Method Monday No. 2, How to Sew a Face Mask....with Options!!

*****************UPDATED WITH NEW SIZE and PINNING TECHNIQUE***************

Hello!! Special programming Method Monday No. 2 coming out to you a Saturday!!
Due the current crisis we find our country in…we makers take the call to make seriously!
When I was first looking at face masks to make, I found there is a lot of info out there, including lots of free patterns, many with vague instructions.

I found a decent size that will fit on most adults, male and female.  Plus, I used to the pattern to make face masks with elastic OR with ties AND a solution if the ties are not long enough.  The mask can be made from one piece of fabric or 2 pieces of fun coordinating prints.
So let’s go, shall we!!  Here is what the pattern looks like and I am going to go over what each part of the pattern means!

***UPDATE, March 22, 2020*** This pattern as you can see is for using 6" x 9" pieces, and due to different sizes of people it is good to make some using 9" x 8" and   9" x 9" pieces, and aligning the pleats to the middle of the each side of the mask. I have been using 9" x 8" and it is pretty perfect to use on many sizes!! 

Here is the PDF Paradiso Face Mask Pattern, click here.

The pattern piece here is 6” x 9”. Here are the materials that will be needed
Cotton or better yet 50/50 cotton/poly and ¼” elastic.
-Cut two @ 6” x 9” OR Cut one @ 12” x 9” (notice the fold like at the top of the pattern)
-To hold the mask on:
              -Cut 2 pieces of ¼” elastic at 7” long
              -Cut 1 strip along the WOF at 2” OR if you want to use a bias tape maker, then cut it 1 7/8”
WOF = width of fabric
-There is a 3/8” sa (seam allowance)
-There is a clip guide for the folds on the very right edge of the pattern
-There is an addition pinning/clip guide after sewing the pieces together just to the left of the first guide.

Here is a look at how the mask with the elastic goes together.

I pinned 2 pins on each long edge.  The pins at the top here are about 4-5” apart.  This will be where an opening will be left to turn this inside out and you can see the elastic that will be sandwiched between the 2 pieces. Make sure the opening is at what will be the bottom of the mask.

 Here I start sewing at the top at edge of one of the pins with a 3/8” sa.  Use a 2.5 stitch length, and back stitch at the beginning and end of your seams.  As you stitch to the corner, angle and pin your elastic at the corner and cover with the second layer. Sew around the entire piece and stop at the last top pin to leave the opening.

Now turn, gently use the elastic to pull the corners out and pin the opening closed. Iron the edges to prep for sewing.

Next, pin the fold points. Repeat for the other side, remember to measure for the pleats from the same side to have the fold points in the same place. Use the 2nd point to fold to the 1st pin, then fold up.  
Here is a new faster way to pin the pleats:
1- fold mask in half at the side as shown

2- Lay the mask out as shown and fold the ends to the middle pin, then pin those fold points

3- At each pin fold, and measure 1/2", that will give you the 3 pleats on each side.

*Tip, you will get the best “traction” of your machines power if you place the entire foot over what you are sewing.  Notice the pressure foot is flush with the fabric right edge.  Before you sew, move the needle over to the right for about a 1/8” ts (top stitch). 

Ts around the entire piece…twice.  Keep in mind these pieces will be washed a bunch.  Top stitching will help the piece retain it’s shape!!


Now for the masks with ties. And you can use 1 piece of fabric or 2 pieces.
Here you can see the pattern with the 1 longer piece (notice the top of the pattern is placed on the fold OR the 2 pieces.

Time to make ties! The tie will be ironed to finish with sewing.  This task can be easier using a bias tape maker.  A bias 2” strip is ironed down to a ½” trim, and the trim can cap a raw edge and finish it!
Here are the steps to iron the 2” strip, start by ironing the strip in half.

Then iron the top raw edge into the center fold as shown.

Flip so the other raw edge is now on top, and iron it into the center fold to finish.

*Tip, do not try to iron both edges into the center fold at once as it will distort the center fold.

Now to how to use a bias tape maker.

Since our strips are WOF, I suggest cutting them at 1 7/8” instead of 2” so it is easier to feed the strip.
Here the strip has been fed into the tape maker, and as the fabric exits the maker it is folded. Use the iron to preserve the fold, and follow thru to the end of the strip

Then finish by ironing the folded edges together to enclose the raw edges. Lay aside to use later to finish the mask.

Let’s sew this mask Here are the 2 options to sew.  The blue one has a fold at the top with the 2 edges pinned, and the lavender has 2 pieces that are pinned at the top and bottom.

Sew the edges that are pinned, just the one opposite of the folded piece. top and bottom of the lavender piece.

Now turn them right side out, and iron the seams and fold flat.

Use the pinning guide on the pattern, align the raw edges to the pinning guide.  The lavender piece will fit, and the blue one will match the top corner but be 3/8” longer. Make a 1/8-1/4” clip at each measurement starting at the 1.25” to the 4 1/8”.  It is easy to clip right on the line, or the marks can be pinned as seen in the elastic mask.  The clipping guide can be used to make the clips before sewing, but sometimes it can be hard to match the clips on both edges after sewing. 

Refer to pinning the pleats above! 
Make sure the pleats/folds are going down.

*Tip, you will get the best “traction” of your machines power if you place the entire foot over what you are sewing.  Notice the pressure foot is flush with the fabric right edge.  Before you sew, move the needle over to the right for about a 1/8” ts (top stitch). Ts around the entire piece…twice.  Keep in mind these pieces will be washed a bunch.  Top stitching will help the piece retain it’s shape!!

Now find the centers of the ties and each edge of the mask body.

This shows how I pinned the center of the tie at the fold, then match it to the center pin on the mask.

Holding the mask and the tie in place I take the pins out and wrap the tie to enclose the raw edge at the center and pin, then pin each edge to hold the tie enclosing the mask edge in place. The last step is to sew the entire tie/mask into place with a 1/8” sa.  Remember to back stitch!!

If the ties are not long enough, then see how a rubber band can solve that!! Just thread the rubber band onto the tie before tying the knot.

UPDATE: For a little better fit I have been folding the mask and adding a safety pin at the bottom middle edge at an angle to "shape" the mask under the chin!!

                                               And here you go!!  They are all finished!!
Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions.


Unknown said…
Thank You very much for the terrific detailed pattern
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