I’m not a very experienced seamstress. I am, however, making a lot of N95 covers at the moment and stumbled on a trick that works for me. And thought I’d share it.
One of the challenges for me is getting the pleats on either side sewn down, especially getting them both to be the same width at the end. This is because sewing downslope on the pleats.
Gives a smaller width that sewing the other direction (upslope). This is because the feed dogs on the sewing machine either compress (downslope) or expand (upslope) the pleats.
What I discovered is that if I fold the mask in the middle… I can check that the folds are the same size, and if not, adjust them so they are.
And then sew the second side downstream as well, by putting it into the sewing machine like so…
Ta-da! the pleated edges match!
My other tip, if you are making multiple masks, is to sew them right after the other, which saves thread between masks, and makes everything go quicker.
And my other, other tip is to add blue painter’s tape to your machine to mark off seam allowances, so you can sew them accurately. Here the edge of my blue tape is a 1/2-inch seam. (The line is a one-inch seam, left over from an upholstery project.)
Happy mask-making! And if you have any tips, please share them in the comments.