sewing a face mask sewing instructions

Breathing mask 2.0! This week I have already put a sewing instruction for a simple face mask online. The fit and my need for better protection did not make me satisfied. For this reason, I have designed a new protective mask that has a better fit and brings a bag for a filter.

Information from the Robert Koch Institute: Does it make sense to wear mouth and nose protection in the general population to protect against acute respiratory infections?

German information about the corona pandemic:

Update: 22.03.2020 9:30 – Improved fit in the nose area
Update: 22.03.2020 12:20 – Cutting the filter
Update: 23.03.2020 06.00 – Q&A: important Questions and answers added

Öffnung für Filter der Atemmaske

Filter material for the face mask

The filter material can optionally be drawn into the mask to better protect yourself and others. Please inform yourself sufficiently about the material:

Suitable filter material for a respirator to achieve the FFP 3 class such as B. described on Wikipedia, can be achieved by layers with an electrostatic material (electret, see also electret filter). Cut the filter material of the bag and place it in the mask.

Example of a commercially available 4-layer electret filter bag (view on Amazon), which can be used for the mask.

Despite the recommendation for filter material mentioned in the text, I would like to point out that the mask does not achieve FF3 approval .

With these instructions you can sew a breathing mask with a bag for a filter. Simply download the pattern and print it out on the printer.

Disclaimer: This face mask cannot replace a medical respirator. It is an emergency plan for everyone who could no longer get adequate protection in the shops. The right medical respirator is still the best way to protect yourself.

In the following picture I only show an example that was created during sewing. It should show the function of the filter bag.

Atemschutzmaske mit Filter selbst genäht Schnittmuster

With these instructions you can sew a face mask with a bag for a filter. Simply download the pattern and print it out on the printer.

Download the sewing pattern

Open the sewing pattern (PDF) by clicking on the size or download it with the right mouse button with „save as …“.

Atemschutz Schnittmuster

Sewing the face mask

With the following instructions you can easily sew a protective mask for yourself and your family. It guides you step by step through the sewing process.

Printing the sewing pattern

Print the PDF pattern on A4 paper without scaling! On the pattern you will find a test square to measure. Please check whether it was printed with the correct settings.

Atemmaske Schnittmuster drucken

The pattern consists of two sheets.

Atemschutzmaske Schnittmuster DIY

Cut out the pattern

In the pattern you will find four different sizes:

  • S – Little children
  • M – older children and teenagers
  • L – women
  • XL – men

Cut out the appropriate size with paper scissors.

Material for the face mask

The most suitable is a washable cotton fabric that can withstand high temperatures when washed in the washing machine at 95 degrees. I only used scraps of fabric for the breathing mask. If you have no fabric leftovers in the house you can also use an old duvet cover.

Fabric purchase: With a fabric width of 1.40 m you only need 30 cm (for top and lining) for two respirators

If you also want to sew a mask, you need:

  • Outer fabric: pre-washed cotton fabric
  • Lining: pre-washed cotton for the lining e.g. B. Molton (light quality up to approx. 190 g / m²)
  • Elastic band or elastic cord approx. 60 cm
  • Sewing thread, pins, scissors and sewing machine needles.

With the instructions you can sew the sizes S, M, L and XL. However, the processing steps are the same for all sizes.

Cutting the fabric

Place the pieces on the doubled fabric and cut out accordingly. The pattern already contains the seam allowance.

Pin the pieces

Place the pieces with the right (beautiful) side of the fabric together and pin the long curve.

Sewing the Curve

With 7 mm seamallowance sew the long curve with a straight stitch.

Rundung einknipsen

The sewn curves have to be snapped in so that the fabric is nice and smooth and gives way a little when worn.

To do this, clip in with scissors up to approx. 2 mm in front of the seam on the upper part and lining.

Iron the seam allowance

Iron the seam allowance of the rounding in the top and lining in one direction.

Sewing the lining

Draw a 1.5 cm seam allowance with tailor’s chalk, a fabric marker or simply a pencil.

Fold in the seam allowance up to the line and then fold over again. Stick and iron with pins.

Then sew the seam allowance with the sewing machine

Pin the top and lining

Place the pieces with the right sites together and pin.


Sew the lining onto the top with a seam allowance of 1 cm. To do this, sew the seams on the top and bottom.

Turn and iron

Then turn inside out and iron the prepared face mask.

Stitch the top

Topstitch top and bottom edge on the right side of the fabric.

This ensures better stability of the face mask.

Stabilized nose area

These steps are optional, but improve the fit enormously.

