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How To Sew Face Masks - Step By Step

March 30, 2020 2 min read

If you're anything like me, in an uncertain time like this, it's hard just waiting and feeling like you don't know how to help. I've been seeing people sewing masks for health care workers and think it's an amazing idea! After a lot of research, I have tried to find a way to make masks that will offer as much protection as possible. Homemade masks won't be as effective as medical grade masks, but in a time of emergency, many hospitals are very appreciative and accepting donations for these fabric masks. Homemade fabric masks are a great option if a health care worker is in a situation where no more medical grade masks are available due to the huge shortage.
I have been making them all weekend and donated them to my local hospital and plan to continue making as many as possible!

Below is how I am making mine. If you have a particular hospital you'd like to donate yours to, I suggest checking with them to see if they have any special requirements since it varies from hospital to hospital.

What you'll need:
  1. Create your pattern for making multiples easier (Get my printable pattern emailed to you now)
  2. Fold cotton fabric in half (pattern of fabric should be horizontal)
  3. Place 9" side of pattern on fabric fold and cut fabric

4. Cut fusible in the same way
5. Iron fusible onto wrong side of fabric
6. Fold right sides of fabric together, folding on 9" side
7. Sew 9" raw edge leaving 3" gap in the middle for turning (I sewed with a 1/4" seam allowance)
8. Cut 2 pieces of elastic to 7" each (or 4 pieces to use as ties to 15" each)
9. Place elastic inside of mask and pin in corners. Sew shorter sides of mask. Backstitch multiple times over elastic so it is secure. 

10. Flip mask right side out
11. Iron seams flat
12. Pin three .5" pleats into mask (facing the same direction) For tips on the pleats, watch this video.

13. Sew shorter edges of mask to sew pleats in place
14. Edge stitch longer sides of mask (be sure to sew turning hole shut when sewing along that edge)

Extra tips:

  • Download my pattern here!
  • Joann's locations are donating mask making kits to sewers