How to Make a Face Covering
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How to Make a Face Covering

Difficulty Beginner
Budget < £10
Time < 1 hour

With a few basic sewing techniques, you can create your own custom face covering that is easily adjustable and suited to you. The best fabric to use for your homemade mask is tightly woven 100% cotton.

Use with our homemade ear savers for added comfort. The tutorial can be found here .

Project and instructions by sewing expert Sophia Palmer from Sew Jessalli.

Please note: This face covering is not a medical device. Please see government guidance.

For information regarding local groups of sewing volunteers who have been making for their communities and how to join in, please visit The Big Community Sew.

You will need

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How to make

How to Make a Face Covering

Step 1

All seam allowances 10mm, unless stated.

Cut a piece of cotton fabric that measures 40cm x 22cm.

Step 2

Fold in half long ways to create a square shape. Pin and sew the top open edge only (opposite fold) with a straight stitch, leaving a gap of about 6cm in the centre.

Step 3

Move this seam to the middle and press the seams open. You can topstitch around the gap from the inside if you want to. Give the whole piece a press.

Step 4

FOR TIE OPTION: Cut four strips of bias binding 50cm long or four bias cut strips of fabric measuring 50cm x 4cm.

Step 5

If making your own from strips of fabric, press them in half lengthways, then press the edges into this middle fold.

Tuck in one end of each strip and press flat in half lengthways.

Do the same on pre-made bias binding. They should now be 49cm lengths with approx 1cm widths.

Step 6

On both bias binding and pressed fabric strips, stitch down the open edge along each strip to secure into place.

Go as close to the edge as possible.

Step 7

Insert the whole strip of binding inside the fabric square, with the raw end of each strip poking out each corner.

Pin each strip into each corner.

Sew down each open side.

Step 8

FOR EAR ELASTIC OPTION: Cut two pieces of elastic 15cm long. Place each piece of elastic inside the square, with raw ends poking out top and bottom corners, pin in place.

Make sure the elastic isn’t twisted. Repeat on the other side. Sew down each open side.

Step 9

ALL OPTIONS: Turn the mask the right way around through the small gap in the centre.

Step 10

Press the face covering in half, then fold the top and bottom into the middle and press. This should give you three pressed lines.

Step 11

Fold your pressed edges downwards to make three pleats.

You may want to test out sizing for different face shapes, but we made our pleats 1.5cm each.

Pin your pleats in place.

Step 12

Sew down each edge securing pleats. Then repeat close to the edge to keep it really strong.

It’s ready to wear.


You can add a replaceable filter through the gap. Coffee Filters or Sew In Interfacing work well.

If you want to add a nose wire, add a pipe cleaner (fold it edge in to round them slightly) through the gap and push to run along the top edge. Stitch along side it to secure in place.

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