Raarrr! Masks: a DIY

Raarrr-masks-1-doodled

Who goes there? Coronavirus Raarr MONSTERS?!! Let’s get our growls out!

I decided I’m going to share this. It’s hard giving up good ideas (remember Merbaby?). I hate it when I’m shopping and I see something I thought up in a box on the shelves but it is what it is and I am in no position to copyright and patent and trademark anything right now. If you want to do it for me you know how to contact me. Also, it’s not like someone else hasn’t thought of this already. If they haven’t, why not!?? If you have kids who like “teef” as I do, you should get busy with your sewing machine and make one of these! It’s very fun and what else are you doing? Watching Tiger King? Just get your sewing machine out already and do it.

I know I say everything is easy but really, this is. Except for step six. I hate step six. I guess I’m just not that experienced as a seamstress. But whatever. Now’s a great time to polish up my skillz. Woot.

Raarrr-masks-supplies 2

So here is what you’ll need: 

  • a 9×16 inch piece of solid cotton fabric (Prints just don’t do the “teef” justice.) (Smaller if you are making for a child. I’m not going to do the math for you because I suck at math. Just wing it down a third or so, depending on your kid’s face size. What can I say, some kids have BIG faces!)
  • white craft foam (Who knew! Everybody has some stuffed in a craft drawer somewhere. If you don’t, get some already!)
  • the bottom cut off an old t-shirt
  • a sewing machine (Everyone else might as well pass on this whole post.)
  • sharp sewing scissors (You don’t have any? It’s about time you ordered some!! And when you get them put some tape on there that says FABRIC ONLY. It’s time to adult up.)

Okay, let’s, get to it!

Raarrr-masks-step-1

My Aunt Keren was a professional seamstress when I was growing up. She taught me to sew. I used to spend long hours in her sewing room. I got my first Barbie doll (and only Barbie doll until recently.) at age 14 and I used to make clothes for the doll with the scraps leftover from my aunt’s sewing projects. I had a whole drawer in her sewing room that was the Barbie doll’s apartment. Wallpaper on the sides of the drawer, a check box for the bed. It’s hard to believe I was so into that doll at age 14. I guess that’s what happens when your mom won’t let you have Barbies as a young child because she’s worried about body dysmorphic disorder–which I totally got anyway despite her best efforts.

My Aunt Keren taught me how to harmonize. We used to sing hymns together to the sound of her whirring machine and her bird, Jasper, singing in the background and mumbling about what a pretty bird he was… oh memories!  Anyway, one of the many lessons that my aunt taught me was to iron and be tidy when you are sewing. Snip your threads as you go because lose threads later are signs of a mess. So I do that still and I have pride in it. Funny how these lessons stick. Just like I always wash my paintbrushes carefully… teach your kids these lessons, they stick!

Okay, off soapbox.

Step one and two are to sew a 1/4 inch hem on the short ends of your 9×16″ rectangle. This will create the finished edge of your filter pocket. Then fold your rectangle in thirds with the hemmed edges overlapping about an inch. Cut your 1″ inch thick ring of t-shirt fabric and cut it in half.

Raarrr-masks-step-3

Step 3: Take your two lengths of t-shirt string and pin the ends into the corners of your rectangle. These are going to be your straps that you tie the mask on with. Yes, they are way too long but that is good because it leaves plenty of room to customize later. The most important part of this step is to make sure that the straps are out of the way of where your side seams are going to go.

If you are having trouble visualizing where these straps go, just scroll down and take a peek at the finished product. They are kind of like two very long mirrored “Cs” (Coco Chanel style) that are going towards the center with their ends stuck in the corners.

Confused yet? Sorry. I should have just made a movie but my laptop is out of scratch disk space so I got no time for movie editing until I fix that problem. So basically pin everything together and sew a 1/2 inch seam down the short ends of your folded rectangle. AND! Don’t forget to remove your pins before you sew over them and break a needle. Been there, done that a few times. It sucks.

Raarrr-masks-step-4

Step Four: Turn it inside out! Now do those long straps make sense? Then iron everything, like Auntie Keren says.

I should probably mention that I don’t think you should iron craft foam. I think heat can melt it. This does create a sanitation problem (I also don’t recommend washing in hot water or worse putting in the dryer) but we all know this mask is for fashion and not for doing surgery. It will keep you from touching your mouth. It won’t keep you from catching COVID. It just slows the spreading. Capeesh? Okay. Moving on.

