There’s so many different styles of face masks available, and so many DIYs and sewing patterns online, that it can be hard to decide what to try. I got the SCK Team together to share what’s been working for us so hopefully you’ll find some helpful tips and resources here. We’re in the UK & USA.
As well as the fogging issue from wearing glasses, I also discovered my ears are apparently very weak or small and won’t hold up elastic loops for long, so I’ve been trying lots of different masks, starting with DIYs. My first using Mary Robinette Kowal’s no-pattern tutorial was super quick and easy but I find the ties are too much effort for regular use. I then made Emily’s Mask with some IKEA bedding and hair elastics. It’s a bit more complicated but fits really well. I’m currently trying out a Spoonflower DIY mask kit (EU & USA) with my own design. The kit comes with everything you need for 2 masks – printed fabric marked with pleat and cutting lines + ties or elastic and instructions. I’ll do a full review on my own blog when it’s finished.
Mostly I’ve been wearing readymade masks and love this sakura patterned one by ALXNDRA (UK – sold out but more designs coming). It doesn’t have a nose wire but the elastic is really long so I can get a good seal using an ear saver clip, or just fitting around my hair if I tie it up in a tight bun. My new favourites are from Boden (UK) where I buy most of my clothes. They’re random sets made from waste fabric in their colourful patterns and include a nose wire – these fit the best of all, even over my ears. My ear savers are by Bonnie Bling (UK), available in return for a donation or to buy with a card for a friend.
I’m quite comfortable with masks now as have been wearing one pretty much every time I go outside for months and I also have to wear surgical masks at work.
The ones I use most are simple pale blue ones from Le Petit Linge Blanc (UK) which I like as they have long elastics which go over my head. I did have to add a nose wire myself but they are comfortable and have lasted very well. I tried covering one with fabric but it wasn’t entirely successful. I tried making my own mask from an old skirt which wasn’t easy when I don’t have a sewing machine or iron! It turned out pretty well and even has a filter pocket. I made Kogumachan one with the same fabric and we even have matching bows!
My latest purchase was one of Marceline’s designs on Society6 (USA). It was so hard to choose a favourite but I went for the party rings as I loved the colours. It’s well made with a filter pocket but I had to sew in my own nose wire. I also had to make an ear saver as it wouldn’t stay on my ears! It was really easy to make using some fabric from Spoonflower (also by Marceline!) and buttons. This mask is definitely my favourite and has inspired me to look for more kawaii masks to wear.
I have several masks from local makers that aren’t very ‘kawaii’ but serve their purpose well enough. Since I wear glasses it’s been a challenge finding options that don’t involve major fogging issues. Overall, I’ve found the two-panel style with elastic to work best for me.
My first online order mask was from the Sweet Beanies Boutique (US) and it is my favorite mask so far! The nose wire is long enough to extend across the entire width of your face, which in my case really helped the mask form better and stay secure. It doesn’t solve the fog issue for me 100%, but I do notice a huge difference between the other masks I own.
I will most likely buy from Sweet Beanies Boutique again, but I do also have my eye on masks from Kawaii Goods, PScreated and CatheyJoCreations (all USA); they all have cute options and great reviews!
My tip: match your makeup with your mask!
Are there any shops, makers or sewing patterns you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments.
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.