Nasenklammer Atemschutz

A metal tongue or some wire can be worked into the area above the nose for reinforcement. With the flexibility everyone can adapt the fit to their own nose.

Ideal is the use of the metal tongue of simple adhesive strips, because it is much more durable than simple wire. If you don’t have a booklet at hand, you can of course use wire.

Steppnaht nähen

An additional quilting seam is sewn for the metal tongue. Sew this quilting seam to the right and left of the center at a distance of approx. 1 cm from the upper edge.

Do not sew the entire route from right to left, because the metal tongue should be removed for washing.

In the picture above I marked the distance to be sewn between the pins.

Metallzunge in Maske einsetzen

After sewing, slide the metal tongue into the small channel and align it in the center.

Mundschutz mit Draht

Now you can adapt the breathing mask to your own face shape.

Complete the breathing mask

Fold in the seam allowance on the top twice, fix with pins and iron.

Then sew both seam allowances.

Cut the filter

First we create a cutting pattern using the breathing mask. Half a sheet of kitchen paper folded in the middle is very suitable.

Place kitchen paper on the mask and trace the curve approx. 1 – 1.5 cm below the top edge.

Cut out kitchen paper for the „try-on“.

Place the cut kitchen paper in the mask and try out how well the pattern fits. Possibly correct the pattern.

Then place the kitchen paper on the filter material and cut it to size.

Filter in die Atemmaske ziehen

Pull the filter into the mask. Cut off any protruding edges.

Move in the elastic band

Cut two pieces of rubber cord. Depending on the size, the length is approx. 15 – 30 cm. The length also depends on the elasticity of the rubber used.

Pull the elastic through the seam allowance with a darning needle.

Knot both ends and pull into the seam allowance.

Wearing protection can reduce the transmission pathways of a coronavirus infection. Viruses are passed on via a droplet infection. If you are infected yourself, you should definitely wear a face mask. The less viruses can be passed on, the better. Particular caution applies to people in the risk groups! If contact cannot be avoided, protection must be worn and hygiene measures must be observed.

I hope you liked my instructions and the pattern for the face mask made of fabric.

As a thank you, you are welcome to share my post on Facebook or Pinterest. If you have any questions, write me a message using the contact form.

#StayAtHome #WirbleibenZuhause #StayTheFuckHome #FlattenTheCurve #BleibDahoam #COVID19  #Atemschutzmasken  #Mundschutz

Feel free to leave a comment on how you and your family deal with the current situation. I know it is not easy for all of us, but the best protection is to stay at home and limit contacts to what is absolutely necessary.

How does the filter get into the breathing mask?

u003cbru003eMake a template of the filter material as described under u0022u003cstrongu003eCut the filteru003c/strongu003eu0022 and cut the filter to size. Then place it in the breathing mask between the lining and the outer fabric.

How often do you have to wash or change the breathing mask?

I think that you need several masks per person. A mask that is worn for several hours or possibly for several days is a bacterial spinner! After wearing it once, my mask is immediately u003cstrongu003ewashed at 95 degrees in a hot washu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003ePlease note that the effect of the electrostatic filter (electrostatic filter material) is no longer present with a wash cycle. Washing loses its properties (virus protection).u003cbru003eu003cstrongu003eThe mask must be changed at the latest when it becomes damp through wearing it yourself. u003c/strongu003e

Do you have to remove the stabilization in the nose area for washing?

It depends on the material. If you use e.g. B. you can wash it with a stainless steel wire. However, the wire will bend during washing and spinning in the machine.

Do I need a permit to sew with this pattern for aid projects, medical practices, hospitals …..?

No! Sews as many protective masks as possible, because each mask helps. u003cstrongu003eNo additional approval is required. u003c/strongu003eHowever, I wish that I could not find masks with this pattern on etsy or similar platforms. In these difficult times, capital should not be raised out of necessity .

Can I go to a tailor with this pattern and have protective masks sewn?

Yes gladly! But please remember that a tailor makes a living from it and that he cannot work for nothing. Self-employed people pay a lot of taxes such as health insurance, taxes, etc. every month.

Can I wash the filter?

u003cbru003eYes, a fleece filter is washable – u003cstrongu003ehowever (to my knowledge) it loses its properties with one wash. u003c/strongu003e

The glasses fog up when I wear them, what can I do?

Fogging of the glasses also happens with industrially manufactured masks. Therefore, it is essential to work a wire into the nose area as described in the instructions. The breathing mask can be adapted to your own face shape. u003cbru003e u003cbru003eI received a tip as a comment: Trick from everyday laboratory work – Stick the mask on the nose with a skin-friendly adhesive tape, and the problem with the fogged up glasses is reduced.

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