Adjustable Face Mask Earloops Tutorial – No Beads

For those of you who are STILL MAKING FACE MASKS, I am going to show you how to make adjustable face mask earloops that are comfortable and don’t require any beads or other hardware. This simple slip knot technique is easy to do and makes adjusting your mask a snap. You can sew these earloops into any of your favorite mask designs.

The secret for comfort is the stretchy fabric strips. You can make your own using upcycled t-shirts, tights, leggings (watch the tutorial HERE) and read this post for some great face mask tie ideas and tips. Or you can simply buy the fabric already cut, stretched, and rolled onto a bolt.

I love this product from FARMYARN. It’s 100% recycled selvage edges from stretchy lycra fabric, and it’s very reasonably priced.

So if you’re making a lot of masks, this is the route I recommend! This stuff can also be used for so many other things and it’s much more comfortable than scratchy elastic! You can purchase it from several places. Here are a few. AmazonEtsy, and ebay.

Do you have a bunch of tie face masks that you want to convert over to earloops? I have that covered. This post and video tutorial will show you just how to do that. 



I have a Youtube video that you can watch and it really helps if you’re a visual person (like me). You can access the video at the end of the post.


1-Take the small strip and make a small loop at the bottom of the strip.

2-Wrap the long end around the loop and poke through the loop.

3-Pull it through while you’re holding onto the two ends to tighten. (Don’t tighten all the way at this point).

4-Take the long strip and make a knot at one end. (This will keep the strip from pulling through the loop when washing your mask). Thread the other end through the loop you just made and cinch it up by pulling the strip that slides to tighten. (You want it to be able to slide, but also be able to hold in place).

5-Hold the two slip knot ends and cut to even length. 

6-Do the same thing to make a set.


1-Insert the end of the strip without the knot, into the top side of the mask. (Just below the top seam allowance) Allow the strip to overhang the mask by about 1/2 inch. 

2-Place the two slip knot strips at the bottom side of the mask, just above the seam allowance, and sticking out 1/2 past the edge of the fabric. TIP: Take a strip of masking tape and tape the knotted end the sliding stip to the inside and out of the way, so it won’t get sewn into the seam.

3-Do the same thing for the other earloop set.

4-Proceed with your face mask directions sewing the earloops into the side seams of the mask. Make sure to leave an opening for turning the mask inside out. 

5- Turn inside out, remove the tape, clip seams, and proceed with your face mask instructions.

Play Video Play Video

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.


Happy face mask making!




How to Sew Hexies On-the-Go | English Paper Piecing Tutorial

I have to share with you my new crafting project LOVE, hexies. Yes, I’ve made them before and have even hand pieced a hand quilted hexie flower garden quilt. (That was years ago).

For some reason, the smaller one-inch version has caught my eye I love making them.

We recently went on a road trip and I NEEDED some handwork to do while riding in the car. I figured while I was in the car I would show you how to sew hexies on-the-go. 

One thing I get excited about going on vacation is not only time away, but some time to work on projects like these

Unless I need something to do while watching a movie, or I know I’ll be waiting somewhere for long periods, projects like these get put on the back burner. But WHY?

Little sewing projects like these bring me joy, help me chill and relax, and are very rewarding. 

I guess I’ll have to go on more trips!

So I made sure I had some projects to take with me. (I had three small bins of things to DO: a little sewing, a little crochet, some beading, and my travel watercolor kit).

I never get to them all, but at least I have them with me. Is anyone this crazy?


Fabric hexagons (which are affectionately referred to as hexies) are made using a process called English paper piecing.

Each hexagon is made individually by wrapping the fabric around a paper shape, then securing it in place using either stitch basting or glue basting. (The paper will eventually be pulled out).

These hexagon shapes can be used alone or stitched together to form other fun shapes or patterns like flowers.

There really are so many fun ways to put them together.

You can applique them on pillows, quilts, or make a wall hanging. Of course, Pinterest has a few ideas.


I made a little HEXIE TRAVEL KIT. Let me show you what‘s in it. 

Hexagons are measured by the length of their sides.

The hexies I show in this tutorial were made using a 1-inch template and is a good size to start with.


  • Pre-cut fabric scraps (cut to 2 ½ inch – 63 mm squares). Use a variety of colors and prints. 
  • Pre-cut hexagon papers you can buy them already made in bulk, or you can make them yourselves. I like to make them using lightweight cardstock. Cutting them by hand can be a little time-consuming, so I made a template on my Silhouette and let the machine cut them out for me. It’s very important that they are cut out accurately and that they are uniform. I have the SVG file available HERE.
  • You can also cut them out manually. I have a great PDF file that was designed so you can easily cut out a bunch at a time using a rotary cutter/ruler, paper cutter, or scissors. You can get the file here. 
  • I like to get a little tin or zip lock bag to put the papers in for easy access.
  • Needle and Thread Some people use a glue stick, but I prefer the simple needle and thread method. Use a milliner type needle size 9-11. (However, any embroidery needle will work just fine). Throw in a spool of white or neutral color thread for basting.
  • Scissors I take my fabric scissors because I like to trim the fabric before sewing. A smaller pair of embroidery scissors are nice if you have a pair.
  • Upcycled Altoid tins to keep single already made hexies, and spare needles.
  • Acrylic template (optional)


Double thread a needle and knot the end. (Don’t get your thread too long, or it will get tangled, about 16 inches after doubled.

Place your hexagon paper on the wrong side of your fabric and centered on the square. Hold the paper in place while you trim the corners to make a 3/8 seam allowance. 