Raarrr-masks-step-5

Step Five: Add the TEEF! Maybe this could have been done earlier in step two. Yeah, that would probably be smarter. Hopefully, you read all the instructions before you start and you will do that but if not, Have no fear! It’s still doable at this step. How do I know? Because that’s what I did! :P

Raarrr-masks-step-6

Step 6: Now it’s time for the hard part: sewing pleats. I don’t know why I struggle so hard getting my pleats even but I do. It doesn’t help that the pocket section makes it even thicker in the middle. I think putting aside your perfectionism is the best approach here. Just add three pleats as evenly as you can and sew it. A good tip is to NOT use contrasting thread. It’s gonna be messy if you are a beginner level sewing non-expert like me. Get over it. Maybe someday I will be better at this step.

When you are done with the pleats you are done!

Raarrr-masks-finished

If you make one of these please send me a picture! I would love to see all the coronavirus monsters out there killin’ it!

 

The Golden Hour Dance Party That Wasn’t

 

Bombshell-B-3

I know you are expecting me to be sad that no one came to our last Golden Hour Dance Party.  That used to be something that would cause me a lot of stress. But it didn’t. Can you believe it? I am so much healthier mentally than I used to be. It’s not about me, Little Hoo.

kind of knew that people wouldn’t be able to come and I didn’t even try to push or guilt anyone into coming anyway. It was a Thursday night, it’s getting to be fall/winter and it gets dark earlier… dancing makes people nervous, so many of my friends were down with this or that bug… there were a million and one reasons why people wouldn’t come and I knew it. AND I was actually looking forward to just taking pictures anyway. Of course I would have loved a dance party, I always do, but you know what is really fun? Taking pictures with an amp playing music really loud outside.

Bombshell-B-2

I also bought a cheap blonde Halloween wig. I’ve always wondered what the hype of being blonde was about. I gotta say it was fun. I can see the appeal. Part of me actually thought about doing this for real. It is pretty sexy, even on me!
Bombshell-B

But I can’t actually bleach my hair blonde because I am just NOT up to the maintenance that being that blonde requires. Can you imagine me with a shelf of gray roots constantly growing out? I would look horrible regularly. I do not have the time or money to stay on top of that and it would be necessary. Sigh. It’s just not going to be.

Brendie-Nicks

But it sure was fun for an hour or two!

 

Brendie-Nicks-close-up

Joon did my make-up super goth. I was aiming for a Stevie Nicks look but my skin was not cooperating.

Bug-in-hood-1

Enough about me. How rad is Bug’s new cape we bought her for Halloween? We ordered it from an Etsy shop in Russia and waited impatiently for weeks for it to arrive. I was worried it might not make it in time for Halloween but it did! And it was everything we wanted it to be.

Bug-in-hood-2

I foresee many photoshoots with this wonderful cape. It’s light and made out of a table cloth-like material that is water repellent. I day-dreamed of it being heavy and velvet but this fabric is actually much better for our warm weather here in Southern California and it’s better for swooshing around. It furls and flurries like a flag whipping in the wind.

Bug-in-hood-3

Bug in the hood?

Bug-in-hood-4

You can see Toby’s rocker side coming out in her. She’s almost 14 and reminds me so much of myself, minus the low self-esteem and perpetual shyness.

Bug-in-hood-5

Bug-in-hood-6

The music was blaring, we were being silly. It was pretty fun.

Bug-in-hood-7

On our way out we snuck into the woods to get some more moody shots.

Bug-in-hood-8

Bug-in-hood-9

Super Bug!

Goth-Joon-1

Joon was there too of course.

Goth-Joon-2

She looks super goth and moody but it’s all an act.

Goth-Joon-3

She’s just really good at looking sullen. She’s actually a firecracker nutball.

funny-girls

I snuck a few photos of them making tic toks.

funny-girls-2

You can see they are actually happy goobers in spite of their dark make-up and pouty looks.

a-study-in-aging-1

Speaking of dark make-up and pouty looks. I’m not so cheery looking here either. I took the wig off after dancing a while and getting nice and sweaty. I am reluctant to post these photos. They could seen as vain or really ugly if you are adverse to looking at a women nearing fifty but I kind of like them. This is who I am, wrinkles creeping up here and there. It’s not so bad.

a-study-in-aging-2

I had my time to shine just like the girls when I was young. Being youthful is really fun but you don’t have any of the confidence that you get when you’re older. Or at least I didn’t have it back then. I was a wreck when I had smooth skin and weighed next to nothing.  I wouldn’t trade places with my old self. So bear with me as I post these super big glaring close ups and let it sink in that I am getting older and there is nothing I can do about it except love it.

 

Bombshell-B-3

And rock a blonde wig now and then!