The easiest fabric face mask tutorial ever
Since I wrote to you last week I have made about 120 fabric face masks. Every day I managed to come up with a way to make the supposedly easy pattern even easier and I’m having a blast. I wanted to share my new tutorial with you in case you’re trying to make some masks to pass the time.
What I started with
I have been using The pattern recommended by Frederick Memorial Hospital on Button Counter. It uses one piece of 14×8 inch fabric, two 2×6 inch pieces and some sort of ties or elastic.
Everyone said the pattern was so easily and it truly took me so long to understand it. Once I got past trying to copy the pattern exactly it was much less stressful and the masks are still pretty and holding up very well. So what did I do differently?
The new tutorial
I still used the same materials – a 14×8 inch piece of fabric and two 2×6 inch pieces. I’m using ribbon and fabric ties made from t shirts for my ties now. You’ll need a sewing machine or a needle and thread, a safety pin and ten pins (I was very proud I only had to use a handful for this pattern)
Like instructed in the Button Counter tutorial, fold the fabric in half so the 8 inch edges are together and the fabric will be inside out. Sew a simple seam along the edges and flip so the fabric is no longer inside out.
The button counter tutorial instructed for a total of three pleats to be made but required a lot of measuring which is what got me confused when I was learning. I just couldn’t figure it out. So we are still going to make three pleats, but you don’t have to measure them out. Fold the edge with the seams up a little bit, mine was usually between an inch and an inch in a half.
Turn the fabric over so the folded part is on the bottom side. Now, on the other side of the fabric make a pleat and line it up with the folded edge from the other side.
If that made no sense to you, look at the pictures. It’s hard to explain. Pinch a little bit of fabric in between your fingers, tuck a little bit in towards you and the new pleat should be close to lining up with the fold on the other side. Pin them in place
Now you will make two more pleats with the remaining fabric. Pin them in place. Each side should have three pleats and three pins to hold them in place.
Now for each side you will put together the 2×6 inches of fabric. Take each piece, fold it in half long ways so the right side of fabric is on the outside (not inside out!).
Line the folded piece up with the edges where the pins are placed. Fold the fabric over and pin the new piece to the pleated piece.
Sew along the edges and be sure to reinforce the seams at each end. Repeat this for the other end of the pleated piece.
Now you will pull the new piece outwards so the seams are hidden. It doesn’t matter what the other side looks like where the ends of the 2×6 piece look like because it will all be tucked in.
Now flip the mask over so the ends of the 2×6 piece are on top. Fold the new piece over to be on top of the pleated piece and tuck the edges in. Sew along the edges and reinforce the seams. Repeat for the other side.
This is what your mask should look like now
On Thursday I noticed after making one of my masks with elastic and deciding I wanted ribbon that the folded over edges formed a place where the fabric ties/ribbon could be inserted without having to use my Seam ripper or do any additional sewing. So, take one of your ties or elastic and put a safety pin on one end. Insert the safety pin into the space that was just created with the final seams and carefully pull it through to the other side. Be patient and careful because the safety pin can get stuck in a pleat.
Once you’ve pulled it through to the other side, you’re all done! Tie your fabric or ribbon up and you’re ready to go with your new mask.
Not pictured, I decided that since the fabric ties are pretty stretchy that I can knot where I tied it to fit my face and tuck the knot in. This is what I’m instructing to everyone who has received a new mask using these new seals as loops. For the ribbon ties, tucking the knot in while you wash it can keep the ribbon from getting caught or fraying.
Please reach out if you have any questions! I made a new brief video tutorial on Tik Tok I will attach below which may help you understand the parts not pictured. Stay safe and well.