Then I worked on the stack I had cut out.
I will say, straight up, that the elastic loop mask is a LOT faster to make than the bound mask. I actually timed my pressing of the bindings and found that it took 6.25 minutes just to press the pair of ties needed for one mask. Now, as I mentioned, if I could find my Clover Bias Tape Maker I could probably cut that in at least half, but that puppy has gone into hiding and I have not yet been able to unearth it (I don't make a lot of bindings...who KNOWS when I last used it). So, six minutes of pressing the ties, plus my probably over-achiever pressing of the pleats in the bound version really added to the overall time it took to make them. I just quickly eyeballed the pleats on the elastic-loop masks. I did have a couple that just did NOT want to fold; ended up applying the tailors clapper to more than one to beat them into submission, lol. It worked...sort of. Then I had trouble getting one of the pre-bound masks to fold evenly; I folded and pressed it and it didn't work so I unfolded and pressed it flat and refolded and pressed...about three times, I think , and could NOT get it to pleat at all evenly....it was kind of a desperation move when I thought about using templates. But that trick made such nice, even pleats that I used that on the rest...and that took a lot longer than eyeballing it would have done. However, I didn't have to press-and-repeat on any masks that didn't work out. It was one-and-done on each of them, even if it did take longer. ( I'm thinking the ones that didn't cooperate...on both versions of the mask...probably had one element that was cut off grain and was fighting the fold). I don't know if the templates would have worked very well on the elastic loop version, though, due to the bulky seams. But I didn't try...just plowed my way through the non-cooperative ones on that set because it didn't occur to me to try the templates.
I finished up the last of the ones I had cut all the fabric for with just barely enough time to run them through the washer and dryer (actually, I was about 10 minutes late getting them to church). And I'm glad I did, because I discovered some things about the finished products that I wouldn't have known otherwise.
The first thing was that all the beautiful pleating just went away. Oh, the ones that I'd used the templates on were still evenly pleated, which was good, and they could be pulled taut so that the pleats kind of re-formed, but basically the pleats just looked like tucks. They would have to have been pressed again to lie flat and, well, I was more than out of time. I still think using the templates was worth doing, though, because they were even. The ones I eyeballed...well, they might have been a little, um, not so even, lol.
But the big thing that surprised me was the difference in the pinchy bits. I'd used twist ties for the pinchy bit in two of them, and pipe cleaners in the rest. The pipe cleaners downright balled up in the laundry...the twist ties stayed flat. And, the pipe cleaners held moisture and that area was still fairly damp when the rest of the mask was dry (and I was hovering over the dryer waiting to pull them out the moment they were dry). But the biggest problem w/ the pipe cleaners is that the wire is sharp. I'd trimmed the ends on several before sewing them down...they were bent ever-so-slightly and I was afraid they'd poke through the fabric. But there were two of them that I pulled out of the dryer in which the wire end of the pipe cleaner had poked all the way through the fabric. I got the wire nippers again and cut it off, but there was no pokey end at all on the twist ties.
So I have been converted to using twist ties going forward.
But, the thing that I was afraid of happening in the wash...the ties getting all tangled...didn't happen. So that was a relief. Course, I had a very small load of 23 masks; if I were washing 8 times that number that might have been a different story.
I meant to take a picture of the masks before I hauled them off to their destination, but, being as I was already late at that point, I forgot. So I will post a picture of my sample mask, made from scraps left from a pair of shorts I made for The Artist the summer before he entered 6th grade. So yeah, like, 20 years ago. There was some real attic funk going on with that fabric, so that's why I had to wash everything, lol. I couldn't make some poor volunteer inhale that 'cooked in a plastic bin in the hot attic for 20 years' smell.
The Princess tells me that our local hospital will be requesting mask donations soon. So I ordered some not-too-awfully expensive fabric to make masks to donate there. Cutting masks from yardage is so much faster than cutting it out of scraps...and I can do it one task per evening, in small batches. There won't be a quick deadline for this one. I will probably stick with the bound and ties style because, again, there's no elastic to be had, and I seem to get along better with it, even if it does take longer. I do want to make clear that neither mask is really superior to the other; they will both do the same job. They each have pros and cons; so if you are looking to make a mask you may prefer something different than I use and that's ok. Everyone does things differently and, y'know, it's like...some folks want to take the simplest route and get on the freeway, even if it may not be the shortest in miles, while others get the heebie jeebies to drive even a mile out of the way and so take the shorter state highway through the little towns. They both get to the same place and they both enjoy their chosen journey so... you do you.
But I may just buy myself another bias tape thingy, since I pulled up the Amazon page to link and all. Which will guarantee that the original one will show up within the week,lol.
EDITED 7/20/20 - I have found that the twist tie wires that I used, while fine at first, tend to break. Going forward, I'm going to double them and see if that helps. And discourage folks from folding them in half...