Arts & Culture

Masks: We ARE Wearing Them In The Future

Interestingly, there have been insights into the uses of masks in stories for centuries, including characters both literally and figuratively disguising themselves. One case of this is that classic 1987 movie involving six-fingered men and damsels in distress. The Princess Bride makes an excellent subject for some good mask analysis.

Looking at the setting for fashion clues, we find that the story takes place in a made-up country called Florin, although there are references to places like Spain and Greenland. As for the time period, Princess Buttercup wears a medieval style gown that looks vaguely like a houppelande, a style worn by both men and women in the late middle ages. However, her style changes several times, as well as the cuts of her gowns and the addition of white and gold tippets on her blue dress. The male attire of the movie, mostly large boots, puffy shirt sleeves, and fancy swords, doesn’t quite align with the time period suggested by the women’s clothes, which would put the setting in the fourteenth century. And considering that there is mention of Australia being a penal colony during the narrative, when Vizzini has a battle of wits with the Dread Pirate Roberts, this story should take place after 1788… but we’re talking about fiction here!

The Dread Pirate Roberts infamously wears a black mask that covers the top half of his face, which intimidates his opponents in the story. When asked why, he replies, “It’s just that masks are terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.”

He had no idea how prophetic his prediction was.

So, to any of you looking for a good start-of-school sewing project to bring your closet up to date with 2020 fashion trends, nothing could be better than making a mask for yourself. Here’s how:

You’ll need some thin elastic, two pieces of cotton fabric with your desired pattern, pins, a little fusible fleece, and some sewing scissors. For a teenage/adult sized mask, you’ll want your pieces of fabric to be nine inches by six inches and your pieces of elastic to be roughly six inches long (this can change depending on your face shape and size). You will also need to cut a rectangle of fusible fleece and iron it on to the wrong side of one of the pieces.

Placing the right sides of the fabric together, sew along the top of the rectangle, labeled number one in the photo, until you are almost at the end of the fabric. Before you continue sewing down the next side, put one end of your first piece of elastic between the two layers of fabric.

Finish sewing the end of side one, and then lift the foot of your sewing machine. (This pattern can be completed with hand sewing as well.) Without cutting the thread, turn your fabric so that side two is in position, and sew down the length of that side. You’ll want to keep the elastic you just secured between the two pieces of fabric while you are sewing, because otherwise, your ear-pieces will be on the inside of the mask, not the outside.

Lifting and turning the foot of your sewing machine in the same way as before, sew down side three, stopping halfway and leaving a space for you to turn the mask inside out as indicated by the dashes. Finishing off the side, do the same thing with the elastic on side four, and cut your threads.

Turning your mask inside out, iron it to make it crisp, and then sew all the way around the mask to shore up the sides. With your pins, fold three pin tucks down the sides of the mask. This will allow your mask to keep its shape on your face and stretch up to cover both your nose and mouth. It should look like this.


Sew over the pin tucks, take out the pins, and you have your own, rather stylish, rather trendy mask.

Have fun showing off your amazing face-wear, and stay safe and healthy!


Picture credits:

The Dread Pirate Roberts:




  1. *literally just clicked on this because saw one of the best movies of all time but actually learned a lot more then expected* BRAVO! *claps* GJ

  2. Hey, this was really cool!!! I have been wanting to know how to make a mask for a while

  3. This is super cool!! Good job!!

  4. Wow, very interesting!!! btw, I totally love that LoTR mask 😄

  5. I clicked for Princess Bride, initially stayed for Princess Bride quotes, then read to learn how to make myself a Princess Bride themed mask. This is great!

  6. woow the masks are so pretty! gotta make one of them soon. Yes, and the lotr mask is so cool 🙂

  7. wow thank you

  8. Thank you all!

  9. Ooh, good job, Bronwyn!! I love how you incorporated “Princess Bride” into this, your visuals are very clear, and I thought your insights on the fashion time period confusion in Princess Bride exceedingly interesting. 🙂 I never noticed that they didn’t exactly agree with each other. 😀 Wonderful work!!!

  10. Nicely done, Bronwyn!