How to make a Face Mask : Minimal sew : Easy peasy!
Finally it's obligatory to wear a face mask in enclosed spaces here in the UK - so why not make a few? Remember wearing a mask is like wearing underwear - they need to be washed after each wear :-) This is a super easy, minimal sew 'how to' make a face mask which is 2 layers thick with an opening for a filter; option for nose wire, and the option to make it water resistant too!
Here's what you'll need to make 1 x adult face mask :
- Piece of cotton fabric approx 21cm x 42cm (click here for the fabric I used!)
- Plenty of dressmaking pins (or fabric clips would work too)
- Sharp scissors
- An Iron
- Matching needle and thread OR a sewing machine with matching thread
- 2 x 20cm pieces of elastic
- Optional nose wire : 9cm long soft bendy wire or paperclip or pipe cleaner
- Optional Scotchguard type spray for making water resistant
1. Start by ironing in a 'hem' of about 1.5cm down both long sides. At the ends iron in a 1cm 'hem' twice - i.e. fold in 1cm once and iron, then repeat - total 2cm - at both ends like this :
2. Now fold the whole thing in half with the fold at the top. The fabric should now measure approx 18cm wide x 19cm long :
3. Pin it together at the bottom to hold it in place and make your first 'pleat' about 5cm from the top :
4. Create a pleat like this :
5. Pin each pleat in place as you make it. Now add 2 further pleats into the mask - each about 1.5cm down from the one before. Once this is done the mask will measure around 10cm from top to bottom and about 18cm wide. (You could make it all a bit bigger for a large adult male face, or likewise a bit smaller for a child) :
6. Cut 2 pieces of elastic about 20cm long; insert them top and bottom and pin in place as per this picture :
7. If you've like to insert a nose wire to keep the mask fitted well around the nose, you'll need some soft bendy wire about 9 or 10cm long. I used 0.8mm soft jewellery wire but you could also use a paperclip flattened out, or a pipe cleaner, or a wire strip from an old disposable face mask...
8. Insert this right at the top of the mask from one side. Carefully feed it through...
9. Pin the nose wire in place - make a little pocket around it so it can't move and you can sew it in place later:
10. Now you're ready to sew and your mask should look a bit like this :
11. It's always a good idea to CAREFULLY try it on at this point and check everything is the right size before you sew it all together. Be very careful not to stab yourself in the face or eye with the pins!!! If any adjustments need to be made - nows the time! :-)
12. You can either hand sew or machine sew your mask together. If you are going to hand sew I recommend using a small 'back stitch' to make it nice and strong. If you are sewing it together on a sewing machine I recommend tacking it together first and removing the pins. This will make things a lot easier! :-) :
13. Optional : leave a 10cm (ish) gap at the bottom so you can insert an inner 3rd layer filter - which you can change with each wear. As we double 'hemmed' (ironed!) the bottom 'seams' this will be fine! :-)
14. Top tip : When sewing in the nose wire sometimes it's easier to sew this by hand if you are finding it very fiddly:
And that's all there is to it! The whole thing from beginning to end shouldn't take more than about 15- 20 mins if you're using a sewing machine - maybe a little longer if sewing by hand.
This fabric is part of our Odile cotton fat quarter range - click here :
Check out all our other fabric packs and elastic - plus all the other bits and bobs you'll need for mask making - right HERE! :-)