I’ve previously shown you how to make an easy face mask pattern for DIY face masks and that tutorial was on how to draft and sew a simple pleased face mask.
Today, I’m covering how to make a face mask, which is more contoured to your face. I love this face mask design because it makes me feel more secure out and about, but it is a longer process to create, and isn’t the best face mask pattern for sewing beginners.
I will preface this step by step face mask tutorial as I did the previous one: these face masks are not medical grade masks, and are suitable for those who live in locations where a face covering is required on public transport, shops etc.
Now, lets learn how to make a face mask!
Step One: The Face Mask Pattern
Grab my free face mask pattern here, and print off the pattern on an A4 or letter sized piece of paper. Make sure to select print at 100% and not scaled to fit!
If you do not have a printer, I have provided the rough dimensions for you to draft a pattern yourself, but you’ll need to add the curved lines as you see fit.
The pattern here is available in 3 sizes:
The small size is suitable for children aged 7 and upwards. If it needs to be smaller, you can always use more of the fabric as seam allowance – I’ve included 1cm in all versions.
Step Two: Cutting Out The Fabric Pieces
The pattern is the same for all the pieces needed to make this face mask. If you’re making the mask without a filter layer, then I would suggest using two contrasting fabrics – they could be different colours, different prints or have one as woven and the second as knit fabrics.
The point is to be able to easily see which side will be close to your mouth and nose, and which side faces outwards to the world.
For the non-filter version I cut:
- One piece white cotton for the inner
- One piece printed cotton for the outer
- Both were woven fabrics
For my filter version I cut:
- Two pieces of the same fabric
- One piece of white cotton for the filter layer
Step Three: Sewing The Centre Front Seam
It sounds odd saying centre front in a face mask sewing tutorial, but this is the seam running down the centre of your face. It is what will help shape the face mask to your face’s contours.
Use the 1cm seam allowance included and stitch from the top to the bottom, back stitching at both ends.
Next, clip the curved seam allowances to help them lay more flat when pressed open. Remember to snip close to the line of stitching but not through!
Turn the sections through and press the seam allowance flat on either side. I do not currently have an iron available to me during lockdown, so I’ve simple finger pressed this seam.
Step Four: Sewing Layers Together
Now we get to sew the two layers together. Start by placing the two main sections right sides together so that the clipped seams are both facing outwards. Pin together to prevent movement.
Sew along the top and bottom with a 1cm seam allowance, so that you have a face mask shaped tube!
You might notice that at both the top and bottom centre front there is tension, which needs to be snipped and released to enable the face mask to lay nicely when finished.
Turn the face mask through and find these points and snip carefully to release the tension.
Step Five: Top Stitching The CF Seam
I struggle with wearing a face mask, they make me feel constricted and panicky, and this isn’t helped when the fabric layers ‘flap’ with each breath in and out. To minimise this, I topstitch the centre front seam with a zig zag stitch. It keeps the two layers together and provides a more stable, less flappy, experience.
Start by pinning along the previously sewn seam, lining up the front and back seams.
At the same time, I pin the top and bottom seams together, to make sure everything is lined up before any further sewing takes place.
This also helps to make sure the the inner layer doesn’t ‘roll’ and become visible on the right side of the face mask.
Once everything has been pinned into position, pop the face mask under your sewing machine and set the stitch to a medium width zig zag. You could use a straight stitch and stitch in the ditch to make it invisible, but I prefer how pretty a zig zag stitch can look.
Step Six: Inserting The Straps
Before topstitching the face mask closed, you need to insert the straps (or elastic) that will be your method of securing the face mask to your face. Fold inwards the 1cm seam allowance at each end of the face mask.
Now, place the straps / lengths of elastic inside this area, in the outer corners. For this pretty, feminine face mask, I decided to use organza ribbon, and folded the ribbon into three so that it was narrower on the face area and wider further along.
Pin into position, and if you’re using elastic instead, this would be the time to test that you have enough length to not pull your ears painfully when worn. As I’m using four lengths of ribbon, I simply made sure that there was enough length to tie a bow at the back of my head and lower neck.
Step Seven: Face Mask Finishing Touches
Once you feel that the straps are the right length and position, you’re ready to sew them into place and finish your face mask. Sew along one shorter edge, maintaining a consistent distance from the fabric edge. I backstitched as well over the area where the straps were inserted for extra reinforcement.
Continue sewing around the entire face mask until the entire face mask has been top stitched. You could end up with something a lot like this:
Finished Contoured Face Mask
Okiedokie, the contoured face mask is finished. I love this version more than this easy face mask pattern because it feels more secure and more fitted to my face.
Here are a few pics of how this one looks when worn. What do you think?
Eve Tokens (aka The Creative Curator) is a fashion designer, creative pattern cutter and sewing pattern designer.
Eve graduated with a 2:1 in Fashion Design from the University of The Creative Arts in the UK, has a BTEC diploma in Creative Pattern Cutting, a Foundation Degree in Art & Design from Wimbledon College of Art and gained extensive experience in the fashion industry by interning and freelancing for London based fashion brands – Hardy Amies, Roland Mouret, Peter Pilotto and others.
As well as running her own small sustainable fashion brand, Eve has more than 25 years experience sewing and making clothes for herself and family members.
Wednesday 9th of September 2020
Great tutorial, very easy to follow. Thank you.
Thursday 10th of September 2020
Glad that it was helpful for you Jackie!
Friday 26th of June 2020
I love this tutorial as its so easy to follow with all steps explained. Thank you
Sunday 28th of June 2020
Awesome! So glad this has been helpful to you Val! Be well!
Sunday 14th of June 2020
Really good tutorial, thankyou x
Tuesday 16th of June 2020
Glad you found it helpful Amy! x