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How to Make the Fitted Mask with Pocket

This mask is made of two layers of fabric with a pocket between to hold an optional filter. Without a filter, this mask offers light protection as an isolation mask, but is not ASTM-rated.

Note: We are not making filters.

Material Info permalink

Use the same fabric for outer and lining if you want, or use different ones to help you remember which side is clean and which is dirty.

You can choose any tightly woven cotton fabric you like. Check the weave by holding the fabric up to the light—you shouldn’t be able to see through it.

Pre-shrink all fabrics by washing before sewing. Don’t use stretchy, sequined, or velvet material.

What you will need permalink

  • 9" × 15" fabric outer layer
  • 9" × 15" fabric lining layer
  • 3" piece of soft wire (e.g., decorative wire, picture wire, pipe cleaners)
  • For straps: 30" of elastic, or 40" for fabric ties.

Please Note:

  • 3 regular or large-size masks can be made from ¼ yard (9") of 45" wide fabric).
  • Elastic is threaded to fit around the head.
  • Seam allowances are ¼" unless otherwise noted.

How to make a mask permalink

Preparing the outer mask & lining permalink

  1. Fold outer fabric and cut two of pattern piece A (Outer Mask). Mark large dots from pattern onto fabric.
  2. Fold lining fabric and cut two of pattern piece B (Lining).

Center seam permalink

  1. Sew center curves of outer layers, right sides together. Sew center curves of lining layers, right sides together.
  2. Clip the curved seam at about ½" intervals but not down to the seam.
  3. Flip around to the right side, open flat. Fold seam allowance over to one side and top stitch down (for both lining and outer layer).

Interior details permalink

  1. Fold straight side edges of lining fabric in (wrong sides together) about ½", and sew fold down with straight stitch.
  2. Lay inner layer over outer layer, right sides touching. Sew the top edge and the bottom edge.
  3. Turn right side out. Top stitch the top and bottom seams, ⅛" from edge. This will assure both layers stay in place during laundering.

Straps permalink

  1. Turn over. On outer layer side edges, fold top, bottom, and side edges in, using the dotted lines on pattern and the transferred dots as guides. Pin. Ironing helps keep this in place. Stitch along all the 3 folds on each side, ⅛" from fold.
  2. Make the sleeves for the elastic: With wrong side up, fold stitched ends of outer layer up to the pencil line (dots). Stitch down.
  3. Feed elastic through the sleeves to create an upper and lower strap. Feed each end of the elastic through the sleeves in a U shape. A safety pin can help feed it through. Tie ends of elastic in a knot and slide knot into the channel on the side of the mask.

Nose wire permalink

  1. Make a channel to hold the nose wire by stitching a line ¼" from the top stitch line, echoing the curve (2" on each side of Center Front Seam).
  2. Slide a 3"ish piece of wire into the slot created (loop the ends first with pliers if they are sharp).
  3. Sew the ends of the channel closed.

Pattern and concept by artist Jen Murphy and medical professional Sabra Stein. Adapted by Gwynedh van Allan and Alyssum Quaglia.


Download PDF Instructions


Frequently Asked Questions permalink

I just printed the pattern and find that the 2" scale measures 1 ⅞" for me. Is that close enough or do I need to enlarge the pieces slightly?
It is also helpful if when you print you click “Actual Size” instead of “scale to fit” But if that doesn’t work you can change the scale percentage in your printer options when you go to print.