Updated: Apr 21, 2020
I never would have imagined that the first post on my first website would cover how to sew a face mask given we are in the midst of a pandemic...wow. Yet, here we are. We sewists have a skill that is in great demand right now. The CDC has recommended that the public wear face masks for the purposes of helping prevent the spread of infection to others in the case that we are infected but asymptomatic. That means: help protect yourself by protecting others! Roll up your sleeves and let's sew!
After a frenzied search for "face mask pattern" I realized that there is no shortage of free patterns out there. I tried both a pleated and a form fitting version. I preferred form-fitting. I tried permanently attached straps/elastic and convertible forms. I preferred convertible because it gives more options. The pattern I liked the best was one on the Craft Passion website. I made a slight change to the construction, and voila! My ideal mask was born.
This tutorial uses the templates found here:
There are 3 face mask versions provided at Craft Passion. This tutorial is for the "Type A: Normal Face Mask" in the women's size. Print out the size(s) you want to make. You only need the "Main Fabric" templates and not the "Liner Fabric" templates. Here we go!
Materials needed for 1 (women's sized) mask:
1. (1) piece of 7" x 14" tight weave cotton fabric for the outer piece.
2. (1) piece of 7" x 14" tight weave cotton fabric for the liner.
3. Matching thread of your choice.
1. Cut out the template on the outer line.
2. Fold your fabric pieces in half wrong sides out. Layer them so that fabric edges are even with each other.
3. Place the template on top of the fabric layers and trace around the edge with a water soluble pencil/pen.
4. Pin the fabric layers together and cut out the traced shape.
5. Keep right sides together of both the outer piece and the liner and pin along the longest curve. Sew a 1/4" seam around the curve.
6. Use pinking shears to cut along the sewn edge. Or clip along the edge with scissors. Both will help ensure a smooth curve.
7. Use an iron to press the seam to one side.
8. Top stitch along the pressed seam on the right side of the fabric (this is optional and is not shown in the photos below but creates a finished look).
9. Place the right sides of each piece together and align edges.
10. Pin at the top and bottom first. Then pin the sides.
11. Sew a 1/4" seam around the outer edge but leave a gap of about 2 inches along the bottom. (my finger is pointing to the gap)
12. Clip the corners of the mask and also clip 2 angled cuts at the center bottom to help prevent puckering of the corner.
13. Turn the face mask right side out through the gap in the stitching.
14. Flesh out the corners using a tool of your choice. (I'm using a knitting needle but this can puncture your fabric if you're not careful!)
15. Press with an iron.
16. Top stitch along the top and bottom edges.
17. Fold the ends towards the liner to create a pocket for the ties/elastic. Because the ends are angled, the width of the fold will not be uniform. The top of the fold will be slightly wider than at the bottom (top: 7/8", bottom: 3/4")
18. Top stitch down the edge of each fold to secure.
19. At this point it is up to you how you want to secure the mask. You can use elastic, bias tape, shoe laces...
20. I have been sewing a 1/2" bias tape to use as ties. Each one is approximately 38" finished length so that about 17" is sticking out from each corner of the mask. And the nice part about this design is that you can always change this later.
Ta da! You have a beautiful and functional face mask you made yourself. Now go forth and multiply (the face masks that is)!
Did you make this face mask? Post a photo on Instagram and tag @banjoflannel
Would you rather just buy one? Visit my shop to see what's available!