A Harlem fiber artist shares patterns and tips for making your own face mask

Updated: Apr 15


Fiber artist Lisa Vosper uses African fabric for her DIY face masks.

Making your own face mask might seem slightly intimidating, but "strong beginner sewers can handle this," says Lisa Vosper, a fiber artist who lives in Harlem.


Using fabric leftover from various projects including her art quilts, she has started making face masks for herself, friends–even neighbors she spots walking around bare-faced.


She encourages those who are able to do the same.


Yes, you'll need a sewing machine, but it can be an inexpensive kind with a "straight stitch," explains Vosper.


You'll also need a small bit of fabric–hers come from Yara African Fabrics in Harlem–thread, and a pattern.


Because she currently lacks any elastic at home, she has been using a pleated pattern for advanced sewers that involves making your own ties (see below). But she also recommends an easier one that includes elastic.


Both patterns are courtesy of the Deaconess Health System and were suggested by her quilt guild, the NYC Metro Modern Quilters Guild.


The former should take about 2 to 3 hours, the latter about one hour–the perfect stay-at-home project for all you DIYers out there.


Advanced pattern (with ties):

Beginner pattern (with elastic):


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