Free Pattern: Fitted Face Mask DIY (Sizes Child to Adult) is a tutorial to show you how to make a facial covering to help slow the spread of germs. While nothing homemade can compete with a professional surgical or N95 mask I’ve tried to make the most effective homemade mask possible. I am not a scientist or a doctor, but I hope that this tutorial can help people make a homemade face mask to wear out in public. I’ve tried to do some research and will link to articles and other sources to back up any claims. Again, I can’t claim that this will protect you from Covid-19, but I believe this fitted face mask is a better design than some of the tutorials I’ve seen.
I confess I originally shied away from homemade masks (and even said I wouldn’t do a tutorial in a Facebook Group). But after the CDC asked everyone to start wearing masks in public I decided to make some for my family. I did a little research and made some traditional looking surgical masks – after trying one on I didn’t care for the design and felt that there had to be a better way. I looked at a few other designs, I didn’t like the seam being right in front of the nose and mouth. My logic being you don’t want to weaken the fabric right where you need it to be the strongest. I also wanted a mask that would fit over the nose and tuck under the chin. After some playing around I came up with a pattern.
Hate the ads? You can purchase the pattern and instructions here.
To keep things as flexible as possible I will show a list of “Ideal” materials, but also reasonable substitutes for them as well.
For This Project you will need:
Fleece Fun’s FREE PDF Fitted Face Mask pattern (available below at the end of the tutorial)
1/3 Yard Heavy Cotton Fabric (Be sure to wash and dry your fabric at least TWO times before cutting out and sewing)
(Acceptable substitutes: Duck Cloth, Denim, Bandanna, Pillowcase or sheet, Cotton Shirt) Basically a heavy 100% cotton material)
2 Hydro Knit Towels (Acceptable Substitutes: Flannel, cotton materials – but possibly not as effective as blue shop towels) Note: Hydro Knit has is showing promise as a very effective material for filtering. This is what I used. It’s basically shop towels that are typically blue, white and red. It’s even been suggested by Peter Tsai, one of the inventors behind the N95 mask. You can read more about the potential effectiveness here and here.
Polypropolene is also a material that works great for the interior – OLY*Fun cloth is polypropolene. This hospital here has requested materials be made from it.
I have had several comments asking if it is washable – yes it is I have tested it myself. A couple of recommendations – wash gentle (with soap – soap is key to breaking down the fatty layer of a virus exterior) and dry low temp ( at high temps the towel starts to break down), even better if a mask after washing can be in direct sunlight for several hours for a nice shot of killing UV rays. We have this phone UV cleaner that might be handy as well if you don’t have easy access to the outside.
4 inch strip of Bias tape (1/2 ribbon or knit material)
1 and 1/3 yards fold over elastic (1/4 inch elastic, round elastic, cord elastic, basically latex free elastic that is under 3/4 inch – you can also use bias tape for the ties)
Pipe Cleaner (for nose piece) (Acceptable substitutes: paperclip, twist tie, bobby pin, floral wire
20 inches Double Fold Bias tape (this is if you want to make the mask a little bigger and finish it a different way.)
For making several Masks:
If you want to make several masks at a time here are some additional items that might make it easier:
Fleece Fun’s Fitted Face Mask SVG file ( Fill out form below)
Fabric Mat ( I raced cutting out by hand against the Maker and it won every time)
Chipboard or Cardboard cut out of the pattern (Transfer it or have a cutting machine make a more durable copy of the pattern)
Fitted Face Mask DIY (Sizes Child to Adult) Free Pattern Video Tutorial:
Fitted Face Mask DIY (Sizes Child to Adult) Free Pattern Written Tutorial:
Step 1 – Cut out the Materials for the Fitted Face Mask
Print up and cut out the free mask sewing pattern.
From folded cotton fabric cut 2 of the pattern.
From Shop Towels (or cotton substitute) cut 2 of the pattern.We want to avoid poking unnecessary holes in the towel so just trace the pattern onto the towel.
After tracing the free face mask pattern, cut out two of the towels
Cut 4 12 inch strips of elastic.
So I don’t need to sew or finish the ends – I’m going to CAREFULLY run a match a long the ends (slightly melting them) so the elastic won’t fray.
Step 2- Add the Nose Piece
While you can skip this step, but to make the mask fit better I recommend it.
Cut a 2.5 inch strip of single fold bias tape. Tuck the ends under a .25 of and inch, pin into place using the free mask template as a guide.
Top stitch into place on top and bottom, leaving the middle ( sides) open to insert the wire/ pipe cleaner. (We’ll insert the pipe cleaner after the mask is finished). This only needs to be done to the outer cotton piece – the other piece won’t need it.
Step 3 – Begin to Sew the Darts to the Cotton Mask
The mask gets it’s shape from 3 darts. Sew each of the dart together in the following order:
Start with the darts closest to the top. Using a .25 inch seam allowance sew the darts together.
Be sure to lock all of the seams. ( Go forward and back at the beginning and end of a seam).
Continue down to the next dart. Sew together Using a quarter inch seam allowance.
Repeat on the other side.
Finally sew the last two darts on the bottom, just as you did the previous ones, with a .25 inch seam allowance. To make cup/ rounded shape.
Repeat these steps with the other cotton piece.
Step 4- Sew the interior Hydro Knit or flannel
Since this is for the interior you can sew both prices together at the same time.
With the Hydro Knit or shop towels layered sew the interior of the mask darts like you did above.
You should know have three layers to the mask.
Step 5 – Bring the Fitted Face Mask Together
Time to make the “layers” to the mask. With the outside piece (the piece with the nose tape) turned so the wrong sides is touching the work surface, place the elastic in the correct spots as shown on the free mask pattern.
You can pin or bast the elastic into place. Make sure that the elastic stays in the center of the mask so it doesn’t get caught in the seam.
Next place the interior piece of cotton (the piece that will be touching your face) into the mask, so right sides are touching.
The wrong side should be facing up towards you.
Finally place the interior into the mask “sandwich”. Lining up the dart seams and nesting them. Clip the mask into place, taking care not to pin or poke holes into the lining. Using a FAT quarter inch seam allowance sew all the way around the mask leaving a 2 inch turning gap on one of the sides ( where the darts are).
Carefully turn right side out (take your time and try not to tug on the towel – just tug on the cotton).
Once turned top stitch the gap shut – I also like to top stitch all the way around the mask for extra sturdiness. Insert a double up pope cleaner into the nose piece and you’re good to go!
Step 5b – Alternative way to Bring the Mask together
To make the mask a little bigger. simply layer the mask as it would be worn, the outside (with the nose piece), then the lining fabric, then the interior piece (the one that goes against your face). Clip together add the elastic, sew a basting stitch around the mask.
Then bind with double fold bias tape.
To Download the Free Fitted Face Mask Pattern in sizes Child and Adult Click the picture below:
The adult mask fit my tweens, but was too big for my 7 year old. The adult mask will fit bigger kids and adult.
Large adults might require a mask that is sew to gether using bias tape around the edge, as it makes the mask a little bigger, you can also use the slash and spread technique to make the mask bigger. Jusst added a larger size if you need a bigger size for an adult! The child mask will fit 4 – 7 year olds.
For the free SVG files please fill out the form below and I will send it directly to your inbox:
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