Fabric Face Mask Tutorial (with Pattern & Detailed Steps)


This is a more detailed version of my previous post about making a face mask out of fabric and features pyramid-style pleats instead of knife pleats.

A homemade fabric mask does not replace a commercial mask. It may be better than nothing only when it is treated like a regular surgical mask (wash hands before putting it on, do not touch it while in wear, one-time wear only & wash).

Black box on pattern includes the seam allowance.

Basic materials:
– Fabric (non-stretch, high thread count cotton at least for the inside layer)
– Interfacing (non-woven, water-resistant)
– Elastic (1/8″ width or whatever is comfortable)
– Nose piece (I used セットアップテープ from Japan, a poseable, washable, ironable plastic that can be cut with scissors)
– Thread
– Pins, scissors, fabric marking pen, iron, etc.

I started with fabric cut to 6.5″ × 7.5″ (including seam allowances) and it makes a 5.75″ × 3.75″ finished mask for me. A regular adult-sized mask should be at least 6.875″ wide when finished.

Pre-wash and iron the fabric first.

1. Cut 1 on shell fabric, 1 on lining fabric, 1 on interfacing. Snip at the > < marks on fabric to mark the pleats.

2. Apply interfacing to wrong side of shell fabric, following the manufacturer’s directions.

3. Iron in the pleats at the > — < marks (with the lines/dashes, see diagram) on the shell and lining fabrics.

4. Sew the ends of the elastic with a reinforcement stitch within the seam allowance to the right side of the shell fabric on the inside of the top and bottom black > < snip marks.

5. Sew shell and lining fabrics right sides together (wrong sides facing out), leaving a small opening at the bottom.

6. Clip the corners, taking care not to cut through the reinforcement stitches for the elastic ends. Trim the seam allowance of the lining fabric.

7. Turn fabric right-side out through the opening at the bottom. Iron the edges and pleats back in.

8. Mark where the nose piece will go along the top edge of the mask. Insert the nose piece through the opening, pin in place. Pin pleats.

9. Sew with a zipper foot along the edge of the nose piece and 0.25” away from the edge for the rest of the way to secure nose piece and pleats. Use a reinforcement stitch for the right and left sides of the pleats.

10. Sew the bottom closed with topstitch or ladder stitch. Iron again on low to medium heat after each wash to keep the pleats crisp.

Finished mask.


One response to “Fabric Face Mask Tutorial (with Pattern & Detailed Steps)

  1. Although we never exchanged more than a few words in IRC, I just remembered you and got surprised when I saw a new post here. I really hope you and your family are keeping safe and well, Atashi. 🙂

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