With face masks continuing to play an important part in daily life, more and more individuals are choosing to make masks at home for their family, friends and community. For those making masks, one of the biggest questions is what to use to keep them on. This tutorial will help you make comfortable and adjustable fabric mask ties using strips or the shape on our mask dies. And if you haven't gotten yours yet, select mask die styles for Studio or GO! are on clearance now!
With elastic being hard to find or uncomfortable for the wearer, AccuQuilt designed their fabric mask dies to include fabric strips to make ties, giving the maker the flexibility to cut and sew fabric ties. Fabric ties that are sewn into the mask and tied around the head make it easy to adjust the fit, and many find these more comfortable for long-term wear.
Making the Face Mask Ties
To sew fabric ties using the strips on the mask dies, you will need to cut 4 strips. If you are not using one of the mask dies, you can also cut 1” width of fabric strips with a rotary or using the GO! Strip Cutter 1” (55052) and cut them down to the desired length, anywhere from 9” – 15” depending on the style of mask and person who will be wearing it. Unlike elastic ties that are sewn into the mask, fabric ties can easily be shortened by the wearer.
1. Crease fabric strips in half
To prepare the ties, lay them on your ironing board right side down. You will want to fold and press each strip in half lengthwise.
2. Open strip and press edges toward center crease.
Once this is done, you will want to go back and open each strip and fold the long raw edges towards the center seam you just pressed. You may want to use a small iron and stylus to protect your fingers from burns. Carefully fold and press each long raw edge to the center.
3. Fold in half again.
Now fold the strip back in half as you did for the first pressing step and press again. This will enclose the long raw edge.
If you have a ½” bias tape maker, you can use this to speed up your process. You will feed the end into the tape maker. As you pull your fabric strip out the opposite side, it will have both of the long, raw edges folded in towards the center. You will need to press the strip as you pull it through, following the manufacturer’s directions, then fold and press the strip in half lengthwise and continue following the directions below. I'm using one made by Clover.
If you do not have to have a bias tape maker, I suggest finger pressing the folds before pressing and be sure to mind your fingers as you work. The fabric will be hot after being pressed.
5. Open expose end, refold and press.
To finish the exposed end of each strip, open up that end and fold in ¼” – ½”. Refold and press.
You are now ready to sew each strip across the finished end and down the double folded edge. Because this will be a narrow strip to sew, you may want to use a “leader” piece to help you get started. If you are able to adjust the position of your sewing machine needle to one side for this step, you will be able to utilize one of the feed dogs for easier sewing.
Once your strips are sewn, you are ready to sew the raw edge end into the mask, following your mask directions. If your end-wearer needs to shorten the ties, they can cut them off and tie a knot in the end as needed.
Your fabric tie mask is now ready to wear.
Fabric Mask Video Tutorials
For more information on sewing fabric masks, check out these videos with Pam showing you how to sew the 3 different styles.