Lockdown Tutorial #1 - Make a Custom Mask

Are you stuck in lockdown at home? This lockdown tutorial is for you! We will show you how to create your own custom 3 layer mask that is reversible and DHS approved. It is made from repurposed fabric in the house. The process takes about 30 minutes and can be done with items found around the house or office.

You will need access to a sewing machine, pins, scissors and an iron.

1. Gather your materials.

It’s always better to reuse something, so if you have old textiles lying around, old t-shirts, or old bedsheets, it would be great to use them. Natural fibres are preferred so your mask can be breathable. If you are using old t-shirts, make sure they don’t have any holes or stains.

We suggest using 3 layers of fabric according to the DHS guidelines and have an extra filtering system but you can also use 2 fabrics for the reversible design.

- Outer layer Printed cotton
- Middle layer - 100% Cotton
- Inside layer - Printed Cotton

You can make your mask with only 2 layers by skipping the middle filter layer.

Next is a nose bridge wire which you can purchase online. You can also use the wire that ties up your bread or cable tie as long as they’re soft so they could be bent. We will also need 2 pieces of elastic. 

If you don’t have an elastic, don’t worry, we can also show you how to make it with ties instead. 

The benefit of elastic is that you can pull the mask tight against your skin and it’ll make it more of a snug fit. It will also prevent fogging up your eyeglasses if you wear one. 

2. Measure your nose bridge down to the chin.

The main area we need to measure is the nose bridge down underneath the chin. Don’t pull the measuring tape too tight so there would be a little bit of space in the face mask. If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can use a piece of string or shoelace to record your measurements. 

We will use the standard width of 22 cm.  

3. Make a pattern piece for the mask using your measurement as the height and the width will be 16cm.

Add 2 cm for the height of the face mask as an allowance. 

4. Cut out paper pattern and use this as a guide to cut our 3 pieces of fabric.

Put the 3 fabrics on top of each other and put the paper pattern on top of it all then trace around it. 

Pin the corners all through the 3 layers so the pattern piece won’t move around when you start cutting the fabrics. Make sure that the fabric is in the right order. One print on one side, in between is the filter piece, and the other side should be the other print for the reversible design.

5. Cut the elastic or make ties.

If you don’t have elastics and went ahead with the string or ties option, you can get some scrap fabric and cut it anyway you like. To save time in cutting it, make sure to fold your fabric 1 time or 2 times.

Cut strips at about 4 cm and make sure to sew the edges down so they don’t fray because one thing we want with our mask is that it can be washed many times. It is recommended to do a hot wash for the face masks. 

6. Take one piece of fabric and pin the elastic or ties to the corner. Make sure the direction of the elastic and the ties are heading into the centre of the piece. 

If you are using the ties, pop them on each side with a pin to keep them in place. Make sure to leave a seam allowance at the top for you to sew. It can be about 1 cm. 

7. Place the other 2 pieces of fabric on top with print facing inwards.

8. Sew all around the outside keeping 4cm open at the bottom seam.

Start sewing them and once done, we need to make sure that the ties or elastics are sitting on the inside. Sew around and leave an opening of 4 cm at the bottom seam.

9. Bag out mask.

Once we have sewn all around the edge, take two outer fabrics and bag it out through the bottom opening. 

10. Put nose wire in the top seam and incase it by top stitching it.

Get your nose bridge wire or cable tie and choose the top part of your mask. Pop the wire in on the side, push it up against the seam and make sure that it’s at the center. Once you secure the position, sew it. 

11. Iron flat and then iron in tucks on the side.

12. Sew the 4cm close and topstitch the tucks on either side.

And you’re all done! Take a moment to cut all the frays off. Your finished work is your very own custom-fit, reversible face mask. The lockdown is so tiring! We hope this lockdown tutorial has helped you create your own custom face mask that is reversible, DHS approved and made from repurposed fabric in the home or office. We would love to see your beautiful creations tagged as @hew_clothing #lockdownmasks. Remember to wash your mask after every use.