Fold the fabric firmly over the paper on one side and then fold the adjacent side over to form a mitered corner. Take two small stitches over the mitered corner to tack in place. Stitch about ¼ inch from the edge.

Fold the next side over and hold in place while you tack that corner in place.

Repeat until all sides are folded over and sewn in place. Knot and cut the thread.

Store your made hexies in the tin until you are ready to sew them together.

If you are home, it’s nice to press the hexies before sewing them together. However, if you are on-the-road, you can still sew them together and press later.


Decide how you want to sew them together. You can make hexie flowers for a Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt, (as shown above) or just start randomly sewing them together if you don’t want a specific pattern.

I’ve done it both ways.

Double thread the needle and knot the end.

Place two hexies right sides together (RST). Using a WHIP STITCH, sew along one side from point to point. Sew small stitches that are about 1/8 inch apart. Catch the top folded edge of fabric only. DO NOT SEW THROUGH PAPER. Small, closely spaced stitches that are sewn straight across the fabric top are best.

When one edge is sewn, secure your stitching with a couple of stitches repeated in the same place, at the end of your hexagon side.

This keeps the stitches tight and the seams (for each side of the hexagon) neatly intact.

Next, fold the hexagons out flat and decide which hexie you want to add next.

When sewing more than one side together, you’ll have to flip the hexie as you sew.

Sew the first side right up to the corner end. Align the next side by folding the other hexie next to it in half (without creasing).

This allows you to line up the edges more easily. Sew that side and repeat the flip. 

While on the road, you can just make up a bunch of single hexies, or if you’re like me, you won’t be able to wait and you’ll want to arrange a flower and sew one together right away. 

Play Video

Seriously, once you make a few hexies you’re going to be hooked! 

I hope this inspires you to make a little travel kit and get sewing, EVEN ON-THE-GO!

Have fun sewing!




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Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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DIY Bow Tie | Streamlined Sewing Method

Would you like to make a unique, classy bow tie for your man, or yourself? I have a DIY streamlined sewing method that you’re going to love. It’s a very simple sewing project that even a beginner seamstress can handle.

Why would you want to wear a bow tie?

It used to be that wearing a bow tie was a thing for the science guys and nerds, but not anymore! These days, wearing a bow tie represents pure creativity and a confident willingness to be different. I love that!! To me, it shows someone with a little spunk, style, and a bit of a playful side.


When my boys were in their teens, (now 25 and 30 years old), they started wearing bow ties to church. They were the only boys wearing them, and I loved it. My youngest son actually designed this particular bow tie.

This hand-sketched pattern has been stuck to the bulletin board in my sewing room for about 10 years. I thought it was time to share it and make it accessible for others to use. There are several types of bow ties: pre-tied, clip, and freestyle tie. This particular pattern is for a FREESTYLE tie. Don’t worry, I will include some instructions below.

It really is a simple fun project to make. I am going to show you a non-traditional method of sewing it together that really does make it so much easier.

Here is what you’ll need


Pattern will need to be downloaded, printed, cut out and pieced together. If using the method I’m going to be showing you, cut the dark inner lines on the pattern. (You will be tracing around the edges of the pattern, so get a clean smooth cut)


Cut strips of interfacing 2 ½ wide the length of the fabric, usually 45 inches. (If you don’t have interfacing that long, just cut several strips.

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and with right sides together.

Place the interfacing, bumpy side down onto the fabric. Center the strip down the whole width of the fabric.

Set the iron settings for STEAM, and for whatever type of fabric you are using.

Press the interfacing onto the fabric. Flip over and press again.


Now you are ready to trace the pattern onto the interfacing side of fabric.

There are several different things you can use to trace. I like using a chalk pencil because it doesn’t show through on the other side of fabric. You can also use a water soluble ink pen that is specific for sewing and fabric use. The purple ink (which is what I like to use) will disappear after a short time. The blue ink needs water applied to disappear. Not my favorite.

Leave a little bit of room on the end of the pattern for the seam allowance.

Trace one side of the tie and then flip pattern, line up the center ends and trace the other side.

THIS WILL BE YOUR STITCHING LINE. You will NOT be leaving a seam allowance. You will cut that after you sew!

Mark the NO SEW ZONE.

Pin the two fabric layers together.


Set sewing machine settings to regular straight stitch, about 2 ½ length. Thread machine with corresponding color of thread.

You will be sewing right on the stitching line you just traced.

Starting at the edge of the NO SEW ZONE, backstitch and then sew all the way around.

Take your time sewing around the corners. SEW SLOWLY!

Stop at the other end of NO SEW ZONE and backstitch.

Using the fabric scissors, cut out the tie leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance.

Clip notches on the corners and curve indents, making sure not to cut into the seam! (This will help with bulk and allow the tie to lie nice and flat when pressing).

Using the turning stick, turn the tie inside out. (Watch the video for tip).

Push the corners out and press. (Watch the video for pressing tips).

To close opening you left, simply fold the seam allowance (1/4 inch) under and press.

Take it to the sewing machine and topstitch closed. If you want a more finished look, you can close the opening using a slip stitch.



Now the trick is knowing how to tie the bow tie.

If you are clueless, like I was, here is a great diagram showing the steps. There are also a ton of videos showing you how to do it.

Now you have a one-of-kind, authentic bow tie. These make great FATHER’S DAY GIFTS!

Have fun sewing my friends. Be sure and reach out if you have any questions.

By Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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