Fabric Face Mask with TIES OR ELASTIC

If you would like to sew fabric masks, I’ve created a simple 1-page pattern of instructions. These are very easy to make!


Print it, share it with friends, pass it around.
Or save the pattern image below to your phone.

Feedback I’ve received from many healthcare workers is that elastic behind the ears is causing ear fatigue…..and also limits the sizing flexibility. My husband and I need different sizes with elastic/fabric (for an ear-style mask), but not for behind-the-head. It would be a shame to make a bunch of masks and then the fit be limited.
ANSWER: Make masks with ties!
Lots of sizing options!
And very comfy.

Watch the tutorial on my YouTube channel here, or just hit the play button below…

The pattern calls for the same length of elastic on the top and bottom (13 inches), which I found to be more comfortable on my husband and our male neighbor (who wears masks regularly). And while the bottom elastic–which can go around your neck–was looser on me, I still preferred that, because it can go up on your head instead. This gives the most options for the most amount of people (if you’re making these for people you don’t know). I would hate to make the bottom elastic too tight on someone and then they can’t use it. Of course if you’re making the mask for yourself or someone you know, make adjustments as you like! Cutting the bottom elastic a couple inches smaller might work better for you.

Some have mentioned that elastic won’t hold up well against high heat washing/drying in hospitals. So if you’re making these masks for that kind of donation, I’d probably go with 4 knit fabric ties in the 4 corners. Watch how I do that in my video. If these are being made for clinics, or people that can wash their mask at home, elastic might be fine.

At the bottom of the pattern, there’s a size chart for teens, children, and toddlers.
I have tested all sizes but the toddler one. If you try it and have feedback, please share. I guesstimated based on the other sizes.

The pleats allow the mask to expand and shape around your face.

The best kind of knits for this have a bit of spandex in them. Just look at the raw edge of the fabric. If it’s already rolling up a bit, then it’s going to work (watch me cut up a pair of leggings here).
Still not sure if it’s a good knit? Cut a piece off and try tugging on it. Try using a stretchy soft t-shirt (not the cheap “free t-shirt” stuff you might have from an event). Or use a pair of worn out leggings (the Cat and Jack ones from Target work GREAT).
AND IF IT’S NOT ROLLING UP, YOU CAN STILL USE IT! The ties won’t be as stretchy, but they will still stay nice on the head because of the texture of the fabric, which doesn’t slip on the hair as much as ribbon or other fabrics. Maybe cut them a little longer, about 20 inches? (since they won’t stretch)

Yes, this mask style works very well over an N95 mask (or similar grade). See photos below.

Yes. To make the mask mold around your nose better, you may insert a pipe cleaner, floral wire, twist tie, or small piece of flat bendable metal to the top inside of the mask before forming the pleats. Topstitch next to it to hold it in place. OR, you may sew a small piece of bias tape to the outside of the mask — insert the metal piece into the bias tape instead so that it can be removed before washing.

Yes. This mask is designed with an opening at the bottom edge, so an additional piece/layer of filtering material can be inserted. Ideally, after each use you would wash the fabric mask, dispose of the filter, and insert a new filter for the next use.

In a medical setting, a paper-like fabric called “surgical drape” works well. It is papery on one side, and has a slight plastic film on the other side. It’s lightweight enough to breath through, but adds a barrier to help keep moisture from coming in or out of the mask. I’m not sure if this fabric is available currently online, in light of the pandemic.
People have mentioned that cut-up vacuum bags are a good “fabric” to use for a filter layer.
I’ve also seen a suggestion for cutting a piece of fleece interfacing, not to fuse to the fabric but just to insert as the disposable filter between washings.
Some even just use an additional layer of fabric in lieu of another option.

Cut a piece that is about 7 x 4 inches (for the adult size mask in this pattern). Fold it in half lengthwise, and trim the ends so they angle and curve in (very approximate)–see my photo below. Basically, make it look like the shape of the mask when it’s open.

—more FAQs below the photos—-

Wash the mask in a washing machine, and then dry. If you have worn your mask to the grocery store, I would take the take the mask off when you get to your car. Place it in a bag, so you are not spreading germs into your car. When you arrive home, wash the mask. Here’s a great idea for a bag….

To make washing easy, sew a drawstring bag, place the mask in the fabric bag after wearing it, and throw the whole bag in the washing machine!
I have a video for making a simple drawstring bag here.

You can also use a fabric drawstring bag to place scrubs and other worn items in, before entering the car or a home. Throw the whole bag and included items in the washing machine together. I have a video for making a simple drawstring bag here.

(to help them secure masks with elastic around the ears, so their ears can take a break?)
Yes. I have a simple knit fabric headband video that you can adjust as needed.

I am not organizing a group to sew masks or accepting donated masks.
Please check with your local support center before sewing large quantities of masks, to confirm they will accept donations. Check with friends in the medical community, as they might have ideas of where to donate. Make a mask for a friend or for yourself.

I am not a medical expert. These are not meant to replace real medical supplies nor the N95 masks that are used in medical settings.
I have read that doctors and other medical staff need extra supplies and masks. They’ve said that fabric masks can be used over the top of an N95 mask, so that N95 masks can be worn for a longer period of time. Or these masks can be used in situations where a simple surgical mask is typically worn, to reserve other masks for COVID-19 medical staff.

Be safe and healthy, friends!

