Sew a Simple Cloth Face Mask
As Covid-19 spreads we must be protecting ourselves from contact. Many people in the medical profession are near, but not close enough to get the highly coveted, low inventory medical grade face masks.
Helping Our Community Stay Safe
We wanted to help those in our community who need masks but can’t get them right now. This includes staff in nursing homes, the elderly, etc. For them, these masks will help, but of course, we understand nothing replaces an actual medical-grade mask if needed.
We also enacted our made-up “Eva’s Law” – like New York Governor Cuomo’s Matilda’s Law – in honor of my mom – Eva. With that said, we will make a mask for anyone in our community who is over 70 or with a compromised immune system in our fantastic flannel “I Love Grandma” fabric! We will also happily drop off the mask right into their mailbox.
There’s a very generous woman in our town who shared in a Facebook group that she is creating “kits” and donating to anyone who knows how to sew. She is then collecting them back and distributing them to people requesting them in our community (all steps are being done outside on her stoop with minimal contact between humans). JoAnn Fabrics is also creating kits for sewers and then distributing completed masks to local hospitals.
Easy Directions On How To Sew a Simple Cloth Face Mask
I don’t like videos so I’m making an easy easy basic pictorial guide on how to make a mask. If you can make a pillow you can make a mask.
Here we go!
Simple Cloth Face Mask Supplies
2 pieces of fabric: 6″ x 9″
2 pieces of elastic: 6.5″ (1/4″ or smaller)
If you don’t have a sewing machine you can sew by hand as well!
This is a team effort! I highly suggest setting up an assembly line if you have another helper in your house or town. The “kits” are our first step. Then I’m pinning the masks while my 10-year-old daughter sews them.
Easy To Follow Steps
Step 1: Put each piece of elastic diagonally on opposite corners of material piece A (blue)
Step 2: Cover piece A with piece B (Olaf).
*Remember to put material “inside out” so when you flip it (in Step 9) the correct sides are on the outside (like when you make a pillow).
Next,Step 3: Line up pieces A, B, and elastic in the corner and pin them together on a diagonal
Step 4: Repeat on the opposite corner
Step 5: Take elastic from the top corner and make a “U” shape on the other side. (This will be the ear strap)
Step 6: Line up pieces A, B, and elastic in the corner and pin them together (same as Step 3)
Step 7: Repeat on the bottom corner
Now all 4 corners are pinned with elastic.
You Are Ready To Sew!
Step 8: Start on one of the long sides in the middle, double back (I sew 5 stitches, reverse for 5 stitches, and sew another 5 stitches), and then go around the whole rectangle until you get back to the original side. Double back again about 2″ from where you started leaving a gap big enough to flip the piece inside out – or right side out.
You can double back on each corner as you go around to reinforce the elastic in each corner.
Now my daughter’s favorite part!
Step 9: Flip your mask so it’s right side & elastic out! It will now start to look like a mask!
Much like when you make a pillow, there will be a 2″ gap where you didn’t sew on the long side of the rectangle.
She is sewing and flipping all of these and then passing them back to me for the next wave of the assembly line.
Step 10: Vertically pin the gap.
*Update: After making more masks, I’ve changed this a bit to speed things up. Now, I’m pinning the gap as well as pinning the pleats at the same time and then sewing around it all twice. This was hard for my daughter to do so I was taking it over after Step 9. For kids – continue below. For Adults – use this for a bit more efficiency.*
Step 11: Sew all the way around (as close to the edges as you can) to reinforce your stitching and make the mask flat.
You’re Almost Done!
She is sewing all of these and then passing them back to me for the next wave of the assembly line.
This is the last and hardest part but is still super easy.
It’s All About The Pleats
Step 12: Fold the material to make pleats (there is much discussion on having 1, 2, or 3 pleats. It’s up to you. I used 2) and pin each side vertically. Make sure all pleats are facing the same direction.
I eyeballed the pleats each time. I found it easier to lay the mask out flat, make the pleat, poke one pin in standing up on each side (so the pleat was even) and then go back and put each pin in through all the material.
Step 13: Sew all around the mask one more time securing the pleats.
I’ve been lining the foot up with my original stitches (from Step 11) while I go around the rectangle.
YOU ARE NOW DONE!!
Voila! You have a mask!
You have helped the world! 🙂
We hope this helps!
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