The world currently feels a little like we’re living in the Stranger Thing’s Upside-Down, except for that we can’t see the Demogorgan. Many of us are spending a lot more time at home these days, and if you are anything like me, this abundance of free time has put me in a crafty mood. Protective supplies such as face masks are becoming harder to find, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to give a craft lesson of how to sew your own face mask. Please be aware that this style of face mask is to be used to protect others from possible germs you may be carrying, rather than protecting you. This is about protecting each other anyway we can. Here’s my DIY Protective Face Mask Tutorial.
- Fabric, 100% woven cotton. The higher the thread count, the better. Your fabric should measure at least 12″ x 9″.
- Lightweight fusible interfacing.
- 1/4″ wide elastic cut into (2) 7″ pieces.
- Our printable mask pattern to use as a guide.
*Please note that your printer scale settings should be set on default for the box to be printed with the correct dimensions of 6″ x 9″.
You will also need to use tools such as a sewing machine, scissors, sewing pins, and an iron.
Step 1: Cut Fabric & Interfacing
Start your project by folding over your fabric and placing your mask pattern on the fabric as shown below.
Cut out your fabric. Use your pattern to cut the same shape out of your interfacing.
Step 2: Iron Interfacing
Lay your interfacing on the wrong side of your fabric (the side that doesn’t have the print). Make sure your interfacing is on the fabric with the dotted texture side down. The dots are the glue that will fuse your interfacing onto your fabric, you don’t want that on your iron! Once it is placed evenly, iron your interfacing onto your fabric as seen below. Be sure to leave your iron on a single area longer than you usually would, as you want to make sure the adhesive melts to the fabric completely.
Step 3: Stitch Top
Next step, fold your fabric on the fold line as shown on the pattern, with right sides together (The printed side should be on the inside) pin your fabric on the 9″ side, you’ll be stitching that side only for now. With a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch your seam using your sewing machine. Leave a 3-4″ gap in the middle of your seam, this will be used to pull the inside of your mask out later. Your seam should look similar to the image below.
Step 4: Placing Elastic Bands
Next, use your sewing pins to pin your elastic in place. On one of the 6 inch sides of your mask, pin each end of your elastic in the corners, and repeat using your other piece of elastic on the other side.
Step 5: Stitch Sides
After your elastic has been pinned, sew the ends closed and reinforce the stitches over the elastic by back-stitching. Your mask should now look something like this.
Step 6: Turn Outside In
Push the fabric through the opening that was left on the 9″ side so that the printed fabric is now on the outside. Press it with your iron.
It’s starting to look like a mask! We’re almost done, I promise.
Step 7: Marking Pleats
This next part gets a little tricky, but it’s actually pretty simple. We’re going to add pleats on the sides of the mask so that it can hug your face. Refer back to your pattern, there are marks on the 6″ sides that show solid lines and dotted lines. Use your pins as marking tools. I like to stick the pin all the way into the fabric for the dotted lines, and for the solid lines I leave my pin more exposed to distinguish between markings.
Repeat your pin markings on the other side. After you’re done marking, you’re going to make your pleats. Starting with the top pleat, fold your fabric at the long pin (solid line) and then allow the top low pin (dashed line) to meet up with the low pin just under the long pin. It will create a pleat as shown in the following image. Remove pins as you go, but be sure to pin your pleats in place. Repeat for the rest of your markings. You will end up with 3 pleats on each side.
Step 8: Finish It Off!
Now finish off your mask by top-stitching round the mask, including stitching your pleats into place as well as closing up the opening used to turn your mask out. My machine is a little old and needs some TLC, so I manually walk my needle through the pleats as the fabric is a bit bulky in those areas and I want to make sure the fabric catches correctly. Your final product will look like the following image.
Now your mask is ready to be used! I hope you find this tutorial to be useful, I’ve been making many masks out of the materials that I happened to have on hand for friends and family so that we can all help each other to “flatten the curve”. Be sure to wash your mask after every wearing to prevent any cross contamination.
Since I was trying to avoid leaving my house for this tutorial, I only used supplies that I already had at home. Alia has put together a creative tutorial on how to decorate your mask to look like your favorite characters so be sure to check it out!
Be well, stay safe, and wash your hands.
Part time Disney princess, but I love the Disney villains. I enjoy things that are spooky such as zombies, skeletons, and bad witches. I enjoy sewing projects and making delicious food and treats. My favorite superhero is Batman, because I am the night.
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