Sewing a face mask / breathing mask with filter #DIY #StayAtHome

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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.

Nähanleitung für einen Mund-Nase-Schutz

New german sewing instructions for mouth-nose protection for donations and / or for care facilities. With tunnel for a nose clip or wire and fabric straps.

English Translationmouth-nose-protection

einfache Maske aus Jersey nähen oder einem T-Shirt

If you want to sew a variant from an old T-shirt without a rubber band, read my german article for a comfortable mask made from jersey: Sew respiratory protection from a T-shirt.

English TranslationT-Shirt mask

jede genaehte Maske hilft

04/28/2020 – already over 625,000 downloads of the sewing pattern! You’re awesome! I did not expect this huge solidarity. Many thanks to all hardworking hands who sew, distribute, donate fabrics, organize, telephone, inform, educate and help!

Many thanks to all supporters who are making a donation via the Nähtalente PayPal account: hello@naehtalente.de to keep this page and the project running

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 a.m. – improved fit in the nose area
Update: 22.03.2020 12:20 p.m. – cutting the filter
Update: 03/23/2020 6:00 a.m. – Questions and answers added
Update: 23.03.2020 7:30 a.m. – acceptance points for masks
Update: 03/25/2020 3:00 p.m. – Instructions for printing added
Update: 25.03.2020 6:00 p.m. – Better fit with a rubber cord added.
Update: 27.03.2020 9.00 a.m. – Improved sewing instructions for printing
Update: 03/28/2020 10:00 a.m. – Three new sewing pattern sizes for children added: XS, XXS and MINI
Update: 29.03.2020 08:45 a.m. – enlarge the pattern
Update: 04/01/2020 05:30 a.m. – We have a supplier of mouth guards
Update: 03.04.2020 07:15 a.m. – new sewing pattern size XXL
Update: April 3rd, 2020 7:45 am – Information regarding warnings regarding questions and answers
Update 05.04.2020 06:00 a.m. – Sew respiratory mask from T-shirt
Update 04/09/2020 1.00 pm – According to Sebo, the filter material does not contain any glass fibers.

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.

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.

Atemmaske nähen mit kostenlosem Schnittmuster

Sewing Pattern Download

Download (PDF)

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.

Drucken Schnittmuster für Atemschutzmaske

The pattern consists of two sheets.

Atemschutzmaske Schnittmuster DIY

Cut out the pattern

In the sewing pattern you will find eight different sizes:

  • Mini XXS – very small children (approx. 3 years)
  • XS – small children (approx. 6 years)
  • S – older children (8 – 9 years)
  • M – teenager
  • L – women
  • XL – men
  • XXL

Cut out the appropriate size with paper scissors.

Material for the face mask

Material for an easy 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.

cutting the pattern pieces for a face mask

Pin the pieces

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

pinning the sewing pattern pieces for a face mask

Sewing the Curve

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

Sewing the first layer

Snap in the rounding

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.

clipping the first layer

Iron the seam allowance

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

iron the seam allowance

Sewing the lining

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

Sewing the lining of a face mask

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

fold the edges under

Then sew the seam allowance with the sewing machine

sew the edges

Pin the top and lining

Place the pieces with the right sites together and pin.

pin the lining in the face mask


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

sew the lining in the face mask

Turn and iron

Then turn inside out and iron the prepared face mask.

turn the face mask inside out

Stitch the top

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

edge stitching the face mask pattern

This ensures better stability of the face mask.

face mask with edge stitiching

Stabilized nose area

These steps are optional, but improve the fit enormously.

add a stabilizer to the nose area

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.

sew a straight line for the stabilizer

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.

Insert the metal tongue into the mask

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

face mask with wire

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.

completing the face mask

Then sew both seam allowances.

sew the outer edges

Cut the filter

cutting 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.

make a pattern for cutting the filter with a kitchen towel paper

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

ready made cutting template

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

test the filter before cutting it

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

cut the filter for the face mask for the cutting template

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

Pull the filter into the breathing mask

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

For a good fit: elastic cord (new solution)

Instead of an elastic cord, it is better to use an elastic cord, it is much more durable and comfortable to wear.

self made diy face mask

Approx. Cut 50 – 70 cm elastic cord (depending on head size) and pull through the seam allowance on the outside. Then knot and pull the knot into the seam allowance to hide it.

For my mask I have e. g. 65 cm used.

Atemmaske mit Gummikordel

Move in the elastic band (old solution)

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.

Move in the elastic band

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

pull the cord through the outer edge

Knot both ends and pull into the seam allowance.

make a knot and pul the knot in the edge

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.

Questions and answers about the breathing mask

Can I buy respiratory protection from Nähtalente?

No. I’m sorry, I don’t offer sewn masks for sale. If you don’t want to sew yourself, you can go to a tailor with this pattern and have a few made. NO sewing patterns are also sold by email.

How does the filter get into the breathing mask

Make a template of the filter material as described under „Cut filter“ and cut the filter to size. Then insert into the mask between the lining and the outer fabric.

