How to make a face covering from stuff you have lying around the house
It's really easy to make face coverings out of stuff you have lying around your house. We spoke to Jenny Whisker from The Sewing Kind, who has been involved with Patrick Grant's Big Community Sew, to find out how to get started.
The Big Community Sew was set up to help ensure that every person in every community in Britain has the face covering they need. With around six million sewing machines in homes across the UK, if every one of those machines was used to make just a dozen face coverings that would be enough for every person in the UK.
You can make a face covering out of any spare fabrics you have in the house, whether that's an old pillow case, duvet cover, or a cotton t-shirt. Silk and linen work less well. The best materials are those that are thick enough to allow filtration but are breathable and comfortable. Two layers tends to be more effective than one.
With lots of people making their own face coverings at the minute, elastic is like gold dust! Instead, Jenny suggests you could try using a hair bobble. You could even use shoe laces, bag handles, dress or bra straps, or cut strips from old t shirts or jersey fabrics.
Jenny's top top is to use different colours for different sides of the face covering so you know which is the side that touches your mouth.
There are plenty of how-to videos and patterns that you can download from The Big Community Sew website, including this one from Patrick Grant.
Put the word out in your community that you're making the masks, ask for offers of help or offer help to others. It's a community thing! There's so much support available online too. It's worth having a look on The Big Community Sew website to see who is already making them in your area. Or look in community groups on Facebook. Make some for friends and family. The more you make the less likely it is they'll try to get hold of much needed medical masks.
No sewing machine? No problem!
If you don't have a sewing machine, hand stitching will work well too. Or if you don't have any sewing equipment, this government webpage has some tips for a no sew option. You could also try using a snood, scarf or bandana instead.