During our time at home, my daughter, Olivia, and I wanted to do something to support our community. Olivia found a pattern on Circut Design Space, and she made a ton of masks using her Cricut Maker and that pattern. To aid in teaching how to sew a mask I made a video while Olivia was sewing one (you can see it HERE.)
I wanted to make some fabric face masks the old school way with a pattern and scissors to share how to make them without a Circut Machine.
Please note these cloth masks are not a substitute for medical-grade (N95) masks for healthcare workers; refer to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) for information on removing your mask and washing your hands.
If you would like to order a mask, please see Olivia’s shop HERE.
How to Sew Face Masks
To have a little fun, I wanted to use printed fabrics to bring joy to someone. So after selecting my fabrics I prepared them for pre-washing by serging the cut edges to prevent fraying.
Sewing a Pleated Face Mask
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Notice the nose area of the pleated masks is curved where I installed a piece of wire, thus making these masks more comfortable to wear.
Supplies for a homemade face mask (pleated style)
- 1/3 yard of the face fabric (tightly woven cotton fabric)
- 1/2 yard of the lining and ties fabric (tightly woven cotton fabric)
- Bias tape maker
- Sewing machine
- Fabric marker
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Pleated Face Mask (pattern pieces)
Using a rotary cutter and long ruler, cut two bias strips of fabric one inch wide by 44 inches long for each face masks.
Making the Bias Tape
Purchased bias tape is only available in limited colors and can be pricey. For this reason, I like to make my bias tape with a bias tape maker, rotary cutter, and 6-foot ruler.
If you are new to making bias strips for the binding and ties, I found this post to explain further how to cut the fabric.
After sewing the short sides of the mask, turn the right side out and press the seams.
You can view my how-to-make a face mask video below; you can see all the steps as I sew a cloth face mask.
This mask design is comfortable to wear, but it needs an opening for a removable filter to improve the filtration. It could use another layer of fabric; otherwise, I like this design.
Cricut Face Mask Pattern (SVG files)
My daughter, Olivia, found a free pattern for face masks on Circut Design Space. She used her Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore (with a fabric cutting blade and cotton bonded fabric) cutting machines to cut out all the face mask pieces. To make it easier to learn how to make a mask, we made a video of Olivia sewing a Circut pattern mask (please watch the video HERE.)
They turned out perfect, and the mask fits the best; and they also have a pocket that you can insert a filter (you can use coffee filters) too; therefore, this is our favorite face mask pattern. Please note that this mask can be used in health care situations with an N95 mask in the filter pocket, but be advised to seek more information from your health care facility.
Additionally, Olivia found that if she made a few changes to the face mask pattern, it made it more comfortable to wear, such as adding a pocket for a nose clip (used to prevent your glasses from fogging) and ties that have a section with elastic.
Sew a Simple Face Mask with Hair Ties
I found this beginner sewing pattern for a face mask on the CDC website; therefore, I wanted to sew one too so I could share how I did it and then try it on to compare the others we have made.
I followed the instructions on the CDC website for cutting the fabrics; however, I did not follow their sewing instructions; instead, I modified the sewing instructions. Together with their cutting instructions and my modifications, this mask took 15 minutes to create.
My modified sewing instructions are to place the cut pieces with the right sides together, then pin and stitch the long sides, then turn right sides out and press. Serge, the raw edges, then press over to form a casing for elastic or hair ties. If you would like to use hair ties, then insert the ties in the casing, next pin the casing over, then stitch casing being careful not to sew through the hair tie.
That is it, and this mask is ready to wear. However, in the final analysis, we did not think this mask fit well, and it pulled on our ears. In addition, it has not nose clip, and the shape and design are not conforming to the shape of a face. This design is the least comfortable to sum it up, and it would be difficult to modify to add a filter or another layer of fabric.
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