Friends, the need for DIY Face Masks is huge. Ever since I shared a pattern for making them here and on Midday Maryland, I have been overwhelmed by requests from health care and assisted living facilities who are desperate for personal protective equipment. They’re needed faster than I can sew them, so I’m asking anyone and everyone with a sewing machine and some spare fabric to join in and help! It’s such a humbling experience to see the nurses, doctors, and assisted living staff who are giving 100% every day so grateful for a little bit of fabric and elastic to protect themselves.
Here is a second pattern for making DIY Face Masks; this one does not require interfacing, but it does have a pocket in the back where the wearer can insert and remove a disposable filter. Even something as simple as a coffee filter can be inserted as a barrier to prevent the virus’ transmission, then replaced.
Cotton fabric (one 9″x12″ piece per mask)
Sewing machine and thread
Elastic (1/4″ elastic is great, but scarce, so you can also use hair ties or jersey knit fabric)
Step 1: Cut a piece of 9″x12″ fabric. Fold it in half, right sides together so it measures 9″x 6″ and sew a 1/4″ seam across the top, leaving a 3″ opening in the center.
Step 2: Arrange your fabric so that the seam is in the center instead of at the top, then press the seam open.
Step 3: Insert and sew elastic in place.
Cut two 7″ pieces of elastic. Since I ran out of standard elastic, I’m using hair ties! Slide one piece into one of the side openings and pin the ends in place. The ends of the elastic should be right inside the folds, one at the top and one at the bottom. Sew a 1/4″ seam down the side to secure the elastic in place, making sure to backstitch and reinforce the areas where the elastic is. Repeat on the other side.
Step 4: Use the 3″ center opening to turn the mask right side out.
You should have a rectangle with an elastic strap on each side. Keep the side with the opening facing up.
Step 5: Top stitch a 1/4″ seam across the top and bottom of the mask.
Step 6: With the opening facing you, fold two pleats and pin them in place.
To do this, start with the lower half of the mask. Grab the fabric about halfway between the opening and the bottom and fold it up to meet the center seam. Then, move to the top section. Grab the fabric about halfway between the opening and the top and fold it down to the center.
Step 7: Sew a 1/4″ seam down each side to secure the pleats.
Now the mask is ready to expand and wear!
The opening in the back side creates the pocket where you can slide a disposable filter in and out.
These are washable, reusable, and comfortable…well, as comfortable as a face mask can be. They’re generally one size fits all, but you can adjust the elastic length if necessary to make them smaller or larger.
I can’t stress enough how helpful these are to healthcare workers and anyone whose job requires them to be in close contact with others. You can even gift them to UPS drivers, mail carriers, garbage/recycling collectors, and your own friends and family. If you are looking for a place to donate, please reach out and let me know. I’d love to see photos of the masks you are creating and sharing; please post them in the Amy Latta and Friends Facebook group, and they may just end up in a television segment in the near future!
For an alternate pattern, check out my original DIY Face Masks post. Plus, before you go, take a look at these 5 ways to spread kindness and hope during a pandemic!