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Sewing a Home-Made Face Mask

Face Mask Pattern Downloads are available below!

With an increasing amount of isolation and social distancing, the novel coronavirus is challenging Americans & people around the world in more ways than one. And after lengthy discussions of whether we should wear homemade masks or not, the decision was made overnight, and the next day we all had to wear masks when going to common places like supermarkets.

Masks in a variety of styles, colors and materials have appeared on the faces and on social media. While it’s great news that many people are doing their part and contributing to slow the spread and protect other people from Coronavirus, the bad news is that there is a lot of wrong information out there that can be frustrating. 

So what are the necessary elements our masks have to have? 

  • Your homemade / handmade masks should be snug around you face, so if it’s little stuffy, probably it’s a right fit.
  • The fit should be sit on your face covering your jawbone, ideally cover under your chin.
  • It should cover your nose completely and have no gaps on the sides.
  • They should be made of 100% Cotton, Canvas, any type of multiple or pre-washed tight weave woven fabrics in 2 or more layers — not knit fabrics.
    Please stay away from loose weave fabrics such as Muslins, Voile, Cheese cloth, or Linen.

The ideal 100% cotton fabrics can be found in your closet or at your drawers.
Old Jeans, Cargo Shorts, Pillow Cases, Table cloth, Cotton cloth napkins.I know it’s really hard to find new materials nowadays, but you might have these already & you can turn them into handsewn face masks.
I personally had a hard time finding Pre-washed 100% cotton fabrics because most of my fabrics are novelty, laces and silks. So I cut a few Pillow Cases, My kid’s old shorts and my husband’s old jeans. I found some elastics from my old Pj’s, some bra that I wasn’t using. Some people use shoe laces, some use bias cut bands and some lucky ones find a way to buy it online!


At first I found a face mask pattern online that many people were using, and after sewing it I realized it’s a better fit for smaller-frame bone structure, and it wasn’t giving me enough coverage below my jawbone.

That led me to touch my mask many times trying to adjust it on my face even with the smallest mouth movement. So I made my own pattern, which needs a small dart at the bottom of my face mask pattern to fit snug below the chin close to your neck.

So I decided to draft my own pattern with some adjustments.
It is wider and from side to side and from nose to below the chin with two little darts on both sides of the lower half of the face for a snug fit without exposing your chin or jawline. 

There are two patterns. The first pattern is slightly (½”) longer on the sides and the lining with the open pocket sides is (½”) shorter. You can watch the video and follow step by step or just print out this and study this tutorial and have it in your dossier, however you prefer. 

Two sides of the lining of the mask have an opening so you can slip your filter right in there to have a better filter effect. Some people use paper towel napkins, so order Activated Carbon patches online, those are a great solution too especially if you think you’ll use it for longer hours, or if you want to be extra cautious. You can do your research on filters and decide what you would like to slip into that pocket. I recommend you to make at least two for each member of your family, friends etc; so after each use you can wash or disinfect your masks and keep ready to go. If you decide to remake these to sell or donate, you are welcome to use it as you like, no bad karma here 🙂

So let’s roll our sleeves to make some masks!

1. 

Find your Straight-grain and Cross-grain of your fabric, and place your pattern using reference.

Arrow lines parallel with your fabric grains. Do not forget to cut each two, in the mirror image. The easiest way to do that is, to fold your fabric and place your pattern on it, so make sure you won’t cut the same side two times. If you do by mistake, that’s ok, you can use the other side for another mask.

Remember to make a small notch at the bottom of your darts and mark the end where the darts ended.

2.

Start with Main Fabric Patterns, place them face to face, and start stitching them at the Center Front, from top down, giving ¼” seam allowance.

Make sure you back stitch at the beginning and the end of your stitches.

3.

Since the front stitch line is curved, it’s better to make small cuts along the stitch line to make it more flexible.
You can put some top stitch at the Center Front seam or, if you aren’t confident to do the top stitch, just skip it. It doesn’t have much of a purpose, only look.

4.

Next, you should close the darts. Fold the dart using your reference notches and double-check your ending point.

5.

After closing your darts, continue with your lining fabric and repeat this process as before.

6.

Next, only on lining we make a small nose adjustment wire pocket. If you decide to use nose adjustment wire, you might want to make a patch for it, so you can stick it in.

You must use Bias Cut 5” X 1 ½” piece to be able to do it. If you don’t know how to prepare and cut Bias bands, watch the video, I have a demo on how to cut Bias bands and these extensions.

7.

Next, fold the sides of the bias extension in ¼” and stitch, closing and cleaning two sides of the extension.

8.

Fold the Extension horizontally in half and press with Iron. After ironing, fold it in two and find the center of the bias extension and make a little notch. That little notch will be placed on the Center Front stitch of your face mask lining. 

9.

Place your extensions, fold side toward down and raw open sides up. Match the center of bias extension nutch with the Center of your face mask lining seam, pin it. After pinning the center first, you can start pinning the sides out toward the sides of the mask. 

10.

After pinning is done, start sewing and attaching the bottom of the extension to your face mask lining. Try to sew very close to the edge.  

11.

After attaching the bottom of the bias extension to your face mask lining, you can make a very small tack stitch at the Center, and on the both end sides of the extension. To avoid the extension folding down when you sandwich three layers before sewing them together.  

12.

Next step is closing the sides of your lining. Fold twice at ¼” press with Iron and stitch close to the edge, If you like you can double stitch on both sides. Your lining is ready to be attached to your main face mask fabric. 

13.

Place the lining and the main fabric face to face and align them on the center front seam, toward the sides.
Pin and start sewing and attaching two layers. Make sure your extension is sandwiched between. Remember ¼” seam allowance.

14.

Next, make small clips along the stitch, be careful not to clip the seam. And repeat the same steps for the bottom side of the mask. 

15.

After attaching the lining to the main fabric, it’s time to turn the right side out. 

16.

Press the right side of your mask.

17.

Next, fold the main fabric sides in, two times to avoid showing any raw edges. When you fold, try to end your fold like a parallel next to your lining opening. Press with iron. 

18.

Next, stitch the sides and try to be close to the edge when sewing for a cleaner look. 

19.

Measure around the back of your head where the elastics will sit when wearing your masks. Mine were somewhere between 10”-11” long for the top elastic and 9” long elastic for the bottom of my mask. 

20.

Fold the end of your elastic and place them on the end corners of your mask. Pin and stitch.

21.

Finish stitching the elastic on the other side as well. You might wanna just pin the other end and try it on your face and see it the length of the elastics are final, before you finish sewing.

22.

After sewing the elastics, you can put your nose adjustment wire into extension pocket

23.

And stitching to close the ends.

24.

Your mask is ready and go ahead and give a try with adding a filter layer.

That’s it!
Thanks for following along.
Please scroll-down to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Click here or below to the download the patterns!

IMPORTANT:

Please make sure the 2-inch square comes out exactly 2-inches!
In my printer, I had to set to print “Actual Size” instead of “Fit to Page”.
Modify your printing settings until you get it right!

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