Slow the Spread with Cloth Face Masks
On April 3, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) provided recommendations for wearing a homemade mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a.k.a Coronavirus. Chase Street A&E has developed a precise laser-cut pattern to make tailored masks in four different sizes, and including a pocket for a replaceable filter (such as a coffee filter or cutout from a vacuum bag). While not necessarily medical-grade, this mask will provide some level of protection when worn properly, without depriving front-line health workers of their personal protective equipment (PPE).
We primarily developed this design to speed production in support of Station North Tool Library's fabric mask effort. Since we began, the demand for fabric masks has dramatically increased, and we want to make the pattern and instructions available to everyone. If you're a sewist making masks to donate and need pre-cut fabric, please contact us at email@example.com and we'll give what we can.
If you're interested in supporting our work on this project, we welcome donations. We also have pre-made masks available for purchase, including Baltimore Ravens/Orioles-themed and generic pattern versions. Profits from the sale of masks are used to fund materials and labor supporting Station North Tool Library's sewing project, mask donations to essential workers, and Open Works' 3d-printed shield effort. If you're in the Baltimore area, need a mask, can't sew, and cannot afford pre-made, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to get one to you.
Sew Your Own Fabric Mask with Filter Pocket
We've designed this version of fabric mask to require no pinning, ironing, or measuring. Once you've cut the fabric you just get to start sewing! Download a PDF with instructions and our pattern, or PDF with just the pattern.
- Select two different patterns of 100% cotton. This is important so that the wearer can easily tell the lining from the exterior. Avoid using solid colors so that it’s obvious this isn’t a medical-grade mask.
- Print pattern for the desired size (available at end of instructions) and cut out two of each piece, with one of each being a mirror-image. We know this pattern is a pain to cut, so we're offering a mask-sewing kit that contains our laser-cut fabric!
- On each of the smaller pieces, fold the straight edge twice so that three notches overlap.
- Sew in place.
- Ensure the right-sides are placed facing each other, so you can only see the back of the fabric on either side of each pair.
- Sew each pair together along the long curved edge, right under the notches.
- Open each pair (they’ll kind of look like wings).
- Push the notches to the side.
- Sew in place. At this point each pair will hold a curved shape due to the reinforced stitching.
- Lay the lining over the larger outer layer, right sides together, matching up the notches.
- Sew along the edge of the notches on both sides.
- Flip inside-out.
- Select one of the bottom tabs and fold it 3 times so that it lines up with the bottom of the mask.
- Sew in place, then continue sewing along the bottom of the mask.
- When you reach the bottom of the other tab, fold it and continue sewing the rest of the length. There will be one continuous seam along the entire bottom of the mask.
- Repeat on the top of the mask.
- On each of the side flaps, fold approximately ¼”.
- Fold again so that it lines up next to the mask lining, but doesn’t overlap.
- Sew along the edge so that you have a “tube” on each side of the mask where you can add elastic/ribbon/ties.
- You now have a complete mask! Add disposable non-woven material into the pocket to act as an additional filter if desired. Options include coffee filters, blue automotive paper towels, HEPA filter material, etc.
- Follow instructions for safely wearing a homemade mask at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diycloth- face-coverings.html
- If you need help installing the elastic in the finished mask, you can see a step-by-step video at https://youtu.be/KW4erFanA18
If you appreciate the effort we've put into sharing this information and/or want to contribute to the materials and labor for our donations, we welcome financial support. We wish you all the best and hope that you're staying healthy and happy!