Homemade Cloth Surgical Face Mask

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Senior woman working at the sewing machine at home

The folks at Sew It Online have challenged all sewers to help make surgical masks and help with the shortage the doctors and nurses are facing across the country and world. The goal is to reach 1 million masks in the next 3 weeks – with Sew It personally shooting to make 10,000.   Below are the plans for how to make these much needed surgical masks, plus you can find a step by step video here, as well as access to materials you may need.

Tell us at Capper’s Farmer if you take part in the challenge and how many masks you make. We’ll total the mask you all created to see how many we made together.    Thank you for your support!


  • Tight knit fabric scraps (1 light and 1 dark color for visible contrast)
  • Sewing machine or serger
  • 13 in of 1/4in elastic (any narrow elastic)
  • 3 in wire (thin enough to bend and hold nose piece, perhaps paper clip bend ends in for no poking)

Sew it Online

  1. Cut 2 of pattern A fabric right sides together, cut 2 of pattern B fabric right sides together. Cut 2, 6.5in pieces of 1/4in elastic.
  2. Fold pattern A fabric 1/4in from end (as shown on pattern) top stitch down.
  3. Fold pattern B fabric 1/2in from end (as shown on pattern) top stitch down.
  4. With pattern A fabric right sides together, sew curved seam to create the center of mask with 1/4in seam allowance with a straight stitch. Clip curved seam to allow seam to lay flat.
  5. With pattern B fabric right sides together, sew curved seam to create the center of the mask with 1/4in seam allowance. Clip curved seam to allow seam to lat flat.
  6. Match pattern A and B at middle seam (nest seams) and stitch with 1/4in seam allowance both layers together at top and bottom (leaving ends open). Pattern A WILL BE LONGER THAN pattern B!
  7. Before turning right sides out, zig-zag stitch pattern A and B edges together at the nose of the mask (2in down from top point on both sides, 4in total).
  8. Slide wire between 1/4in seam allowance and zig-zagged edge at nose point, bend slightly around the curve.
  9. Turn mask right side out using the side openings.
  10. Fold pattern A (folded edge) down to meet pattern B folded edge, top stitch pattern A 1/4in from fold to form a tube end for elastic.
  11. Slide 6.5in piece of elastic through tube opening on both ends of mask (pattern A side), bring both ends of elastic together and stitch 1/4in, stitch back and forth a few times to secure the ends together using a straight stitch to reinforce elastic.
  12.  Tuck sewn ends of elastic through tube and YOU ARE FINISHED!!

Download a How-To-Sew-A-Facemask-Instructions.

The Spoonflower Quick-Sew Project Book will have you stitching up a storm using a yard or two. Spoonflower presents simple step-by-step instructions that are accompanied by templates and pattern pieces. Here are dozens of brand-new projects designed to be completed in just a few hours. With easy-to-follow tutorials and projects that span a wide spectrum of skills, this book is perfect for both new and experienced sewists.