PHASE I: At first I was using old clothing that was going to be donated, so long as it was cotton. This worked well when it was still chilly out, but for summer the fabrics are too thick. I moved from handstitch to machine (thanks Cecelia!) at about batch 5, but stayed with these fabrics through about batch 8. During this time, I was embroidering a heart that had the catalog number on it, but eventually had to let that go since it was so time-consuming.
PHASE II: I acquired new fabrics from Joann's, new threads, removed the embroidery, but added aglets to the cords, and cord-locks for securing them. For some I've also made an addition piece that guides the cords along the back of the head. I've also switched from using garden wire for the nose part to small aluminum pieces specifically meant for masks.
A note on sizes:
LL - Generally will fit all adults. It is ever so slightly too big for me (Alec)
L - The pattern listed this as good for "women and teens" (fits Alec's smallish head perfectly)
M - The pattern listed this as good for "kids 7-12"
S - The pattern listed this as good for "kids 3-6"
To package everything, I use a lint roller to remove any particles, then spray with a fabric-safe disinfectant / odor remover.
In each package, I place a "Alec's Mask Project" card with a note and some guidelines, a smaller package with three filters (see below for info), a metal nose wire to slide into the mask, and a cord lock if you'd prefer to use that instead of tying a knot, then the folded mask.
After it's all in place, the package is labeled and heat-sealed for deliver. All packages are "food-safe"
Open by tearing along the top to remove the heat-seal, then open like any other zip-lock. They should be sanitary upon opening, but it's always good to wash before (and after) use.
I'm not a medical professional or in a position to give advice, but I'm happy to provide the resources I've found.
In include the card to the left in each mask package, which gives advice on how to wear it effectively; however, please do your own research and augmentation of the mask to fit your face and feel safe.
I also include 3 filters made from hydro-knit shop towels, as referenced in this DIY mask guide published by MIT. I don't personally use these every time I go out, but the added layer does make me more contained if I know I'll have to be around people who are vulnerable or compromised. Use this by trimming if necessary and placing it into the filter pocket built into every mask.
All masks are machine washable, which is recommended.
Read about the differences between fabric sources in the "Process" section above, but here's a graphic list of the fabrics I'm working with. Take a look through the options - if you see things you'd prefer to the ones that are already made, just send me an email (Pianobyme@gmail.com) and I'll give you access to my spreadsheet which allows you to sign up for custom combinations of fabrics, thread color, cord / elastic type, or provide custom fabrics that you'd like to be turned into masks.