I have heard many people say that they have trouble falling asleep. Not me! I just have to close my eyes to sleep – anywhere, anytime (touchwood, so far). But there is a problem. Somehow or the other, my brain refuses to let me close that eye at bedtime. I ‘have to’ read that last few pages on the book, or that last article recommended on Facebook when it gets to be bedtime.
The minutes turn to hours and every day I end up getting less sleep than I should. My husband tells me the dangers of not getting enough sleep almost every day and with all the virus going around now I am a little worried too. So I have decided to heed his advice.
I have been at it for the last few days, successfully and hopefully for the long term. A sleep mask is the perfect thing I can sew now to help me carry on with this resolution – at least I will not see the phone when it is on my eyes. But an eye mask has a lot of other advantages.
An eye cover, while sleeping, is a good idea on many counts – it blocks out light, the soft cloth against the eye is very relaxing and it is also good for the skin around the eyes as it prevents the rough pillow fabric and blankets rubbing against the delicate skin around the eyes.
For those who do not get enough sleep, for any reason whatsoever, a sleep mask can come as a blessing because blocking out the light is said to be a major thing in increasing melatonin levels that lead to better quality sleep. And quality of sleep is very very important – look wise, healthwise, mental peace wise.
You can make your sleeping eye mask in a variety of fabrics. Keep your favourite fabric against your eye and see how it feels. Natural fabrics are preferred against skin, but you can make them in any type of fabric as long as it is soft against your skin. Satin is quite luxurious, so are velvet, velour & plush. Soft cotton is also nice.
It should be made of a fabric that is easy to wash. No dry clean only fabric like silk. You have to wash it regularly to ensure that you do not get irritations from wearing the mask.
And ensure that it fits you nicely – it should always be against your eyes – even with you tumbling all over the bed. But not too tight that it will dig into the skin.
I am making this eye mask with velvet fabric and 3/4 inch wide elastic band and using flannel as the padding layer inside. You can use wadding, fleece, towelling – anything that gives it a fluffy feel.
How to make the eye mask
Cut out 2 fabric pieces (outer and inner) and padding for keeping inside as per the pattern below. Keep the fabric folded and mark as follows.
You also need 3/4 inch wide elastic. Measure the behind of your head from ear to ear and add 1 inch extra. Cut this elastic piece as the strap.
You can add lace or ribbon to the sides to tie behind the head if you do not have elastic.
Keep one of the outer fabric and padding together. Baste stitch in place. Keep this in front of you, rightside up.
Keep the elastic on top. Pin on either side or baste stitch in place.
Now keep the other fabric, rightside down on top of this. Test this on your head.
Stitch around the edge – leave 2 inch unstitched. Ensure when sewing that the elastic is being enclosed inside – not slipping out.
Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching line and then clip in a lot of places along the curves – otherwise it wouldnot look good and lie flat as you turn it outside.
Bring the whole thing rightside out through this hole, including the elastic. Poke with something sharp to bring out everything straight along the edges.
Sew the unstitched area closed by sewing from the top close to the edge. Or sew the hole shut with invisible hand stitches and then Top stitch with sewing machine along the whole edge.