Olson Mask Sewing Instructions
Before you start:
- Make sure your sewing machine is setup with correct tension.
- Please sanitize any work surfaces before assembly of any mask kits.
- Please wear a mask while assembling kits; you may use the first mask in your kit for this purpose.
- Please let us know if any clarification is needed, if you are having trouble so is someone else. That means our instructions need work.
- Please maintain social distancing of 6 feet or greater at all times.
- Please return all assembled masks to the bag the materials came in. If you wore the first mask for kit assembly, keep it. Don’t return any mask you wore.
- After you have finished sewing all the masks in your kit, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator via either email or text message, who will then arrange for the kits to be picked up by a Delivery Volunteer.
- Please coordinate with the Delivery Volunteer to leave the kits in a safe place for them after you have verified they are outside to pick it up; please keep the completed masks indoors until they arrive to pick it up.
- Please wash your hands before and after handling any boxes or materials; all goods will be provided to you in initially sanitary bags,and want to do our best to keep things as close to sterile as possible in the sewing environments.
- If at ANY point you are feeling ill or sick, please cease work and contact the Volunteer Coordinator ASAP.
- Seam Allowance : 1/4 inch (6.4mm)
- Stitch Length : 10-12 stitches per inch (~2.5mm)
- Thread : all purpose any color
There are three main pieces to the Olson mask. We will refer to them as shown in the picture below:
- Piece 1 makes up the front of the mask.
- Piece 2 makes up the back of the mask and the filter pocket.
- Piece 3 makes up the flaps of the mask and the attachment points for the straps or ear loops.
Stitch outer curve of Front pieces, right sides together.
After sewing the two pieces together, it should look something like this:
Stitch outer curve of the Back pieces.
Wrong side up, fold over ~3/8 to 1/2 inch on the straight edges of the Back. Stitch along the folded edge.
You will end up with something that looks like this:
With Right sides together, pin Front and Back matching the center seams and edges of the mask. Stitch along the top of the mask. Repeat by stitching along the bottom of the mask. You will end up with a piece that looks like this:
Right sides together, match Flap to Front, align edges of the mask. There will be an overlap between Back and Flaps.
Now do the same for the other side:
Your mask will look like this:
If your mask came with knit ear loops. continue with these instructions. Cut two 6 inch pieces of knit ribbon:
Attaching the Ear loops:
There are two different ways of attaching ear loops. Make sure you read both and choose the one you are most comfortable with:
First method of attaching ear loops.
Turn your mask inside out. It should look like this:
Fold the edges of the mask:
Place the ear loops into the folded edges of the mask:
You can pin the ear loops in place without compromising the mask, but you will find that after a few masks, you can close the edges without pinning. Next, stitch the edge closed:
You are done!
Congratulations, you finished a mask! A first mask may take 30 minutes or so, but once you get comfortable with the pattern and these steps, you can cut that time down to 10-15 minutes. Here is a picture of what your mask should look like:
Adding a nose clamp:
Only add a nose clamp if your kit came with them. Some hospitals will add it on site. Nose clamp directions are found here here
Once you are comfortable with the pattern, consider chain stitching the pieces together. This will make sewing mask much faster and save on thread. Check out these awesome directions one of our sewing volunteers put together:
The original Olson pattern PDF is available on our GitHub. AlohaMask Olson pattern is modified to save on fabric, and accommodate strap and ear loop attachment.