Howdy Stitchers,

Friends, I need your help. Will you join me in creating this mask (new tutorial below) for the health care staff of children's hospitals served by the
Standish Foundation for Children? Medical professionals are sometimes using many masks throughout a single day, and our goal is to provide 1000 masks in the next 2 weeks. 

The need for fabric masks is ever-increasing. We're all getting great feedback from healthcare workers across the country who are using our home-sewn masks, and how they are using them, which is helping to refine the designs.

I have developed a fabric mask pattern that incorporates ALL of the features that folks on the front lines are telling us they need: large enough to fit over their N95 masks, a pocket for a replaceable filter, a slot for a replaceable nose bridge clip, and side casings that can take either elastic OR ties. For makers, I wanted to be sure it was simple enough that anyone could stitch one easily, and keeps cutting pieces to a minimum. 

Every day I read posts from healthcare folks who are so grateful to have better protection, and that they're feeling uplifted to see that people really care about their wellbeing. You are truly making a difference!
• Sew Masks • Donate fabric • Cut elastic/ties  • Insert elastic/ties  • Cut filters
No time to sew or volunteer? Consider a donation for materials and postage.

Email me if you can volunteer!
Okay! Let's get started! Cut your main cotton fabric 8" X 14.5", and two end pieces that are 2.25" X 4". Ideally for speed, you'll "stack and whack" multi layers of fabric with a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.
Fold in half, right sides together with all edges meeting. Measure in 2" where the short edges come together, pin and stitch. Remember to backstitch when you begin and end all your seams.
Press just the seam allowances open. Turn right side out and bring the slit opening up to the top so it sits 1/2" from the top fold. You'll be able to feel the 1/2" seam allowances inside as a guide. Press.
To make the pleats super easy, you're now going to press the mask in fourths. Make sure the slit side is facing UP. 
1. Fold the top edge with the slit face down onto the bottom fold and press. 
2. Open the mask and fold the top edge to that center fold and press
3. Fold the bottom edge to the center fold and press
4. Now fold everything at the center crease and press.
Nice job!
5. Ok, open up your mask so that the pressed pleat peaks (say that three times fast!) are pointing up and the slit side is facing down. 
6. Draw down that bottom fold to rest just about 1/2" from the bottom of the mask to create your first pleat.
7. Draw down that next pleat to rest about 1/2" above the first.
8. Repeat for that final pleat, adjust so that the pleated mask is 3" tall. Give it a final press, which will make the next step easier.
9. With the mask facing slit side down, place on top of the 2.25" X 4" end casing piece so that there is 1/2" extending top and bottom, and all raw edges are meeting at the side.
10. Fold the top and bottom of the end casing piece to be flush with the top and bottom of the mask. Clip into place. Repeat steps 9 & 10 for the other side of the mask.
Let's stitch those ends on in a way that works with the direction of the pleats for a smooth ride, using a 1/2" seam allowance.
11. Stitch the right edge with the right side facing up. Be sure the ends don't get tucked under a pleat.
12. Now, flip that over and stitch the left edge with the slit side facing up. 
13. Pull the end casings out and finger press the folds as shown
14. Fold the end casing up about 1/2"
15. Fold again so that the casing fold overlaps that first stitching line a bit.
16. Stitch close to the edge to finish your end casing.
(The finished mask should measure 8" wide X 3" high.)
This is our final sewing step! 
Grab an erasable fabric marker or chalk (or just use pins to mark). With the slit side facing up, mark a 3" opening in the middle of the mask as in picture 16. (If your mask didn't finish exactly at 8" wide, the best way is to just fold the mask in half and mark a center point, then measure 1.5" to the left and right of center.)

With the slit side facing up, stitch an "L" shape as shown, starting from the top, then pivoting and edge stitching close to the folded edge above the slit. The open end will allow insertion and replacement of a wire nose clip.
For the flexible nose wire, we're going to use a piece of 18 gauge cloth-wrapped floral wire, 18 gauge aluminum wire, or ready made nose pieces. If using wire, cut it 3.5" long. Use a pair of round nose or needle nose pliers to curl the ends in so they don't poke the wearer.
Insert the wire through the opening in the slit and push all the way in. 
Last step, y'all! Let's put in our ties or elastic now. 

Cut either two pieces of 12" long 1/8" wide elastic or round elastic. This has to tuck behind the ear, so anything wider than 1/4" will be uncomfortable. Sadly, vendors are price gouging on elastic. You should not pay more than 50 cents per yard for 1/8" wide skinny elastic. Etsy has been the best source. 


Two ties about 30" to 36" long. T-shirt yarn is soft and flexible. You can also just cut strips of knit fabric cut perpendicular to the selvedges. 1/2" cotton twill tape is perfect, or folded and sewn strips of fabric/ready-made bias tape. (If making your own strips, they do not need to be cut on bias.) Please just don't use stuff like satin ribbon, which comes untied easily, rick-rack, etc. 

In either case, use a safety pin, bodkin, or loop turner to hook and pull the elastic or ties through the casings. BOOM! you are DONE! Way to go! Ok, rinse and repeat until this thing is OVER!
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Stitch Lab Covid-19 Mask Tutorial 2 Stitch Lab Covid-19 Mask Tutorial 2

Use an awl, a chopstick or a seam ripper as an extra finger to hold down the fabric as it's going under the presser foot as shown. 

Also, if you're making these by the dozens, "chaining" or butting them together--one after the other--is super efficient. You wont have long thread tails to cut, you just cut them apart in the little gap where they were abutted.
Contact Andy Standish at or post to the Standish Foundation for Children to coordinate pickups. A note from Andy:
"Hi Leslie, the Standish Foundation for Children is so grateful to you! You have donated countless hours of time and yards of fabrics & notions! We get requests for masks everyday! We support children's hospitals in Austin and throughout the U.S. We are sending these masks, care packages of comfort foods & hosting webinars. We're a volunteer led organization and SO grateful to you for your work. This fundraiser will help us send more masks and more care packages!!"
Very important to note:

• Wearing a fabric mask can add some protection, but you still must maintain 6' distance from others, not touch your eyes/face, and wash your hands continuously. 

• When you return home, immediately remove your mask and immediately put it in the washing machine at the hottest setting. This is the reason multiples are ideal. 


• Do NOT use fusible interfacing for donated masks. The glue can impede air flow. We are providing the proper filters needed with our donated masks.

• When pre-washing fabrics, do NOT use detergent with perfumes for donated masks, as many are allergic. Do NOT use fabric softener at all. 

• Don't worry if you don't have wire, elastic or ties. Just do the sewing part and we can pass them to another volunteer to finish them up here.

THANK YOU SEW MUCH for your contributions y'all!!

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