Here’s a simple project for those of you who need your larp characters to wear masks but want to be able to hide your faces without being too obvious about putting on impractical masks. This is also a great idea for keeping your breath warm during cold weather larping. You can use left over fabric for this project since it doesn’t use more than about 60×20 cm of fabric.
I came up with the pattern after having made a tabard and while cleaning away the remaining scrap pieces of fabric this one piece just struck me to have the right shape for this kind of mask. So after a bit of experimenting this is the tutorial I am presenting you with. You can click the images to enlarge them.
So let’s get started. Here is what you will need:
Measuring tape, scissors, tailor’s chalk, about 15-20 cm of sturdy fabric (I’m using wool), snap fasteners or string, needle and thread, a sewing machine (or you could sew everything by hand). If you are using a flimsier fabric you might use a sturdier interfacing. You might also opt to line the mask with a thin fabric (wool can be a bit itchy against you skin).
Measure around from the tip of your nose to you neck and back while keeping your head straight. Add 4 cm to that measurement (overlap in back and seam allowance). I got 48+4=52 cm. Then measure from the between your eyes to just under you chin. Here you don’t have to add seam allowance, but if you choose to do so, add 1,5 cm. I got 11 cm and added seam allowance, so 12,5 cm.
Now let’s move on to drawing the pattern:
We are going to draw the pattern directly onto the fabric. If you want to try it with a paper pattern first then go ahead and do so to assure perfect fit.
1. Start by folding your fabric in half.
2. If you have uneven bottom edges or selvage, mark a straight line on the fabric that is half of the first measurement you took (for me 52cm/2= 26 cm). That is the bottom most line in the above picture.
3. Along the folded edge, which will be our CF (center front), mark the second measurement (the height of the mask, for me 12,5 cm).
4. At the end of the bottom line, draw a vertical line, about 3 cm long.
5. Connect the marking from step 3 with the top of the line from step 4.
6. To make the mask fit nicely over the lower part of your face, draw a line to make a V-shape at the folded edge (see the picture). Start about 1/3 (here 4,2 cm) from the bottom line and draw at about a 30 degree angle, slightly curving the line.
7. Pin everything together and cut out the piece. This is what it should look like when you fold it open:
Now we start sewing. I used a wool fabric which is slightly darker on the wrong side, so you can more easily see what I’m doing.
8. Remember that V-shape we cut out at the CF? Fold the fabric, right sides together. Put some pins in the cut edge of the V and sew the cut edges together with about 0,5 cm seam allowance. Open and lightly press the seam open. Then topstitch the seams flat to make them stay in place. It should look like this from the wrong side and right side:
That seam line is the bottom part of the mask, and the third of CF which you did not sew is the top part which sits over your nose.
Now we move on to turning the edges.
9. Start by clipping the corners if you are using a very thick fabric like I am. This will make turning the seams at the corners easier and the result will be smoother.
10. Pin the edges to the wrong side and take spacial care at the corners. Use about 3/4 cm seam allowance or slightly smaller and top stitch all the way around.
Now that’s done all you have to do is sew on the snap fasteners (or which ever other method you choose to use for fastening).
11. One of the snap fasteners will go on the right side of the mask, and the other one will go on the wrong side. Hand sew in place.
Now your mask is done. Hope you enjoy it and find good use for it. Please leave me a comment.
I will probably try to make a similar mask out of leather at some point. When I do I will make a separate post.