I’m only asking as I was not particularly happy with the patterns I used……..until now!! Just like you, I have made my fair share of masks using different patterns and sewing construction methods. Some just were plain uncomfortable or fogged up my glasses and others were fiddly and time consuming to make. So I was not making many masks until now when it became imperative I do so.
But guess what I stumbled across recently when I needed to make more masks in a hurry as I was going away on a short vacation. IN-THE-HOOP masks! Yes! Every last stitch is done in the hoop and not only that, they are neat, look professional and are quickly made (10 minutes total in 2 quick hoopings). I just made over 3 dozen and had quite the assembly line going using the GR hoop of my Janome MC15000 for hooping #1 and my Janome RE18 Essential hoop for hooping #2. While the machine was stitching I was removing stabilizer from the previous hooping, pressing and hooping up for the next hooping. It worked brilliantly…lots got done! Another bonus: it uses up scraps as you only need approx 2 pieces of fabric 8×12 inches for the adult large masks and a bit less for the smaller masks. The scrap stash is slowly getting busted. Elastic? I have almost a life time supply of elastic so I was good there!
And a word about these designs: design #1 has you stitch the 2 halves of the mask – fully lined with elastic sewed in very neatly and securely. These 2 halves are arranged side by side but they are not connected. SO please don’t get bent out of shape if you don’t have the Janome MC15000, MB7 or MC550E with large enough hoops for the adult sized masks. Yes, our dealers will, of course, be very happy to show you these machines with larger hoops! However, IF you own embroidery software or our AcuDesign App, simply chop design #1 in half and stitch out the 2 halves in your smaller hoop. You can use smaller scraps in this instance. You would then have 3 hoopings instead of 2 but you will be able to make these masks just as easily.
Design # 2 has you stitch the 2 halves of the fully lined and elasticated mask (which you have trimmed and flipped out to the right side + pressed) together down the centre front seam. This could probably be done in the SQ14 hoop although I used my RE18 hoop as I did 2 masks in 1 hooping: I just brought the design into the Edit screen of my machine, then copied it, mirror flipped it and moved the 2 designs to each side of the hoop. This saved on time and stabilizer so I was happy. The RE18 hoop is a very similar size to the 5×7 hoop which is pretty standard. I could also have stitched FOUR masks together in one hooping if I had used the GR hoop (MC15000) or the RE36B hoop (MC550E) but I was happy doing it the way I did : 2 GR hoopings = 4 half masks and then joining those together in 1x RE hooping = 2 completed masks. You will be amazed at how quickly and neatly these come together.
The free download information below includes a video which you can watch. I took step by step photos as I made my masks which you can also follow below. Please read or watch this first as I was scratching my head a bit until I opened up the designs at the machine and stitched out both hoopings. Then it made a lot more sense.
Do remember that these are not medical grade masks and should NOT be regarded as full protection against Covid 19. But they will protect others and will stop you from inadvertently touching your face. The BEST is to wash your hands frequently and/or use hand sanitizer after touching anything not within your “bubble”. ( this includes grocery store carts and parcels and mail delivered to your home! ) And PLEASE be responsible and try to protect yourself and others by following health recommendations. We currently notice the numbers creeping up again – which is NOT good. Let’s NOT contribute to a second wave and possible full lock down again. We are in this together!
And here is the link (below) to the designs for the in-the-hoop mask I found so quick and easy to make AND it fits comfortably. Thank you to The Deer’s Embroidery legacy for making this design available to us in 4 sizes: Adult large; Adult S/M; Child large and child small. Download from the link below, do one test stitch out to check for the best size for you. I found Adult large was true to size for hubby and adult SM was great for me. I guess kiddies sizes may need tweaking depending on what age we are talking about. But do a test and you can resize up or down 20% on the edit screen of your machine. HINT: save the files with a name you will know for later. Eg a child’s name or something like that. Otherwise it gets very confusing if you have masses of designs as they all look very similar.
Their designs include an little E monogram. I omitted these 2 colour changes. If you have embroidery software you can delete it or add your own logo or monogram instead.
Note from the Editor: The machine shown in the video on the link to the embroidery designs above is not a Janome but we DO have a multi-needle embroidery machine – the Janome MB7 although you don’t really need anything more than 1 colour throughout for this design (I used white cotton thread) unless you want to embroider a little emblem or logo like they do. I used the Janome Mc15000 as mentioned above but you can make these masks on the Janome MC550E and other Janome embroidery machines provided the designs will fit in the hoops. See my tips above if you don’t have large hoops with your Janome embroidery machine. You actually do not need hoops as large as the one shown in the video – that just uses more stabilizer and is not necessary at all.