Bitterroot Amateur Radio

Bitterroot Amateur Radio

communicating through thick and thin

Fully Informed Jury

Fully Informed Jury

the alternative to a ruling elite

Libertarian Party

Libertarian Party

whatever floats your boat as long as it doesn't sink mine

Best Face Mask Instructions

Mask Pattern Instructions based on this YouTube video: 

How to sew a simple pleated face mask with just 5 lines (with nose wire and filter slot)

To print out; click on the words Mask Pattern Instructions at the bottom for the pdf. 


Update: Some of us are noticing that our machines are having a hard time going through all the fabric at the pleats. I am going to serge those two seams today on my second mask and see if when I go to make the pleats at the end I can stitch in past the seam and not have as many layers of fabric to stitch through. My electronic brother sure makes loud sounds going through thick layers and it is discomforting to hear. My old mechanical machine would likely be a better choice for the job.

Also, there is much debate over what to use for a filter, or if a filter does any good at all. Well, I am going to add a poster one reader gave me at the bottom of this page you can refer to on the subject. However, my main takeaway is that these are more for personal use, to keep the WEARER from spreading the virus, hopefully, than it is in PROTECTING the wearer from contracting the virus. To repeat, these are more for preventing spreading the virus as opposed to protection from the virus. AND it is possible that something you use with chemicals in it could actually cause harm to your lungs, not a result you want from wearing the mask or for a loved one you give one to.

For me, and my family, we will make our own individual decisions based on that and continue to wear masks in public in order to prevent spreading the virus. 

Cut fabric 8” x 16”.

Or, if you want to use two different fabrics, cut them 8” x 8.5” and join them with a .5” seam and continue as if using a single fabric. Caution: Inserting the nose wire into the pocket may be a bit trickier with a seam at the top of the mask instead of just the fold. If you can, serge this seam or at least trim and overcast stitch it.

Hem short ends.
Best mask

Fold in half, right sides together. Measure in 1.5” from each side at top open end and pin.

Stitch 1/2” seam from pin to ends, leaving center open for adding filter.

Finger press seam open and pull new seamed tube end to bottom. See next photo.

Pin or clip a 5” piece of elastic (or 15” each ties) at corners catching ends in edges where sides will be seamed. All the extra elastic or ties should be inside the tube. Stitch 1/2” side seams.

Turn right side out. Opening will be at bottom, facing up. Square should measure 6.5” on sides.

Place pins for pleats at 1”, 2”, 2.5”, 3.5”, 4” & 5” on right side. Bring 3.5 pin to 2.5, 5 to 4, and then make a 3rd pleat like the first two pinning or clipping to hold. Repeat for other side. You can just eyeball it. Stitch seam at 1/4” down each side securing pleats.

Mask Step 2



Add a nose wire channel by finding the center top edge (opposite of the filter opening) and pin. Measure 2” either side of center and stitch a 1/2” seam from the edge between the pins.

Think that the opening for the filter is below your mouth when wearing. When forming the pleats you want them going downwards, not upwards becoming dust collectors. That’s how you will check your work forming the pleats. Make sense?

Cut a pipe cleaner (or use a garbage bag or bread bag twist tie) and crimp one end, and work into channel from inside the mask. Pipe cleaner will make 3.

Cut filter of your choice, I’m using a paper cut from a vacuum cleaner bag, and insert into mask.

Make fisherman’s knot (technically, the video uses 1/2 of a Fisherman’s knot) with ends of elastic on each side of mask. Adjust to fit. Crimp wire over nose. I haven’t tried with a whole Fisherman’s knot so i don’t know if it would still be adjustable, and perhaps it would be unnecessary, anyway. I will update when I make another one.

Remove nose wire and discard filter to wash and reuse.

Happy to have comments with corrections and clarifications as you use this.My Best Mask

Missy in Montana!

I did much better at formatting with my regular word processor. If you want that in a .pdf form, click the link below.

Mask Pattern Instructions Revised