Mask Up!

We’ve been posting mask patterns and pictures all over the place, so I thought we should have a central thread with patterns and ideas:


And it is really easy to make.

Today was the first time ever I used a sewing machine.
I bought one two (or three?) years ago when the local Lidl had some of those plastic Singer Serenades for €70 or so. The first project I had in mind was to make dust covers for various pieces of equipment from old bedsheets. But you know how it is with DIY projects.

If you can sew - don’t look too close at the pictures, the seams are atrocious, but they hold.

The mask itself is, like I said, really easy to make. The design is quite forgiving to bad craftmanship. I used an old cotton t-shirt and a bit of microfibre cloth.

It has also a surprisingly snug fit, see breathing in/breathing out pictures below, and is comfortable to wear. I think this is due to both the facehugger/posing pouch design/shape and the little bit of wire.
Due to the snug fit it didn’t fog my glasses in any way, which obviously is an important point for me.

A good, unobstrusive fit, doesn’t conflict with the glasses (and that’s not a given with masks.)

Breathing in:

Breathing out:



What I had in mind:

(Too dark?)



One could always make a pink one.
Just as long as a pattern/how to is provided.


Great idea to compile various ideas and patterns here.

Here’s an adjustable-fit mask for experienced sewers, from Allina Health:

It’s a two-piece pattern with a curved center seam and tucks. The elastic or tape pieces for the ear loops are long and continue through a casing along the bottom, and tie together at the center front. There’s also a casing at the top, with a small buttonhole to insert a pipe-cleaner or wire into it, for a close fit over the nose. I haven’t tried it yet, but I like the idea of adjustability, plus tying it in the front instead of behind the head.

Screenshot from the tutorial:


So far I’ve just been doing the traditional, triangular-folded bandanna thing, with a clean white “men’s” handkerchief. It squashed my nose too flat, though, so I sewed one small dart perpendicular to the fold, to give it some shape for the nose. Tied at the nape of the neck, bottom points tucked into my shirt in front, it covers well and stays in place. However, I find it’s a bit too warm when exerting myself (walking outdoors), so one of these days I’ll sew a mask that will leave my neck exposed.


If you need to make a bunch, and do have good machine skills here’s a video on how to do it quickly. I am 11,000km from my machine, but I found the video oddly relaxing.

(ETA: the video)


I made two masks for myself and the spouse. We wore them out running errands yesterday and I’m about 85% pleased with the design. He’d asked for bungees, but I think we are both reconsidering that choice. The pros: easy to take off and put on; the cons: no adjustment. Mine fits a little better because my face was present for fabrication, but it still slides down a little bit. I opted for no nose wire because I don’t have anything that’s suitable and wanted these to be machine washable. I think that I will try out the two-piece, curved style next. The dimensions pre-pleating were 7"h x 9"w (his) and 7"h x 8"w (hers). Ear elastics were cut to a length of 6"

We only barely resisted the temptation to wear matching clothes in addition to our matching masks.


I don’t know if this has been mentioned in any of the patterns, but you can fold over a strip of tin foil several times and tack it between layers to mold over your nose for a tighter fit.


The MRK one mentions that – pipe cleaners work, too.


Also twist ties can be found for cheap both as party supplies and in the garden section


The wifey made me a custom mask from an old sling bag.


Thought i’d share my experience making 3 different versions posted in here. No pics though (sorry/you’re welcome).

This cheap and cheerful one was the first i tried and it wears pretty well, though i don’t think the ear straps are going to last long and you can’t adjust the tightness but it’s a good solution when you want something quick to make then maybe throw away when used. I placed a coffee filter between the layers and made it from an old t-shirt.

Second one i made. For this and the third one a sewing machine was used and is desired (particularly for the third one) but of course you could hand sew them and this one isn’t too labour intensive for hand sewing i think. I didn’t have anything suitable for straps though, but i suppose you could use some strips of the same material. I also used a coffee filter between the layers and made it from a pillow case.

Third and final (for now?). Probably my favourite so far and it took the longest to make but it’s comfortable, easy to adjust with just one knot and easy to take off without touching the front. I would recommend a sewing machine for this given the increased amounts of sewing and having to sew folded material. I don’t have pipe cleaners so i used a bit of copper wire, placed inside some insulation for added comfort. Also used a coffee filter between the layers and used the same pillow case material, with one shoe lace to tie. Comes with the adam savage seal of approval.

Having said all that, it felt good to actually make something because i’ve spent my days mostly sitting on my arse watching/playing stuff.


A soap film can work, but not if you immediately wash it off. I use a combo shield to play hockey and use cheap shampoo to keep it from fogging. You shmear the shampoo all over the lenses, then wipe off the excess with a towel.


As far as cleaning cloth masks is concerned, i know you can wash them but if you’re using materials like filters and such inside them that could get damaged then what about throwing them in the oven for a little bit to sterilise?

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One of my friends is sewing medical masks, using the loops from a child’s potholder weaving kit for the earpieces.

(From , linked to by @j9c over in the Ongoing coronavirus happenings topic.)