When you travel from a latitude of 38.0 to one of 55.8, there will be several noticeable changes. Obviously, there’s a cultural change included when your destination is on the other side of the world. But there’s also an added 3 hours of sunlight. Which is precisely why a sleep mask was included on our girl’s official packing list.
And when you have a closet full of fabrics, a box of all kinds of elastic and the perfect Amy Butler pattern, then you just can’t bring yourself to go with the sleep mask from the local super center. No, that will never do when you’re sending your baby off on her first international adventure. Instead, you’ll choose to make your own and write “a sleep mask tutorial”.
And that’s just what we did last week. She picked out two fabrics from the closet stash while I pulled out my In Stitches book by Amy Butler and before you know it, we had one more item checked off the packing list.
The original pattern calls for quilted fabric and a ribbon tie, but we replaced that with some minky fabric and a minky covered elastic band for a super cozy eye mask.
SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR THE EYE MASK
To make your own eye mask you’ll need ..
- two 6″ x 12″ coordinating fabrics
- 3″ x 19″ piece of soft fabric for elastic band
- 16” of soft elastic, ¾”- 1” wide
- thread to match
- sewing machine, scissors and straight pins and safety pin
Use a ½” seam allowance for all seams.
Cut eye mask out of each of your coordinating fabrics using the pattern from the In Stitches book, or another eye mask pattern of your choice. Click on this link for a free pattern from Instructables, and another one here from Craftsy.
For the elastic band, fold the long 3″ x 19″ strip lengthwise (hot dog fold) with the right sides together and pin. Stitch along the long edge and trim to ¼”.
Turn the tube by pinning a safety pin in the seam allowance at one end. You can then push the safety pin through a few inches at a time, pulling the turned fabric through as you go.
Reattach the safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the fabric. When the end of your elastic is even with the end of the fabric tube secure it in place with a straight pin and stitch through all the layers about 3/8” from the end.
Pin the stitched elastic tube to the side of the eye mask between the markings for the ribbon, just above the center line, from top to bottom, of the mask
Stitching the mask to the lining and band
Pin the front and back of the eye mask together, right sides together, keeping the elastic band free and extending through the top center of the mask.
Stitch around the edges of the mask leaving 1 ½” open on the side for the elastic band and 2” open at the top to turn the mask. Trim stitched edges to ¼”.
Turn the eye mask right side out and pin the top opening closed along the stitching line.
Pin the free end of the elastic band until it is at a comfortable length to use when sleeping. Trim as needed and insert the elastic band into the 1 ½” opening on the side of the mask and pin securely.
Top stitch around the entire edges of the eye mask at 1/8″ to 1/4” from the edge.
And that’s it! Now you have a soft eye mask for those long summer nights when the sun doesn’t exactly coordinate with your sleep schedule. There also quite handy when you’re traveling in a car during the day and it’s your turn to nap.
While you’re at it, you might want to go ahead and stitch up a few of these, just in case you too are inclined to leave them behind at a hotel in the midst of your travels. Not that we’ve ever done such a thing!
You can also add an extra pocket for headache days when the cool pressure of a rice bag can be slipped right inside and bring an extra dose of relief.
Some of my favorite fabrics for eye masks include some soft minky, cool tightly woven cotton blends and patterned slinky fabrics. What type of fabrics would you choose for an eye mask?