April 2020

VIDEO: how to make face masks for your local hospital

How to make face masks for your local hospital
With sheets and a sewing machine, you can help fill a critical need.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left hospitals and other health-care sites desperately short of medical face masks. In collaboration with Good Housekeeping magazine and designer/Project Runway alum Amanda Perna, we’re publishing directions you can use to sew masks for your local facilities. We were also happy to donate some of our 100% cotton sheets to Amanda for this purpose.


The best fabric for this is tightly-woven and 100% cotton. Sheets, denim, and heavyweight shirts are good candidates. (Avoid stretchy knits such as jersey tees.) Prewash the fabric in hot water to kill germs and pre-shrink the material.

You’ll also need a non-woven filter fabric to help block out particles, and a metal piece (perhaps a simple paperclip) to make the mask fit snugly around the nose.


Here is Amanda’s step-by-step guide to sewing medical face masks, including a pattern template you can print at home. Watch her how-to video as you go!

  1. Print pattern at this link.
  2. Cut pattern out.
  3. Use pattern to cut 2 cotton fabric pieces.
  4. Use pattern to cut 2 interfacing pieces (MUST be a non-woven filter fabric).
  5. Place cut fabric with front sides together.
  6. Place both layers of the interfacing together on top of fabric (on the back side of fabric).
  7. Sew top 9” seam (2.5-3 stitch length is best) with ¼” seam allowance.
  8. Flip open with front side of fabric up.
  9. Press seam flat to one side.
  10. Insert metal piece along seam between the 2 pieces of fabric.
  11. Stitch ½” rectangle that is indicated at top of pattern (with wrong sides together) to secure metal piece.
  12. Flip back to right sides together, stitch bottom 9” seam.
  13. Flip back to right side out and press bottom seam.
  14. Use pattern to help mark pleats. Pleat the 3 pleats all in the same direction, put a pin to keep them in place.
  15. Cut binding tape at 36” per side.
  16. Find the center point of the binding and the center point of the mask and pin the binding on the mask with the mask sandwiched between the binding.
  17. Sew binding.
  18. Repeat on the other side of the mask.
  19. Press pleats.
  20. Finally, pat yourself on the back, because you are making a difference! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.