1) Those who have to wear the mask all day prefer the ties. Easier to take on and off without contamination and much easier on the ears. Those using them for grocery shopping and other short periods prefer the elastic.
2) Those using elastic can shorten the elastic simply by cutting it in two and tying back together. Best place to cut is 1.5 inches from where it attaches to a bottom corner. That way the knot won’t rub on the ear, and there is enough elastic to actually tie a knot. How do you know where the bottom is? Mask should be worn with the pleats facing/pointing down, so that pockets are not created for stuff to fall into.
3) All masks should have different fabric on front and back. User decides which side they prefer to wear facing out. But it needs to be different so it can easily be worn the same way all the time.
4) When making masks do not use pins to hold everything together as you sew. It makes a hole through the mask and reduces its effectiveness.
5) The masks that are not holding up are breaking where the folds get sewn down. Go over that area at least twice.
6) Ribbon used as ties does not hold up in the washing and makes knots that are difficult to untie. The folded cotton fabric sewn in place works best.
7) If you are using thin cording as your elastic, tie a knot in the end that will be on the inside. The cording frequently pulls out if just sewn in.
8) Mask needs to fit tight on the side, both for those grocery shopping and those working in the medical field. If you are only able to two folds (not preferred), then make them deeper so that the sides of the masks are still less than 3 inches when done.
9) Here is an easy way to do your pleats using a seam ripper. Saves time!