Craft Rocks – The Big Community Sew: Make A Face Mask

Craft enthusiast Jo Burgess explores the world of needlecraft in this exclusive column for Mr X Stitch!

Face Mask

We crafty people love nothing more than to whip something creative up in our hoops or on our sewing machines to give to our friends to see their face when they open it. This creative desire to give back has never been highlighted more than during the last few months when the world has faced the fight against Covid 19.

All over the country hoards of sewing enthusiasts have been frantically sewing scrubs for the NHS after news of a lack of clothing and equipment made the news headlines. It’s really amazing what has been sewn up over the last few months. This lovely lady below is my buddy Vikki. She is a whizz at making her own clothes so she jumped at the chance to make scrubs as part of a team of sewing friends from my favourite fun fabric shop Craftyangel who have made lots of scrubs.

face mask
My sewing pal Vikki Blanch has been making lots of scrubs

And now we face a new challenge, literally, on our faces, as people struggle to find face masks during a time when some advice is pointing towards wearing them in places where keeping socially distant is not as easy. Step forward Patrick Grant.

Patrick has launched a website called The Big Community Sew where he and some of his equally talented friends are helping the nation to make their own face masks. He says there are six million sewing machines in the UK and if all of those produced 12 face masks, that would be one for everyone in the country. It’s a great idea. I’ve been making some and had lots of people ask me about patterns and now it’s all on one creative site which you can find here

Patrick Grant with one of the masks he shows how to make on the website

And the website covers a wide range of sewing abilities too. In his own words Patricks mask can be made in less time than it takes to boil an egg. The site even has fellow Sewing Bee judge Esme Young showing you how to make a mask you can hand sew, so you don’t even need a sewing machine to join in.

The site features lots of other people showing you creative mask ideas too, including former Sewing Bee contestant Angeline Murphy (who you may recall featured on Craft Rocks before showing everyone how to make a music festival headband). Angeline guides you through how to make a fun mask for the kids.

Angeline Murphy and Luke rocking one of the kids mask she will show you how to make

I’ve had a go at making some masks myself. I’ve tried a few designs. They don’t take long to make at all so I’m definitely going to join in with this rallying call to use our creative talents to help family and friends at this difficult time.

My masks (yes, that is the same fabric I used on the sofa cushions in a previous column…)

For more information and to see all the patterns please visit The Big Community Sew by clicking here to see all of the mask options available. For a direct link to Patrick’s video click here, for Esme’s hand sewn mask click here, and for Angeline’s family friendly kids mask click here.

Have you been making scrubs or masks? I’d love to see photos if you have.


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Jo Burgess

Originally from Northern Ireland, Jo Burgess is a craft crazy rock music loving gal based in England. With a career including time spent as a motorsport journalist in England, in the film industry in Northern Ireland, and working on ghost tours in Scotland, her background is as mixed up as her love of craft. Jo will try her hand at anything and loves learning a new skill with tea and cake, crafty friends and great music blasting out of her speakers. Cross stitch, electronics, sewing, beadwork, glass fusing - she loves it all, and through this column Jo hopes to pass her love of different crafts, music and (of course) cake on to you. Craft rocks!

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