In light of CDC's recent recommendation, Loganova Shades is happy to provide a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how we produce our 100% Cotton Pleated Face Masks. The CDC has stated that individuals should use cloth face coverings "in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain," such as grocery stores and pharmacies. (Read more here)
Materials and tools you will need:
- Ruler or tape measure
- 2 types of cotton/linen fabric – White/neutral and Patterned
- Clothing iron
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
- Thread (white recommended)
- Metal wire
Choosing the fabric for my face mask:
According to CDC recommendations, you should use a fabric that is thick and sturdy, like cotton, linen or flannel. Using this tutorial, you will create a 2 or 3 layer mask using cotton fabric.
Step 1: Measure and Cut Pattern
Look for a clean flat space, such as a desk or a kitchen table. The first step is to measure out your mask dimensions and cut out the pieces.
You will need to cut 2 equal rectangular pieces of fabric - a white/neutral piece and a patterned piece. The neutral one will go on the inside of the mask, while the patterned fabric will be on the outside.
Optionally, you can also add a pocket to the inside of the mask if you would like to add an additional layer to the mask. You can also place extra fabric, paper towel, or a carbon filter into the pocket to add an additional layer.
Here are our recommended dimensions:
- Rectangular pattern:
- Large: 9 ¼ x 8 ¼ inches
- Medium: 8 ¾ x 7 ¾ inches
- Small: 8 ¼ x 7 ¼ inches
- Large 7 x 6 inches
- Medium 6 x 5 inches
- Small 6 x 5 inches
Step 2: Prepare the pocket
(Skip if not adding a pocket)
Measure a ¼ inch section on the top of the pocket. Sew the section end-to-end, and iron it.
Flip the pocket over, and fold over ¼ inch sections on both sides, and then the bottom. Just iron this time, no need to sew yet as you will be attaching it to the mask’s inside fabric.
Line up the top of the pocket (section you sewed first) about 1 and ¼ inches below the top of the mask’s inside fabric, and center it in the middle of the fabric. Sew down the sides and bottom, leaving the top part open.
Pocket sewn to inside pocket
Step 3: Attach the Top and Bottom Fabric Pieces
Line up the top and bottom pieces face to face (with the pattern facing to the white/natural fabric, to the pocket if there is one) and sew end to end. You can leave ¼ inch on top between the white and patterned fabric, as shown in the below image, but you don't have to.
Flip the patterned piece over so both the pattern and the pocket is face up, and sew down the same line again to create an extra sturdy top part for the mask.
Now, flip it “closed”, with the pattern on one side and the pocket face down on the table, and the pattern face up. Once you are done, if you lay the mask pattern side up, you shouldn’t see any of the white inside fabric above the seam.
Front and back view after sewing
Step 4: Prepare the wire
Inserting a wire at the top of the mask will ensure that the mask molds and fits tightly against your face. Although optional, it can make a significant difference:
Photo 1 - without wire, Photo 2 - with wire
Start by cutting a 6 inch piece of wire (or flattening a paper clip). You can use hanging wire that you can buy at your home hardware store. Alternatively, you can flatten a paper clip. When you cut the wire, the ends will be quite sharp, so we recommend using Scotch tape to protect the sides of the wire to ensure that it doesn't poke through the fabric or hurt you in any way.
Next, place the mask pocket-side up and place the wire at the top of the mask, entered above the pocket. Use a pencil to mark the ends of the taped wire. Next, sew a pocket for the wire to be inserted into at the top of mask, above the filter pocket, leaving one side open to allow you to insert the wire.
Note: only the right side of the wire pocket is sewn, the left side is open to allow for the wire to be inserted
Insert the wire from the open side, and sew the pocket closed. Once closed, this is what it looks like on the pattern side.
Inserting the nose wire
Closed pocket from pattern side
After this process, check the sides of the mask when it’s laid out pattern side up. If you have excess white fabric on the sides, cut it off.
Step 5: Attach elastics
Prep two 5-6 inch pieces of elastic for each side. You can use an elastic rope or a hair elastic cut in half.
Open the mask, so the pattern and pocket sides are face up. Attach the top of the elastic to the fabric side by sewing it about ¼ from the top of the mask, and on the bottom about 1/2 an inch from the bottom of the fabric. Do this on both sides.
Flip the patterned fabric over the seam so it is face to face with the pocket side. Start at the top attachment of the elastic and sew it end to end. This ensures the elastics will be secure. Repeat this on both sides. After this is done, flip the mask inside out.
Next, flatten the mask out by running your finger, ruler or a pen inside the mask. Iron the sides of the mask down, ensuring it is completely flat to prevent wrinkles.
Now, fold in the excess fabric at the bottom, and iron it down. Here is a before and after:
Before and after ironing
Sew the bottom end to end and you’re almost done! You should now have a rectangular mask, and now it’s time to add the pleats.
Step 6: Add Pleats
It’s up to you how many pleats you want to add, and how thick they should be. In this demonstration, we will show you how to add 3. Create the first pleat by folding the fabric from the top about an inch. Fold the fabric under about ¼-1/2 of an inch and sew down. Repeat this for the next 2 pleats on the same side.
Then, repeat it on the other side, making sure it is balanced to have even pleats across the mask.
And you’re done! Enjoy your mask.
We have a collection of face masks up for sale on Loganova Shades, feel free to take a look if you would like to purchase or for pattern/fabric inspiration!