I’m hoping to get all the resources for face mask pattern options and supplies into one central spot. I will be keeping this page updated with fresh supply links, any new patterns that catch my attention, and the latest buzz regarding face mask sewing from our sewing community. How many people are sewing face masks for themselves, their family members, friends, and local organizations?

The sewing community’s response to our country’s very unfortunate lack of PPE warms my heart. I’m so proud to be a member of the sewing community, now more than ever. If you’re looking for the pros and cons of different types of home sewn face masks, need to know where to find available supplies like elastic and mask filters, or have questions about caring for your face masks, this page should be a good source of information.

Face Mask Patterns and Tutorials

Patterns and Tutorials for No Sew, Sew, and Serger Face Mask Patterns. Choose patterns based on face shape, strap type, nose shaping options, and filter options.

If your kiddo gets sick or hurt and has to leave the house, make a few of these kiddo size face masks to have on hand.

Photo Credit: inspiration.cricut.com

What! Cut out your masks using your Cricut with their free svg file

This post has a number of other no sew options including a video by the Surgeon General.https://www.sewmuchado.com/fabric-face-mask-pattern/

Use bias tape or elastic to make these masks. Free pattern and video instructions are available.

This post has a detailed video tutorial to make this mask shape that goes up over the nose and curved down around under the eyes if you prefer a different shape.

Photo Credit: www.raegunramblings.com

This mask has an adjustable fit and is made with comfy knit.

This seamstress sewed five different mask patterns and compared them, giving pluses and minuses for each.

Mask Making Materials – In Stock Supply List

I know it can be overwhelming and frustrating to try to source supplies to make fabric masks when you can’t leave home and supplies are sold out in many places. The supply list (aff links may be included ) below will be updated frequently to reflect current available inventory for mask-making materials.

Sewing Machines and Sergers

Spending so much time at home may provide the perfect opportunity to get started sewing. I’ve noticed that most of the easy to purchase beginner machines have been scooped up, but I happened to find two of the machines that I currently use in my sewing room and they are available!

FAQs about Fabric Face Masks

Can I wear my face mask over an N95 mask?

Many healthcare workers are using homemade fabric masks along with their N95 masks to extend the longevity of their protective coverings. Masks with ample accordion folds can be comfortable worn over N95 masks. This pleated type of mask will work.

Many healthcare workers are using homemade fabric masks along with their N95 masks to extend the longevity of their protective coverings. Masks with ample accordion folds can be comfortable worn over N95 masks. This pleated type of mask will work.

Which direction do the pleats go on my fabric mask?

Wear the pleated face masks with the pleats folding downward. First, place the mask over your mouth and nose. Gently press from the center of the nose bridge and smooth the metal nose wire down over the bridge of your nose, smoothing from the center down and out so that the mask tucks comfortable over your nose and cheeks.

Wear the pleated face masks with the pleats folding downward. First, place the mask over your mouth and nose. Gently press from the center of the nose bridge and smooth the metal nose wire down over the bridge of your nose, smoothing from the center down and out so that the mask tucks comfortable over your nose and cheeks.

How do I take off my face mask?

Remove the mask by releasing the straps and carefully pulling the mask away from your nose and mouth without touching the outer material of the mask. Be especially careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth while removing your face mask. If you are using a non-washable filter inside the mask, you would ideally discard the filter after each use. Place the mask directly into a Ziplock bag or a fabric sack to be put into the washing machine. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the face mask.

Remove the mask by releasing the straps and carefully pulling the mask away from your nose and mouth without touching the outer material of the mask. Be especially careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth while removing your face mask. If you are using a non-washable filter inside the mask, you would ideally discard the filter after each use. Place the mask directly into a Ziplock bag or a fabric sack to be put into the washing machine. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the face mask.

How do I wash my face mask?

Fabric masks should be laundered on a normal wash setting and dried in the dryer on med-high heat. Use regular laundry detergent. To keep the mask and ties from becoming too tangled while laundering, consider washing your masks in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag like this one.

Fabric masks should be laundered on a normal wash setting and dried in the dryer on med-high heat. Use regular laundry detergent. To keep the mask and ties from becoming too tangled while laundering, consider washing your masks in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag like this one.

What kind of fabric do I use to make a fabric mask?

If you have options, the BEST material to use would be a high thread count 100% cotton fabric. In the sewing community, this would be quilters cotton and flannel. A layer of cotton stacked with a layer of flannel is a great combo. Typically a cheaper cotton will be thinner and the weave between the fibers will be further apart. You can feel the cheaper quality and it will allow more light to pass through if you hold it up to a window. More light = more particles getting through.

