing community has been very active in designing and making masks, so I thought I would share resources on DIY masks so you can make your kids’ transition to masks at school as easy as possible.

If you are looking for materials to make your own masks, my local favourites are Fabrications and Darrell Thomas Textiles. Both carry appropriate fabric (usually quilting cotton) and elastic.

The mask pattern I use is designed by Dhurata Davies. I like this one because it comes in multiple sizes (kids through adult), fits extremely well, and has the option for ties instead of elastic. It also has an optional pocket for a filter. I added a channel to the nose bridge of mine to feed some wire (pipecleaner) through.

Blogger Gwen Stella Made wrote up a great review of a few patterns. The model with the nose flap seems to work well for people who wear glasses.

This is a link to a pattern and youtube tutorial on easy pleated surgical-type masks.

If you are looking to buy some masks, Etsy is a great way to support Canadian makers.

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has released a great Q and A about kids wearing masks.

I wanted to finish off with a few of my own notes, from my perspective as a teacher who is going to be teaching, in a mask, to a class full of masked children this fall. Please:

-normalize wearing a mask before school starts

-have a positive attitude about school and masks in front of your children, despite what your opinion may actually be

-teach and practice good mask hygiene . Wearing masks will be completely moot if kids are rubbing germs all over themselves and their peers when trying to put on or take off their masks

-send your kid to school with their own hand sanitizer and something to put dirty masks in. I have a bunch of little cloth bags that go right into the wash with my masks.

-trust that we teachers are wracking our brains on how to make this September look and feel as normal as possible and make the transition for everyone (parents, kids in school, kids choosing to stay home) as easy and as stress-free as possible.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Published by Samantha Schmidt

Samantha Schmidt is a mom, teacher and sewist in Ottawa, Canada

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