With 2020 having been crazy with illness affecting so many in our country and some states mandating face coverings, sewing this summer face covering will allow you to protect others, be protected (to a certain degree), and wear a mask this summer with all your own style. This post includes the pattern so you can make masks for yourself, your family, or to sell in your shop.
Way back in April, I joined some of the ladies here in my community in sewing cloth face masks for the medical personnel in our area. At that time, facial coverings were incredibly scarce, and so we banded together, stitched like mad, and gifted our local medical community with much needed face coverings. It felt really great to put one of my homesteading skills to work for a few weeks in an effort to help those who were helping our community to tirelessly.
While I was working on those, I was also working on making cloth masks for my family and myself. I made 4 for Todd and 2 for everyone else, and they were double layered with flannel on the inside.
Once it began getting warmer, it became evident that we all would be needing a different set of face coverings for summer because the flannel was just too hot to wear.
I went to work figuring out the best way to make these summer face coverings. I watched a few videos, read a few posts, decided which “features” I wanted, and went to work.
Because there really is nothing new under the sun, I took ideas from a couple of sources online (one of which is from SarahMaker.com, and I’m sorry I don’t remember the others), and pieced together and adjusted for our family the product that I will be sharing with you.
The Face Covering Pattern
While the pattern that I am sharing below is based on other patterns that can be found online, this pattern is wholly mine. That said, I don’t mind if people use it to sew masks to sell, or just use it for their family. It’s here for the taking to use as you wish.
What you need:
100% cotton fabric (quilting fabrics are great for this; make sure to get large enough pieces)
1/4 inch elastic
quilting mat or ruler
optional 16″ x 8.5″ piece of cardboard or plastic canvas
thread (I always use white thread because I’m too lazy to change it)
sewing machine (my favorites are Brother sewing machines)
plastic covered bread ties, or 4″ pipe cleaners
How to sew it up:
These are instructions for making one adult mask. Feel free to adjust the length of the longer pieces of elastic for a more snug fit.
- Prewash and iron your fabric (before cutting)
- Cut fabric piece 16″ x 8.5″ (1)
- Cut 3 pieces of elastic, one 4″ long (for the chin–OPTIONAL, but will make the mask fitted if you add this), and two 7″ long (for the ear loops)
Use a 5/8″ seam allowance unless otherwise indicated.
- Fold fabric in half and sew the two ends together, leaving a 3″ gap in the middle of the seam (for the pocket). To avoid losing stitches when turning, make sure to back stitch the seams on either side of the gap.
- Lay your fabric piece flat with the gap in the center of the fabric piece, face up. Flatten the edges. It should look like this:
- Fold raw edges toward the seam/gap and pin down. Use your fingers (or creasing tool) to reinforce the folds.
- Working with only one layer of the fabric, hem the edges.
- This next step is a little tricky. Pin 7″ elastic to the corners of the mask, leaving the elastic on the inside of the fabric. Here’s what it would look like, only the elastic won’t be visible.
- Sew up the sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance, catching the elastic at the each corner. (Sorry, no pictures for this step.)
- Turn your mask right side out, and grab your twist ties (or pipe cleaner) and tuck it into the top of the mask, keeping a hold of it so it doesn’t fall out.
- Sew around the twist ties, trapping them at the top of the mask with your stitches. (You will not need to follow the 5/8″ seam allowance rule here, just sew around the twist ties.)
- Pin your pleats and topstitch the sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- [OPTIONAL STEP] Pin your 4″ piece of elastic to the bottom of the mask, then put it into the sewing machine, lower the presser foot and the needle, and make a few reinforcement stitches at this end of the mask. Remove the pin.
- All done! Now it’s ready to put on, shape around your nose. The twist ties keep your glasses from getting fogged!
What to put in the pocket?
There is a pocket on the inside that we haven’t really talked about. You can leave it empty, or put something in it for an added layer of protection.
According to an article I ran across in my research, a group of fashion designers got together and tested about 20 different “filters” to see how well they filtered particles.
It’s an interesting read, but if you choose to use one of the suggestions, please make sure that you choose something that’s safe to have near your face for long periods of time.