Hand-Stitched Masks

Make Your Own Masks

Needle work and embroidery, stitching and knitting, tatting and crochet, fabric painting and spray painting are some things that grip me in nostalgia. There was a time when I was crazy about patterns and colours and fabrics. I could spend hours with needles and threads. The atrocious amount of patience I had in such things makes me wonder in disbelieve today.

We used to have a needle work class while at school and at that time I wasn’t very good at it, though every year I secretly wished to be selected for the best needle-work award.

During my college days, I developed a sudden fascination with everything that could be hand-crafted. Not only did I embroider and knit, I would also make things like floor mats, table mats, coasters, woolen shoes, tote bags, and what not. Anything hand-crafted that caught my fancy, I just had to learn. Back then there was no Internet, no YouTube. I would get my way by pleading people who knew the art to teach me.

I even went to Usha Sewing School and got a diploma in tailoring, which turned out to be a useless certificate as I never bothered to cultivate my skill. At that time, I didn’t even realise that my hobby was a skill that I could use to my advantage.

All those hobbies and skills got left behind when I left my hometown, Shillong. Life in a big city was too glamourous to knit and sew!

As a result, today I have forgotten most of it. I forgot the process of knitting a sweater, I forgot how to maneuver a tatting shuttle, I forgot how to hold a crochet hook, I forgot how to blend two colours while painting a fabric, the list is endless. Only in very recent times, I have started missing those days of knitting and stitching.

In the initial days of Covid-19 in India, people had gone berserk buying and hoarding sanitizers and masks. My parents were with me in Bangalore then and were leaving in the second week of March. With great difficulty I managed two N-95 masks for them at a marked-up price. Thereafter lockdown happened and the rest is history. I never had a mask and would wrap a scarf around my nose and mouth when stepping out. Wrapping a scarf each time felt cumbersome and I decided to stitch my own mask. I do not have a sewing machine and so I hand-stitched one. Thereafter I have hand-stitched more than a dozen masks and given them to my friends in Bangalore.

Many people have reached out wanting to know how I made them. So, here is a step-by-step process for hand-stitching your own masks.

Hand Stitched Masks








Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

15 thoughts on “Hand-Stitched Masks”

  1. Thanks for sharing the skills to make a mask. A cloth mask is definitely better than a disposable mask. It is eco-friendly and also in summers, cotton is a better material. It is nice that you have utilized the “unused skills”. I hope things are good at your end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly cloth masks are the best in every sense of the term. Comfortable, hardly any cost, environmental-friendly.
      Been good, Arvind. How are you? haven’t seen any posts from you lately. Hope I didn’t miss.


      1. I am glad we’re on the same page. Doing ok, surviving the situation… 😊
        I haven’t written many. One last month and another one at the start of this month. The last one was about the most popular Ganesha temple in Jaipur. 😊


  2. I am glad that your forgotten skill came to your rescue during the hour of crisis. Hand stitched masks look so nice and colourful too.


  3. I can see so many known faces behind the masks in this post. You have a degree in sewing? Marvelous. In school, I was my sewing teacher’s worst nightmare.
    Thank you so much on this tutorial to sew a mask. Need of the hour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do have but haven’t used it, and after leaving Shillong not at all 😦
      And you absolutely would know someone other than me in this post 🙂
      Thanks for reading and if you try making one, let me know how it goes.


  4. You do have a wide range of skills at your disposal, something very helpful for you and more importantly, others, in these tough times! We’ll surely get through it and embark on our voyages again!

    Liked by 1 person

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