How often do you have to wash or change the respirator?

I think that you need several masks per person. Respiratory protection that is worn over several hours or possibly over several days is a bacterial spinner! After wearing it once, my respiratory mask is immediately washed in a 95 degree hot wash.
Please note that the effect of the electrostatic filter (electrostatic filter material) is no longer present with one wash cycle. Washing loses its properties. The filter is (unfortunately) consumable.
The respiratory protection must be changed at the latest when the patient wears it through.

Where can I order the filter material?

Please search online for a corresponding dealer, I linked an Amazon example in the text above. All shops are closed at the moment, so it is probably the only way to order material.
Please do not send me any inquiries by e-mail, unfortunately I cannot name a manufacturer or online shop for filter goods.

Can I wash the filter?

Yes, a fleece filter is washable – however (to my knowledge) it loses its properties with one wash.

How long is the filter used? Can you wash it out too? Or will it be replaced?

We change the filter after each wear. The filter is (unfortunately) consumable, the respiratory mask can be boiled out or washed at 60 – 95 degrees.
Depending on the application, these masks are worn with or without an optional filter. I think that the environmental impact is limited.
My parents are almost 80 and with previous illnesses clearly in the risk group. You only wear the breathing mask with the optional filter. A donation of my breathing masks without a filter was given to a physiotherapist’s office, they had asked for the masks.

Can I use the extractor hood, sanitary napkin, fleece, patchwork fleece or vacuum cleaner bag filter from any manufacturer?

Everyone has to decide for themselves whether and what additional filter to use with the breathing mask. I can only give my personal recommendation, which is already mentioned in the text above. My heart beats for the electrostatic filter.
We were looking for a simple option for us „end users“ and therefore we came across the solution with the vacuum cleaner bag. As I said, it’s just an example of a solution. With a lead time of several months, other suppliers could certainly have been researched, but unfortunately we were unable to do so due to the time pressure. It is a proposed solution just like the supplier mentioned.
The filter of e.g. extractor hoods, sanitary napkins or patchwork fleece does not meet my personal requirements.

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

It depends on the material. If you use e.g. B. a stainless steel wire can be washed. However, the wire can bend during washing and spinning in the machine.
I take my hanger out of the mask before washing. Through the tunnel it can be easily removed and reinserted after washing.

Copyright law – what do I have to consider? The most important points at a glance:

– There is no restriction for private use (family, friends …).
– There are no restrictions on donations (hospitals, nursing homes …).
– Aid projects that call for donations (e.g. Caritas, Boy Scouts …) are not restricted.
-Printing and distributing the pattern (in large quantities) is not permitted without permission.
-Selling finished masks based on my sewing pattern is not allowed without permission.
– There is an exception only for solo self-employed people (tailors, bloggers …), who are allowed to sew manageable quantities with this pattern and hand in for an allowance.
– Providing the pattern and sewing instructions on other servers for download is not permitted.
-Supplementing and passing on the pattern and the sewing instructions with your own logo is not permitted.
For PRINTING, DISTRIBUTING, USING (commercial) the pattern, the sewing instructions and my pictures you have to get a permit!
Otherwise my copyright rights will be violated.
Inquiries with contact person, full address and name of the organization please to hello@naehtalente.de.

Do I need a permit if I want to shoot a sewing video or publish a manual on my blog / Youtube …?


Do I need a permit if I print out the pattern and the instructions and e.g. B. wants to pass it on to my customers in a pharmacy?


Do I need a permit or license to sew with this pattern for aid projects, medical practices, hospitals or as a solo self-employed?

No. Sew as many masks as you can. An additional approval or licensing for aid projects of any kind and the subsequent donation is not required.
The copyrights for the pattern, the sewing instructions and my photos are with me! I ask you to respect that, the pattern can be used – but should not be copied or stolen and appear somewhere else with a different name.
License fees are not required, we look forward to donating the project to the Paypal account hello@naehtalente.de.
If you have to make a living as a trader, you should also get something for sewing. This applies to sewing manageable quantities. Mass production is still not permitted. Solo sewers or small tailors are welcome to sell the sewn masks.
For PRINTING, DISTRIBUTING, USING (commercial) the pattern, the sewing instructions and my pictures you have to get a permit! Otherwise my copyright rights will be violated.


Yes gladly! Please remember, however, 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.

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 or bow into the nose area as described in the instructions. This allows the respiratory protection to be adapted to your own face shape.
I 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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Bettina Müller

Bettina Müller

Bettina eine leidenschaftliche Schneiderin aus Hannover und Gründerin von Nähtalente!

Nähtalente steht für Lieblingsschnitte zum Selbermachen und Nähen lernen. Du bekommst die besten Tipps für tolle Kleidung zum Nähen, Schnittmuster an deine Maße anzupassen und neue Nähtechniken zu erlernen.

Nähen macht nicht nur glücklich, sondern ist auch ein nachhaltiges Hobby. Fühl dich wohl und nähe deine Kleidung einfach selber.

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