In case you want to skip the introduction and go straight to the good stuff, here's the pattern:
This is a super easy sewing project for beginner sewists. If you know the basics of sewing, you're good to go with this one. You can make the eye mask out of any scraps of fabric, and all you need is the following materials:
fabric (at least 22 x 4 inches long for the strap, and a bit more for the eye mask portion. About 1/4 of a yard should be fine.)
2 inch elastic (14 inches give or take - depending on how large or small your head is)
As part of up-ing my sewing skillset, I wanted to see if I could design a pattern and tutorial that someone else could reasonably understand and use. An eye mask is fairly straightforward and does not require a lot of time, knowledge, or fabric.
You can download the pattern or you can easily trace an eye mask you already own (this is what I did to create the pattern).
You also don't need to buy any fabric if you've got some laying around or scraps from other projects. I used scraps of lightweight, soft denim I had around from the Whittaker dress for the outside of the mask and the strap. For the inside of the mask, I used the soft, sweatpant fabric I had leftover from the Hudson Pant.
Print the pattern (PDF is in the intro) and and cut-out the pieces. OR trace an eye mask you have and use that as the pattern (make sure you cut two - one for the outside of the mask, and the other for the inside).
If you're tracing your own mask, don't forget to measure and cut-out a piece of fabric 22" by 4" and a 14" strip of 2" elastic for the strap.
Note about the elastic measurement: I have a fairly regular sized head (I think). It's about 22" in circumference (measuring around my head and over the temples just above my ears). Measure yours the same way and modify the length of the elastic as needed. If you have a smaller circumference, you may want to shorten the length of the elastic and if you have a larger circumference, add a bit. I came up with the 14 inches because I measured around my head from temple to temple (around the back of my head) to get a sense of how much elastic I needed for the strap. From temple to temple mine is about 13" so I added an inch on to account for seam allowance.
Here's all of the pieces - both fabric and elastic - you should have cut-out:
Take the strip of fabric and folder it over onto itself the long way. Pin the raw edge. Sew along the raw edge at 1/4 of an inch.
I hope you enjoyed the music :) I now know that if you're playing music from your phone and simultaneously recording a video on your phone, it will also record the sound. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It will look like this once you've sewn along the entirety of the long edge:
Turn the fabric inside out so the stitches are on the inside to make a nice looking tube. Press with an iron if you'd like.
Take the elastic and affix a safety pin to one end. Use that safety pin to run the elastic through the tube. Note: the elastic is shorter than the fabric tube. Make sure you keep track of the end that does not have the safety pin affixed to it so you don't lose it in the fabric tube. Once it seems like the trailing end of the elastic is getting almost flush with the end of the fabric tube, I like to pin it in place so it doesn't get lost in the tube (see the photo on the right below).
Once you've run the safety pinned end through the entirety of the tube, remove the safety pin and pin that end of the elastic to the end of the tube. Once the elastic is run-through and both ends are pinned, it should look like this with the tube all scrunched up like it's the 80's:
Sew the elastic to the tube at each of the ends at 1/4 inch.
Lay the wrong sides of the front and back of the mask together. With the tube laid BETWEEN those two sides, line-up each end of the tube with the ends of the mask, and pin to keep in place.
Match the edges of the front mask and back mask, and pin all around. Make sure the tube continues to be between the two pieces of fabric. This is the hardest bit. Sometimes it gets bulky and annoying, but just do the best you can.
Mark a two-inch gap with pins at the top of the mask. This is where you will pull the tube through and turn the mask inside-out once you've sewn all around the mask except for these two inches.
Sew-up all around the mask - leave the two inches open!
Turn the mask inside out - or really the right side out - by first pulling the tube (the strap) through the two-inch unsewn gap and then the rest of the fabric to the 'right' side.
Run your finger along the inside edge of the seam to ensure that the two mask fabric layers lay flat on one another (see the 4th photo below).
Neatly fold the open 2 inches inward to match the rest of the stitching, press and pin.
Sew around the edges at 1/4 inch.
Et voila! You are done! Enjoy!