How To Make A Face Mask

You Will Need.....

Tools

  • Sewing Machine  You could sew it by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine.
  • Fabric Scissors/Shears sharp enough to easily cut fabric. 
  • Paper Scissors/Shears If you don’t have a separate pair for paper it doesn’t matter too much but be aware that using fabric shears to cut paper will make them blunt and not so easy to cut fabric with.
  • Dressmaking Pins.
  • Small Scissors For cutting threads 
  • A Quick Unpick Not 100% necessary but very good if you make a mistake and need to unpick. It should really be a staple of everyone’s sewing toolkit. 
  • A Glue Stick For joining together the pattern sheets. Much better than a liquid glue, it’s less messy, dries quicker and allows the pieces to be repositioned easily.
  • A Tape Measure Essential to check that the pattern has printed the correct size/scale and to measure the strap and wire lengths.

Materials

  • Pattern A free downloadable digital pattern Is available at the bottom of this page.
  • Fabric. An old, good quality, cotton jersey T shirt is excellent. A great way of finding the fabric you need and recycling old clothes. It should be basic cotton T shirt jersey, not ribbed and not too stretchy. Alternatively you can use a woven cotton fabric with a high thread countThis will help to provide a better barrier
  • Sewing thread. Polyester is best as it has a slight bounce and will help give the bias edges at the top and bottom a bit of stretch.
  • Elastic (approx 1m) for the ear loops and ties. I’ve used T shirt jersey cut into 2.5cm {1″) strips  (also known as T shirt yarn) for this. It’s cheaper and easier to get hold of, as well as being robust, washable and very easy to sew. See my video below on how to make it.
  • Plastic coated bendable wire. You can bend this to keep the mask in place over the bridge of the nose.  You’ll find It in most hardware shops with a gardening section.
  • Filter/Filter Fabric. Can be anything from filters bought online to non-woven filter fabric. You can use a hoover bag or coffee filter bag, even kitchen paper.  

Making Instructions

Step 1

Using the glue stick, piece together your pattern and cut out the pattern pieces.

Step 2

Pin the pattern to the fabric, matching the grain line to the vertical weave of the fabric and carefully cut around the pattern. VERY IMPORTANT – make sure you snip the notches.

Step 3

With right sides facing inwards place the two outer layers together and sew a 1cm seam along the longest edge (the edge marked ‘B’ on the pattern). This is the centre front seam.

Step 4

With right sides facing inwards place the two inner layers together and sew a 1cm seam along the longest edge (the edge marked ‘A’ on the pattern) from the outside edge to the first notch on each side. This makes a small gap in the inner centre front seam into which you can place a filter.

Step 5

Press open the inner centre seam and topstitch 1cm around the opening to hold back the seam allowance. This is optional. Instead you can overlock or zigzag stitch the edge to stop it fraying or just leave it as a raw edge.

Step 6

Using elastic, T shirt yarn or sewn straps, cut 2 ear loops approximately 12cm long each. Fold them double and attach the ends, one to each side of the side seam approximately 0.5cm in from the top seam and the lower edge seams.

Make sure the loop faces inwards.

Step 7

With the loops concealed inside and the right sides facing inwards, pin the inner and outer layer together and sew with a 0.7cm seam (the width of your sewing machine foot). Sew all the way round back to the beginning

Step 8

Turn the mask through so that the right side is on the outside and the seams are hidden on the inside. This can be done through the inner centre seam opening.

Step 9

 Cut two straps approx 35cm each. Wrap the one end of each strap around each loop and Either stitch or tie

Step 10

Cut the plastic-covered wire to approximately 10 cm. Make sure you pull back the covering and snip the wire inside to shorten as it may poke out of the end and be very sharp and dangerous near the eyes.

Step 11

Insert the wire into the inside of the mask. Line it up with the centre of the top seam and pin in place. Topstitch around the wire to secure – you will need to change to a zipfoot to be able to stitch close to the wire.

Step 12

A filter can be placed inside the mask via the inside centre seam gap to cover the mouth/nose area.