How to Sew a Pocket Face Mask

Disclaimer: These masks are not meant to replace true medical or N95 mask, but in desperate times, they are being chosen over having nothing or reusing masks. 
The great thing about this masks is that they have a pocket to slide a filter or used mask into, so it may extend the life of a disposable mask, or mask inserts can be used .

If truly nothing else is available I have seen people use vacuum or air filters. Again, these masks do not replace true medical masks, but many of my nurse friends and family are asking for them, so I am trying to help them in anyway possible, and these are what they are choosing over having no other resources, so I hope that it helps! 
Also linked at bottom: Video Tutorial 
So here goes...


Materials Needed: 

-woven cotton fabric (quilting cotton, prewashed)

-1/4 elastic 

- floral wire or pipe cleaners 

-needle nose pliers (optional)


1. Cut fabric into a piece that measures approximately 14”x9”  

2. Cut 2 pieces of elastic 6” long each


3. Cut one piece of floral wire or pipe cleaner to about 6” 


4. Roll short (9”) side of fabric over twice and sew along edge, repeat for other 9” side. 

5. Flip fabric so right side is down on the table and fold up the 9” sewn side toward the center , about 3” up. Fold the other 9” sewn side down about 5” . This should make the 9” sewn sides overlap in the center. 

6. Take one 6” piece of elastic and pin the end inside the top corner fold of the mask. Take the other end of the elastic and pin it to the bottom (same side ) of the mask.

7. Sew from top to bottom , sewing elastic ends in place and closing the entire side of the mask. Repeat on other side. 

8. Turn mask right side out through the pocket hole you have created. 

-If you are adding wire in your mask so that the mask can fit form to the nose and cheeks do the following steps. This is optional, so if you choose not to add wire, please skip ahead to step 11. 

9. Take your 6” piece of floral wire and curl the ends into themselves so that there is no sharp end. Needlenose or jewelry pliers work best for this. 

10. Slide the wire up into the mask along the top long edge . Hold in place and sew it along three edges so that the wire cannot slide around in the mask . 

11. It is now time to add pleats to the front of the mask. Many hospital tutorials I see have said that pleats help with the safety of the mask. I like to add 4 folds but some tutorials show only 3 folds and that is said to be fine too.

Start at one top side (next to elastic) and fold the fabric from the center upward toward the elastic . Pin here . Move down and fold upward from the center again, pin. Move down slightly and fold DOWN this time towards the bottom of the mask, pin and one more fold toward the bottom of the mask, pin. After pleating is in place the mask should be about 3” tall on sides. 
11. Sew all along the side of the mask from top elastic piece to bottom. 

12. Trim threads and advise anyone who uses the mask to wash before using! 

If you liked this tutorial, please give me a follow on Instagram @lanaraehandmade and tag me when you sew! I would love to see what you have created and who you are donating too. I am also making masks and taking donations if you would like to help.  

This pattern is NOT meant for masks to be sold in any way, they are on donation basis only right now and are not proven to be as effective as a medical mask. 


Here is a link to the video tutorial on my instagram:

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