WARNING: This is an educational tutorial only. This tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom is intended to be used for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used to create a medical or similar device. This tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom is not intended, nor has it been tested, to reduce or eliminate the transmission of any respiratory or airborne pathogen, allergen, or any type of particle or droplet, and on that basis, should not be used for any such purpose. Dana Made, Inc., MADEEVERYDAY.com and Dana Willard make no warranties express or implied, that this tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom is intended, or is suitable for use to reduce or eliminate the transmission of any respiratory or airborne pathogen, allergen, or any type of particle or droplet. Any user of this tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom for anything other than educational purposes assumes the risk of serious injury or death. For information on how to reduce the transmission of pathogens, please consult a qualified and competent health care professional.


Strawberry Summer Day Dress

Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime.
In honor of Daylight Savings (which my husband hates and would lobby to get rid of)
((Spoken as a true Arizonian))…well, I’ve got sunshine and summertime on my mind.

Are you a summer lover too?
Or is winter more your vibe?—sitting by a fire, reading a good book and crocheting? Lucy wishes it would rain every day. I keep telling her she should live in the PNW when she grows up. It’s totally gorgeous. And totally that vibe.

Weather is a funny thing—like it’s part of our personality. Or rather, our relationship to weather is part of us, in our DNA. A Nature vs Nurture thing? I have a friend that grew up in Portland and never knew what it was like to see so much sunshine till she moved away as a teenager and fell in love with the sun. And then we know people who left sunny southern California this year for the giant green forests of Oregon and love it.
Potato, Potahto.

Whatever your weather language is, I think most of us agree that knit fabric is one of the best ideas ever. I love a good knit. And THIS KNIT IS THE SOFTEST THING AROUND. I’ve said that before. And probably before. But it really is soft!

This is the Backyard Berry knit from my Summer Side fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. There are three knits in this collection, and sixteen quilting cottons. You can browse them on my site here, or check out the AGF lookbook here.

For this dress I used the Summer Day Top pattern (which you can watch a video for here and here). I used the peplum tunic version and added some length to make it into a dress. Voila!

I also added the sleeve cuffs, because that is my favorite look. It’s the version we used on the pattern cover (in picnic plaid fabric).  And I smiled at this pic below (from Boden I think??) because it has a similar feel. And with the orange background, totally ties into the whole Summer Side collection!

If you’ve never sewn with knits before, DO NOT STRESS. They’re fun, they’re an adventure, but they’re not scary. I have tons of content here on my site about sewing with knits. And I have detailed videos here and here and here.

The key with knits (in this instance) is to not stretch the fabric as you sew. The nice thing with this pattern is that the bias strip binding for the neckline (when cut out of quilting cotton) will help you avoid that all together. And it looks so stinking cute when you cut the binding from a striped fabric. Watch me sew a neckline binding in this video here.

The downside to using a knit here (or rather, the “make it work” moment I experienced) is that AGF knits are a bit on the heavier side. This is fabulous when sewing a pair of leggings. But I found that it added more bulk and weight around the waistline seam. So I scaled back the width of fabric used for the peplum. And even then, the finished dress felt too “big” to me (it would feel totally different if this was sewn in a rayon fabric). So, I added a simple tie around the waist, and then I loved it!

Like I said, knits are always an adventure. Each one acts and stretches differently than another.  For this waistband tie, I simply cut a long strip of fabric, yanked it on the ends so it curled up around itself and that was that! No sewing or finishing anything off, since most knit fabric does not fray at the edges.

Now I want to make more summer clothing from the other knits in the collection…. tanks, a beach coverup, or how about this cute shirt that was tagged to #agfsummerside on Instagram?? Love her energy!

Happy sewing, friends!
> Purchase the Backyard Berry Knit Fabric here
> Grab the Summer Day Top Pattern here
> Sunglasses are from A Beautiful Mess
> Bag is from Target

NEW VIDEO: How to Sew Patch Pockets

Hello friends!
It’s a new year! It’s a new change of gear.
How ’bout sewing some pockets??


We’re not related.

(But speaking of unrelated things…this is my new favorite background. Half Square Triangles for all future video backdrops! They are so happy.)

Okay back to Pockets. I really love pockets.
If there happens to be an item of clothing in my closet that does not have pockets, I never want to wear it. In fact, why did I even buy it?? Pockets are a must! And they are so easy to sew, especially this kind.

They’re the kind of pockets that you can ask mid-project,
“You think we need some pockets?
You think we need some pockets.
Okay, we’ll add some pockets.”
(Name that movie)
((And sorry. Brad Pitt and George Clooney are not part of the pocket-sewing process.))

So let’s make some easy pockets for your pants, shorts, or even a skirt.
These skinny pants are so much fun (they’re another spin on the KID Shorts pattern). I love them! I want them for me. They remind me of the stuff I wore as a kid in the early 80s.

Just add a bit of piping (the homemade stuff, or the pre-made kind from a fabric shop)…

Throw on a pair of DIY Saddle Shoes

And you’ve got one sweet looking ensemble.

…with a lot of personality.
Clara kills me with our photo sessions.
I give a little direction, she gives me a lot of robo cop and high kicks.
Or maybe it’s more Freddy Mercury?
Yes.  Definitely channeling some Freddie.

Ready to see pockets and pants in action??
Just hit the play button below!
Or you can watch on my youtube channel here:

Ah, I love Clara. She’s almost EIGHT!
What happened to 2012??
Cue the Thriller dance…