The "Kit" Face Mask Pattern

Kit clarification: We do not *sell* kits, you may have heard some misinformation by word of mouth. Masks are desperately needed for hospitals/healthcare. We give all pre-cut kits to volunteers to sew and donate. We need all of our kits to go toward that effort, especially this week. There are no extra kits to sell. 

Below is the mask we put in our kits that you may make yourself.

Update: This pattern is still in use, but we no longer sew the bottom opening shut, so people can insert whatever filter material they need as they see fit. We serge the bottom raw edge of each square before assembling. Without a serger, you may need to improvise (actually, it'should be fine just leaving it raw, it fold in.)

Substitute materials: Ties work: Without elastic, you can substitute four 18" long pieces of ribbon, shoelace, parachute cord, or sew tubes to make narrow strips for finished straps. Ties actually work very well, but in bulk require significantly longer amounts of material and might tangle in the wash. The wire we use is the twist tie or garden wire that is plastic coated and available from a hardware store in small packages, most even come with a cutter right on the package. You can use pipe cleaners or bread bag ties too. Or, leave the wire out if it's a personal mask for daily errands and such. Masks donated to hospitals should include some kind of wire if at all possible. If you're simply making these for a few family members, fabric can be a pillowcase or sheet, or recycled cotton from cut up shirts. 

Target and or Walmart sell shoelaces, bedlinens and garden wire, some even have thread and fabric.

The goal of this pattern: To make a pattern that could be distributed to a team of people, to sew on their own at varying degrees of skill, with the best chance of fitting faces universally, even when sewn with varying degrees of seam accuracy (very important). To sew as many masks as possible successfully with our team's skill level and equipment/materials at hand in the least amount of time.

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I'm reading daily development about the mask making movement along with you.

I must put my disclaimer first: 

As helpful as fabric masks might prove to be during this pandemic, they would be rejected by the medical community under normal circumstances. They are a last resort item, in a world experiencing last resort needs. 

I am not able to test filtration rates, efficacy...nothing. I can't see what fabric you'll be using if you make your own. Substituting one of these masks into your work environment without the approval of your facility boss or highest authority might still get you fired. So do your homework and know when and where it could be appropriate for you use them in your personal situation. 

I make no claims about my masks preventing the transmission of any virus in any capacity. 

Let's Begin:

Face mask patterns are pretty common, and now face mask donation networks are also forming. 

My shop is now a receiving point for any masks you can donate using any online pattern. Use what's best for your materials and workflow. Click here for drop off info, my shop is in Haddonfield, Camden County, Southern New Jersey. 

I'm working with a modified pleat-style mask that is an amalgam of lots of common patterns and measurements on the internet, and tweaking them to suit my own methods, equipment, and supplies. 

Why I like this mask pattern:

9x9" of fabric covers a LOT of face. 

Elastic requires a smaller amount. Ties require 18"x4 just for one mask. 

It's square. Zero fabric waste between a grid of squares that can be cut quickly and easily.

Sizing is a simple elastic length difference. 

Best starting off tips: 

Make ONE and test that one on a large face and a small face. See why...

My husband tried on this mask that fit me perfectly. Wow. That's not what his ears normally look like! Now I make two different elastic lengths for a larger and smaller face. I actually think this might be a glaring oversight of the movement. Legions of women might be making masks to fit their own smaller faces. Check the fit on large faces, too!

Elastics can vary. I'm pretty sure my elastic is less stretchy than the kind on the one-size-fits-all industry pleated masks. But I have to work with what I got. And for me, that means two sizes.

Comment with any questions and I'll check. Please be patient with the quality of photos and video, they are done with the interest of getting things up ASAP. I'm doing the most I can with hours that seem to be passing too quickly. I did manage to get the pleat video made!

Download the Face Mask Instructional
Note it's a 9x9 square mask. To use the pdf as a pattern, you will need to tile print it at 100%. 
If you don't understand the pleat directions on page three, I have placed a video at the bottom of this page.

Supplies:

Fabric: I am using surplus quilter's weight fabric and similar weight organic cotton sheeting. Some home sewing machines may gag on the pleats—use new, sharp, heavy duty needles.

CTSUSA.com sells 1/8" elastic (I have 1/4" for now, but will get 1/8" when I run out.)

Update: CTSUSA has now sold out of appropriate elastics. :/

Twistie tie: Mine was laying around my house, no brand. I've since found more at Ace Hardware.

Here is a video aid for the final pleat making stage, which is hard to explain on just a paper pattern:


5 comments


  • Judy Cruz-Murphy

    I’ve been making mask also.p
    Noting the elastic are hurting some ears, slipping off. I’ve made both your square ones and now utilizing a more fitted face pattern.

    I’ve come up with addingL ties to elastic which can be tied in back. My husband says ties make mask more snug to face and do not fall off.
    i don’t know how to copy my phots to send to you so will try another way if I can


  • jeannette

    Hi! The pleating video just helped me. I would like to get involved in your efforts. . Thank you so much for the information. Elastic seems to be a product that has been hoarded away. I can’t find any. Jeannette


  • Barbara Cornwell

    This is a wonderful and much needed service you are providing to our selfless and devoted medical providers. I’d very much like to help. I have a sewing machine but am no means a seamstress. I can however sew and the masks appear simple enough. May I help? Thank you for your service and for making a difference!


  • Betsy

    Oh, Dear, Lisa. I was afraid of this. I better check on my own order. Cross your fingers.


  • Lisa B

    FYI… CTS appears to be sold out of all narrow elastics, unless I somehow missed one that’s still in stock.


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