Sunday, November 29, 2020

Olson Hospital Face Mask

The contoured Olson Hospital Face Mask pattern was designed by and for medical professionals and health care workers, to be used when other surgical and N95 masks are not available. The masks supplied to hospitals are supposed to be left with an unfinished seam at the ear loops so it can be custom fit to each worker receiving the mask.

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Olson Hospital Face Mask

Color coordinated ear loops
Due to Covid-19 and a high risk person in my household, I have been sewing 100% cotton face masks since June 2020. I wasn't happy with the amount of disposable masks thrown in the garbage. On top of that, they were uncomfortable on my ears and my glasses always fogged up. 

I tried 4 different mask patterns: the first was designed and approved by a nurse; I loved the string tie behind the head instead of ear loops but the mask pressed on my nose ... the second, a pleated version similar to the paper disposable types; I liked nothing about this mask! ... the third, a contoured mask in several different sizes; did not have enough coverage, it was fussy to fit and pressed on my nose. I was not happy with the comfort or fit of any of the first three patterns I tried. Then I made the Olson Hospital Face Mask pattern. I just love it... comfortable, snug fit, contoured, a nose wire channel, filter pocket, optional ear loops or behind the head string or elastic.Finally, I started to batch sew!!

I sew the masks on my Grandmothers' 1948 Singer Straight Stitch sewing machine. I feel my Grandma and my Mom with me when I work on that machine. It's a workhorse!!

My 1948 Singer from Grandma

New fabrics
I have sewn seasonal fabric masks for Halloween and now Christmas. The masks I personally wear are coordinated with my outfit and have become a wardrobe accessory! When possible, I try to color coordinate the ear loops with the mask colors.

Halloween Edition 2020

A friend told me where to get an N95 'Filti' fabric for making mask filters. This fabric goes out of stock often and as far as I am aware, is only available at one Textile Shop in Canada. I have just ordered my third batch and it will arrive hopefully this week. It is now recommended that the 'filti' fabric be sanitized in a 150F oven between tinfoil with a bowl of water for 30 minutes. This method prolongs the use of the fabric rather than washing.

With new provincial guidelines now in place ... it is suggested that homemade masks have a high thread count, a cotton face covering with a filter ... the Olson mask with 'Filti' filter is a good, comfortable option for protection. All the Covid-19 protocols still apply ... don't touch your face, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, keep a safe distance and wear a mask with filter in enclosed areas.

Until next time ... Bon App├ętit ... stay healthy, be safe, wear a mask and take good care!

'Designer' Olson Hospital Face Masks and photos by Sally Rae

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