With the COVID19 pandemic, face masks have now become a regular part of our lives. “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” has now become “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask, No Entry & No Service”. Some people don’t like to wear socks. Some people don’t like to wear shoes. It’s safe to say that all ladies hate wearing a bra! But we do it. Because it’s the right thing to do. And like it or not, so is wearing a mask. I don’t make the rules and I don’t intend to debate them here. I am just accepting that this is life and in order for me to go on living it, a mask is part of my wardrobe.
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But here’s the rub. Literally! Sore ears, right my friends?? I had my hair cut the other day and my stylist explained to me that having to wear a mask all day long has actually caused sores to form behind her ears. Ouch!! How awful!! Yet, the mask is still required for her to do her job. What to do??
So here’s my simple solution my friends: An ear saver.
And the best part is that it’s quite simple!
I will never claim to be good at sewing. Before the pandemic, I can’t remember the last time I actually used a sewing machine to sew on fabric. My skills are meager at best, so please don’t judge! But it was necessary to brush off those skills learned in Home Economics class (dating myself!) and give it a try.
I found a fantastic mask sewing pattern from Craft Passion on Pinterest that covers the nose, fits down under the chin, has a pocket for an additional filter, and a pocket for a nose wire. Plus it had a complete video instruction of the creation process which I found to be extremely helpful. This may not be the quickest sewing project to make, but this mask design will stand the test of time. It even has pattern and instruction choices as well as various sizes. I first tried the pattern that had the ribbon/shoelace option but found it didn’t stay in place on my head. So I went with the option that has elastic that goes around your ears.
I shopped for and purchased my fabric through the Joann Fabrics app and did curbside pick-up. Shipping is also available. I bought the filters, elastic and nose wire from Amazon.
The pattern above does NOT include an ear saver. But you don’t really need a pattern. Just some instruction which I will offer you here. And you don’t even need to make the mask. I have made ear savers for masks that I’ve purchased as well. In either case, you may have to play with the length of the ear saver.
Ear Saver Supplies:
- A finished mask per the Craft Passion instructions and video OR a purchased fabric mask that you already have on hand
- Two 4 ½ x 1 ½ inch OR 5 x 1 ½ inch pieces of fabric matching your mask (lengthen as needed for best fit)
- 3 buttons. Try some fun ones for a little extra flair!
- Sewing needle and thread or sewing kit
Ear Saver Instructions:
- With right sides together, machine sew the two pieces of fabric together all around the edges leaving about 1 inch open.
- Turn it right-side out. Press with an iron if needed.
- Tucking the unfinished 1 inch edges inside, top-stitch all around the edges of the ear saver. This closes up that 1 inch hole and gives it a finished look.
- Hand stitch the first button to the very center of the ear saver.
- Hand stitch the second button roughly 1 ½ – 2 inches to the right of the center button
- Hand stitch the third button roughly 1 ½ – 2 inches to the left of the center button, but this time, be sure to stitch it through the ear loop elastic of the left side of your mask. This will make it all one piece so you won’t lose the ear saver – it’s attached to the mask!
Now when you put on your mask, hook the right side elastic ear loop around the button instead of your ear. Adjust to whichever button is most comfortable for you. Shift the ear saver to right behind your neck or further up on your head based whatever is most comfortable for you.