DIY Face Mask (cover) with Ties

Note: I modified instructions below so that the straps come out the corners instead of sides.  This helps with a better fit.  This image has it coming out the sides.
Hey all!  I imagine you're here looking for a way to help your community or yourself and that is AWESOME!  This mask is ideally meant to be worn over an N95 mask.  It is not intended to protect from exposure all by itself.  Though, there may be times that this is the only this case, this will add protection more than nothing itself. 

After seeing a few more complicated versions of masks... I decided to draft my own pattern for a tie mask because I wanted a faster sew that didn't include elastic.  This should be a good sew for even a beginner (that is my hope!).  It's not perfect and this is my first self drafted sew and my first attempt at documenting it.  Please feel free to comment with tips or suggestions or questions and I will try to help and/or clarify.  Thank you!!
**Edit to add: The fit will be better if you have the bottom tie go upwards.  Learning/improving as we go!

p.s. If you are looking for an easy elastic version, this is a great one Elastic DIY Face Mask.  Please keep in mind elastic won't hold up as well to heat and bleach during the washing/sanitizing process.

-  Two 6" x 9" 100% cotton fabric pieces
-  Four 1.5" x 19" 100% cotton fabric strips (or four 19" bias tape strips)
-  Thread

Please note!!
- It is recommended to use lighter colored fabric (in order to help see if mask has been soiled).
- Pre-wash and dry all fabric on hot water/high heat before cutting/sewing.  

Step 1:  Cut Fabric to size 
a.  Cut two 6" x 9" 100% cotton fabric pieces.

b.  Cut four 1.5" x 19" 100% cotton fabric strips
Note: length of ties in pic is not correct.  Please follow cutting instructions above.

Step 2: Make fabric ties  (or skip this step if you have bias tape)
a.  Fold strips with right sides facing each other
b.  Sew or surge along the edge (1/4" seam allowance)

c.  Flip strips to be right side out (with seam on the inside).  You can do this using a straw and skewer.  (or google for help).  This is a great step for your non-sewer friends or family to help with!

Step 3: Attach ties to main body of mask.  
a.  With right side of mask fabric facing up, place tie across top face of mask with from the top right corner. 
b.  Place tie on opposite side in similar fashion.  Pin or clip in place. 
c.  Repeat for other two corners.  

Step 4:  Tack ties in place
a.  Sew across each of the ties locking them in place

Step 5:  Attach second layer of fabric
a.  Fold fabric ties into center of mask face

b.  Place second 6.5" x 9" fabric right side up on top of bottom layer of mask and ties.  (If you are needing to add a washable "filter" like interfacing, place it on top of this layer.  When folded right side out, the "filter" will end up between the two layers of cotton.)

c.  Pin or clip in place.

d.  Sew around perimeter of mask (make sure not to catch the length of the ties).  Leave about a 2" opening in the middle of the long edge.  You can pull the straps through to keep from catching the ties.
(Note: For a more streamlined sew, you can skip locking the ties in place and can sew the straps in as you sew around the perimeter.  Be sure to do backstitching at the ties to help secure them in place.)

Step 6:  Flip mask
a.  Pull ties through 2" hold and flip the mask right side out.
b.  You should now have the ties going away from the mask with one side being the right side of the fabric and the other side being the wrong side.  (This is intentional so that the user can keep sides consistent.)
c.  At your 2" gap, fold the raw edges inward (to match the rest of the seams).  This will be sewn closed later.

d.  (optional) Iron around edges of mask.  I prefer this as it will make the pleats easier.

Step 7:  Add pleats
a.  About 1/2" from the top strap create first pleat by pinching about 1/2" fabric and folding it up.  Pin/clip in place.

b.  Repeat on opposite side of mask.
c.  Add two more sets of pleats so that there are a total of three pleats on each side.

Step 8:  Edge stitch
a.  Edge stitch around perimeter of mask with 1/4" seam allowance.  This will lock the pleats in place and close up the 2" opening.

Step 9:  Close raw edges of ties
a.  The fastest option is to just tie a knot at the ends.  And, voila, done! :)

(or you can double fold the raw edge of the tie on itself and tack in place or fold raw edges inward and close with a 1/4' edge stitch.)

Step 10:  MAKE MORE MASKS!!  

Note:  This is not intended to be sold.  Please make this mask for personal use or as donation to your community or others in need of PPE supplies.  Again, it is not intended to protection from infectious diseases by itself.  It is intended to ideally be used in conjunction with an N95 or similar medical-grade mask.  Thank you!!


Eccentric Memaw said...

Very kind of you. If I'm understanding correctly,bottom strings are shorter. I'd make them the same, and your thing your bottoms straight back cause poor fit that allows bacteria access. If you Google and look at pics, you'll notice the bottom strings are generally pulled up toward the top of the head and tied, making a better, more snug fit under the chin. I hope it sounds helpful, not rude. 4:30am, and I havent slept. Great job.

Mallorie H said...

Thank you for your feedback! I've updated it to have the same length ties to simplify things.