How To Sew A Pleated Face Mask | #ProjectBasedLearning Hems and Seams

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Amidst everything going on in the world, masks have become a new normal, and for us fashionistas, finding the cutest face masks out there is a must. But the more we locked, the more we found that the masks out there were either incredibly expensive, or horribly boring, so, we went on the hunt for some designer masks and we found this gorgeous pleated face mask pattern from Project RunWay winner Erin Robertson. She has loads of the cutest face masks available on her shop, but she has also shared her pattern for those of us who want to be fashionable on a budget. Thanks Erin


During this project, we are going to be doing some more complex hem and seam work just so you can get some practice with some of the more traditional hems and seams used by sewers. The only way to start sewing perfectly straight and to get improve your sewing is through practice, and this project is perfect for that. Here are the tools and materials that you are going to need for this project:

Before we dive into this project, we want to remind our readers that if you’re making some face masks to get some sewing practice, you should donate some of them to one of the many organizations that still need donations of fabric face masks. Sewing is always more fun when you are helping your community!


Step 1: 

For starters, you will need your pattern, and you can either find it on Erin Robertson’s Website, or you can draw it yourself. This pattern is pretty simple, and only two pieces. First, your outer fabric pattern is a rectangle with the dimensions 9 ¼ inches by 7 ¼ inches. Second, draw your inner lining pattern with the dimensions 7 ⅛ inches by 5 ⅛ inches. Feel free to adjust those measurements to a size that properly fits your face, and then cut them out using your crafting scissors. 

Step 2: 

Once you have your patterns, you need to prep your fabrics. It helps if your fabrics are washed and steamed so you are not struggling with any fold or wrinkles. To start, fold your linen in half, and trace your pattern on a fold so you can cut the two pieces of interior lining that you need at once. 

Step 3: 

Using a transparent ruler, a rotary cutter and your outer fabric pattern, cut out the one piece that you need for your outer fabric. For now, you can set this piece to the side.

Step 4: 

Take one of your inner lining pieces, and with your steam iron, press a rolled hem along one of the longer sides. To do this, first, fold the raw edge in about ⅛ of an inch, and then, fold it over again ¼ of an inch making sure to steam press those folds so they stay in place. If needed, you should use pins or fabrics clips to hold it in place. 


Step 5: 

Head over to your sewing machine and edge stitch the edge in place. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for both pieces of the interior lining. Steps 4 and 5 are optional, you do not need to do a rolled hem, but the rolled hem is the best way to finish raw edges if you do not have a serger, and this is a way for you to get in some practice. 

Step 6:

Now that your inner lining pieces are complete, you are ready to join it to your outer fabric. One at a time, pin your inner lining pieces along the top and bottom of the 9 ¼ inch side of the fabric making sure that your top inner lining and bottom inner lining are aligned and centered to the outer fabric. 

Step 7: 

With your pieces pinned along the edges, straight stitch along the top and bottom with a ⅛-¼ inch allowance. 

Step 8: 

Now that you have an inside out mask, take it over to your ironing board and carefully press the top and bottom edges perfectly along the fold with the interior linings now covering the wrong side of the outer fabric. This step is also optional, but again it is great practice for beginner sewers. Now that you have pressed your inner lining inwards, you can top stitch along the top and bottom creating a reverse french seam to hold them in place. You can use the top french seam to put in a pipe cleaner so that your mask fits perfectly around your nose. 

Step 9: 

Your mask is starting to look close to done at this point. Going back to the ironing board, it is finally time to pleat. You can measure out your pleats carefully, but it is easier to just eye-ball the fold at about one inch. With every pleat you fold inwards, you are going to want to press it and steam it with your iron to hold it in place. You want to do about 3 pleats, but for beginners it may be easier to do just 2 pleats. 

Step 10: 

To help hold your pleats in place, top stitch along both sides of the mask as close to the edges of the interior lining as possible. 


Step 11: 

As we did with the fitted face mask, you are going to want to first, press a rolled hem along both of the sides and then edge stitch making sure to leave enough space for you to get your elastics through the sides. Make sure to do this on both sides. 

Step 12: 

Your mask is pretty much done now, all you need is to put in the elastics. Using your yarning needles and the two strips of elastic cut to your appropriate length, you are going to run the leastics along the rolled hems on each side of your face mask. Tie off your elastics and cut off the bunny years and you are ready to rock your new gorgeous face mask. 

As always, be sure to let us know what you thought about this project and what projects you want to see us take on next. Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to be the first new when our new projects come out every week.

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Author: D. W. Perf

"The only thing that matters in life having a little bit of happiness everyday". Multidisciplinary artist exploring and learning about the fields of writing, fashion and activism.

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