Fabric Face Mask Tutorial (with Pattern & Detailed Steps)

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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).

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Finished mask.

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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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