If you have options, the BEST material to use would be a high thread count 100% cotton fabric. In the sewing community, this would be quilters cotton and flannel. A layer of cotton stacked with a layer of flannel is a great combo. Typically a cheaper cotton will be thinner and the weave between the fibers will be further apart. You can feel the cheaper quality and it will allow more light to pass through if you hold it up to a window. More light = more particles getting through.

Does knit or t-shirt fabric really work to protect you?

The recommendation for the general public to wear face coverings is intended to reduce the transmission rate of individuals carrying the disease unknowingly. It’s meant to serve as a reminder to maintain social distancing protocol. Materials with a tighter weave or that are less porous have been shown to be more effective in actually stopping particles from traveling through the material. I’ve read studies that suggest t-shirt masks are a good material choice because they are comfortable and easy to breathe through. I’ve read other studies suggesting that knit fabrics are useless. I am operating under the belief that something is better than nothing. I would suggest using a knit face mask only when you are able to add a tightly woven (quilting cotton, flannel) or non-woven (carbon filter, HEPA filter) material inside the mask. This no sew t-shirt mask has a pocket where a filter can be used.

The recommendation for the general public to wear face coverings is intended to reduce the transmission rate of individuals carrying the disease unknowingly. It’s meant to serve as a reminder to maintain social distancing protocol. Materials with a tighter weave or that are less porous have been shown to be more effective in actually stopping particles from traveling through the material. I’ve read studies that suggest t-shirt masks are a good material choice because they are comfortable and easy to breathe through. I’ve read other studies suggesting that knit fabrics are useless. I am operating under the belief that something is better than nothing. I would suggest using a knit face mask only when you are able to add a tightly woven (quilting cotton, flannel) or non-woven (carbon filter, HEPA filter) material inside the mask. This no sew t-shirt mask has a pocket where a filter can be used.

Can I use leggings as a face mask?

Usually, no. Unless the leggings are made from 100% cotton, they are not the best choice for a face mask covering. Leggings are typically a polyester blend fabric, reducing the breathability. Choose 100% cotton for your most breathable, but also protective fabric.

Usually, no. Unless the leggings are made from 100% cotton, they are not the best choice for a face mask covering. Leggings are typically a polyester blend fabric, reducing the breathability. Choose 100% cotton for your most breathable, but also protective fabric.

What do I use for face masks if I don’t have elastic?

I get it. You’re trying to make face masks and all of a sudden elastic is nowhere to be found. Don’t panic. The absolute easiest substitute for elastic is using a knit fabric to make ties. Knit is the dream fabric in this scenario because it won’t fray or break down during laundering, so you can easily just cut strips of knit (you can even cut up an old t-shirt) and now additional sewing is necessary to make a wonderful elastic substitute. What’s more is that the knit will not break down like elastic will under heavy duty sanitation processes (like they use in the hospitals) AND I think it’s way more comfy. You can also use bias tape or binding tape to make straps. This is not my favorite way because it takes a lot more time to sew and ties with no stretch don’t seem to be as comfortable or as well-fitting as stretchy straps. Just use the knit!! Both my filter pocket tutorial and my 5-minute serger mask will show you how to use knit straps in lieu of elastic.

I get it. You’re trying to make face masks and all of a sudden elastic is nowhere to be found. Don’t panic. The absolute easiest substitute for elastic is using a knit fabric to make ties. Knit is the dream fabric in this scenario because it won’t fray or break down during laundering, so you can easily just cut strips of knit (you can even cut up an old t-shirt) and now additional sewing is necessary to make a wonderful elastic substitute. What’s more is that the knit will not break down like elastic will under heavy duty sanitation processes (like they use in the hospitals) AND I think it’s way more comfy. You can also use bias tape or binding tape to make straps. This is not my favorite way because it takes a lot more time to sew and ties with no stretch don’t seem to be as comfortable or as well-fitting as stretchy straps. Just use the knit!! Both my filter pocket tutorial and my 5-minute serger mask will show you how to use knit straps in lieu of elastic.

Where can I donate my finished face masks?

I’m not currently organizing or collecting face masks to be donated. Every single organization that I’ve heard about seems to be requesting a different type of mask. If you are going to sew masks to be donated, please contact the appropriate resources in your community so that you know what their requirements are before you begin sewing. Some places are providing the exact pattern they want you to make while others are providing the materials with which to make the masks. Sew masks for yourself or for friends who do not sew.

I’m not currently organizing or collecting face masks to be donated. Every single organization that I’ve heard about seems to be requesting a different type of mask. If you are going to sew masks to be donated, please contact the appropriate resources in your community so that you know what their requirements are before you begin sewing. Some places are providing the exact pattern they want you to make while others are providing the materials with which to make the masks. Sew masks for yourself or for friends who do not sew.

Do you have other questions? Let me know and I will try to find the answers for you.  Please do defer to the CDC website for all official information regarding homemade face coverings. Stay safe and well. 

This content was originally published here.

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