Help Us Make COVID-19 Facemasks

Guide to making COVID-19 Facemasks

Instruction Sheet for DIY Face Mask with Pocket Liner

Step 1: Cut Fabric

If you are doing this project at HCH, you will not have to cut your own fabric. You will receive a bag with your fabric pieces already cut to the proper sizes.

Front of Mask is cut to 9″x 9″
Top lining piece is cut to 9″x 7 1/2″ Bottom lining piece is cut to 9″x 4 1/2″

The fabric you are working with is either 100% Cotton or a poly/Cotton blend in a pattern for the front of the Mask and in most cases a broadcloth of 100% Cotton or poly/Cotton blend for the lining pieces. Some of the lining pieces are made of the patterned fabric because pieces we had leftover worked with the measurements and we do not want to waste anything!

Now let’s get started!

Step 2: Sew

Sew a narrow 1/4″ hem along one of the 9″ sides on each lining piece.

Now each lining piece will have one raw edge and one hemmed edge that is 9″ long.
Next, putting right sides of the material together, join the raw (unsewn) 9″ edges of the lining pieces to the top and the bottom edge of the front of the Mask.

Now iron this and press the wrong sides together along the seam line, top and bottom.

Step 3: Channel for Pipe Cleaner

Sew a straight stitch 1/2″ below the top edge of the large lining piece along the 9″ length to create a channel to place a 4″ piece of pipe cleaner. This pipe cleaner is going to allow the person wearing the mask to pinch and mould it to the shape of their nose.

Helpful Hint

Once you have sewn the channel, take one of the 4″ pipe cleaners from your bag and bend the tip of it over so there is not a sharp piece of metal sticking out. This will allow you to slide it into the fabric channel much easier.

Position the pipe cleaner so it is centred in the channel. There should be approximately 2 1/4″ on either side of the pipe cleaner. Also, please use the white pipe cleaners in the light-coloured fabrics and the coloured pipe cleaners in the dark coloured fabrics. Thanks.

Step 4: Getting Ready to Serge

Now flip the Mask over so the front is facing down and position the long lining piece on top of the short lining piece.

Place 2 pins, one on the right and left sides, where the fabric is overlapping. Now this square of fabric is ready to be serged on the right and left sides.

Step 5: Pleating the Mask

The finished dimensions of the Mask are 7-7 1/2″x 4″.

You will be doing the pleating on your ironing board with your iron and you will need steam!

We need the finished width of the Mask to be 4″. You need to make some kind of a marking on your ironing board that shows a measurement of 4″. I use a piece of masking tape stuck on beside where I am working. You can use a ruler or two pins stuck in 4″ apart or whatever you like and works for you.

Now flip your nicely serged square upside down with the front of your Mask facing down. You will be looking at the lining side.

Now flip the top edge (with the pipe cleaner in it) back approximately 2″. Make it nice and straight and press it with steam.

Now flip up the bottom edge, approximately 1/2″-3/4″, make it nice and straight and press with stream. ***This fold is very important because it is going to sit nicely under the wearer’s chin to stop the Mask from riding up their face when they are talking or from other head movements.

Now flip the whole square over so you are now looking at the front of the Mask.

Untuck the top fold and bring the crease, that you pressed into the fabric, down the front of the Mask approximately 1/2″. Make it straight and press the new crease up under and behind the one you already have.

Now grab both sides of that fold (or crease) and make 2 more accordion folds (like your making a fan) in the fabric.

The trick is that the Mask needs to measure 4″ from the top edge (with the pipe cleaner) to the bottom folded up edge (that 1/2-3/4″ fold for your chin). While you’re holding the accordion pleats, check the measurement of the side of the Mask with your 4″ marker and if it’s 4″ press and steam. If it isn’t the right width, do some adjustments until you get it to 4″ then press and steam.

Helpful Hint

Have some pieces of masking tape handy and once you have your pleats pressed into position – double check your measurements and then put a piece of tape over the pleats on each side to hold them in place while you sew them down.

Step 6: Anchor the Pleats

To keep the pleats in place, sew right along your serger stitch. You may want to lengthen your stitch on your sewing machine if it starts to complain about having to sew through so much material at once. You may find it easier to sew in the same direction as the pleats as well! Once you finish sewing, remove the tape, but save it. You can reuse it if you are making multiple masks!

Step 7: Almost There

Next, fold the outer edges of Mask in 3/4″ toward the lining side of the Mask and press with steam. You can also pin in each corner if you like. This will make channels for elastic to be threaded through.

Now sew along the serged edge so there is lots of room for the elastic to be threaded through the channel. Again, there is a lot of fabric to sew through here so if you haven’t yet, you may want to lengthen your stitch to take some of the stress off your machine!

Step 8: Last Step–Elastic

Cut 2 lengths, 10″ long of 1/8″ elastic.

Use a darning needle to thread a length of elastic through each end of the Mask. The elastic should then be knotted as close to the ends as possible. Pulled tight and the knot should be pulled around and hidden in the fabric channel.

Thank you so much for all your hard work and enthusiastic assistance in this important endeavour to keep our community, our residents and front-line workers safe and secure.

If you have questions, please reach out to us at

May God Bless You and Keep You!


Anne Pennells and Shirley Petersen

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