DIY Mask with Nose Wire & Filter Pocket



I know we are all looking for ways to help, and making sure there are enough face masks to go around is on all of our minds.  Many sewers around the country are mobilizing to make masks which is awesome, but there is a lot of information and it can be hard to figure out which design to use.  I combined a couple of the tutorials you can find online to make my masks with what I think are some of the better features (you can find links at the bottom of this post to the original tutorials).  So I thought I'd put together a tutorial combining the ones I used so you can use, share, and make lots and lots of masks.  Please know that I am not a medical professional and do not intend to insinuate that these masks are a replacement for medical grade equipment.  But they are better than nothing.  

The below tutorial is probably not for a total beginner.  The addition of the wire for the nose and the pocket for a filter make this one a bit more difficult (though still easy!).  If you'd like to make it simpler, you can omit the nose wire and the filter pocket by skipping steps 1 - 3.  Simply sew the 8" ends together (with fabric inside out), turn right side out and press, and skip to step 10.


Materials Needed:

    1. 1 piece of fabric 8" x 14".  This will be the main piece of the mask.
    2. 2 pieces of fabric 1.75" x 5.5".  These will be the edge pieces.
    3. 2 pieces of elastic (1/4" or thinner) cut to 6.5"
    4. Pipe cleaner (to be cut into 6" piece)
    5. Fabric marking tool (or a washable marker will be fine)



Serge or overstitch the 8" edges of your main piece.  This keeps the raw edges from fraying.  A zigzag stitch on a regular sewing machine works fine if you don't have a serger.  OR if you need to skip this step, it's ok.  


Fold the main fabric in half withe the 8" edges touching (inside out) and make a mark 1.5" from each edge.  


Sew from the edge of each of your ends that are touching to the 1.5" marks on both sides. 


Press open the seam including the space in the middle.


Turn right side out and top-stitch on one side of the seam.  **Note - there is a great video tutorial that shows the next few steps - I recommend taking a look if these steps seem confusing. Click here to view - these steps are illustrated starting at 2:09 in the video.  


Fold the fabric a half inch from the seam with the topstitching on the bottom.

Topstitch along the folded edge.


Cut a piece of pipe cleaner to 6".  Insert into top fold and center in opening.


Clip pipe cleaner into place and top stitch the fold down under the pipe cleaner.  I also like to sew across each end of the pipe cleaner to secure (I forgot to do in this picture, but the red lines on the photo are where to sew.  Just make sure to catch the pipe cleaner on each side.



Make mask pleats.  You are going to make the following marks on your fabric (from the bottom):  1.5", 1", .5", 1", .5", 1"  This step is confusing,  so here are two videos to help:

      Baste stitch each side of mask to hold pleats in place. 


      Baste elastic to edges.  I usually baste about 1/8" from each side.


      Prepare end pieces by folding in half and pressing (wrong sides touching).  Align them to the ends of the mask (raw edges together) and fold the ends around to the other side of mask.


      Sew ends with a 1/4" seam allowance.


      Flip the end pieces around and poke corners out.  


      Fold entire end piece to the opposite side, making sure the ends are tucked in, and topstitch.


      And you are done! 


      Please feel free to get in touch with questions.  I will do my best to help.  

      Here are the links to the original tutorials I used to make my masks.  I followed them pretty closely...I just mashed the two together to get the features I wanted.  You may find them easier to follow than mine - everyone learns differently!

      Basic Pleated Mask

      Pleated Mask with Nose Wire and Filter Pocket