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How to construct a dust mask

  • 3 min read

Masks should be constructed from tightly woven, high thread count fabrics. People are wearing these next to their skin, so let's not be cute and create a double layer sequin mask. The fabric should not have any stretch and should not be knit (i.e. t-shirt material). 

Recommended Fabrics: 

Twill, 100% Cotton, Poplin, Shirting, and Sateen. 
Before you start, wash and dry on HOT to pre-shrink fabrics. 

If you are wondering if your fabric will a simple way to check is to fold it into two layers. You shouldn't be able to breathe naturally, but you should not see through the fabric.  


  • Sewing machine, thread
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Paper & Pen
  • 2 pieces of 1/4" width flat elastic cut about 6 1/2" long
  • Woven fabric (enough for two pieces that measure 7" x 9") *See preferred fabrics section*
  • 2 strips of fabric measuring 1.75" x 8"
  • 22 gauge wire *optional* 

Pattern Construction:

Step 1: Draw a 7" x 9" rectangle. 

Step 2: Measure and mark your pin tucks on both sides. From the top of the pattern marks should be 1 1/2", 1", 1/2", 1", 1/2", 1" going down the sides of the mask. 

Step 3: Cut out the pattern. Notch the pintucks. 

Get your materials ready!

  • Cut 2 pieces of woven fabric from your 7" x 9" pattern. 
  • Cut 2 pieces of 1/4" width elastic cut 6 1/2" long. (If the mask is for personal use adjusted to your facial measurements, but I recommend trying the pattern as is first until you know how to edit.)
  • Cut 2 strips of fabric measuring 1.75" x 8" and make double fold binding (can substitute with bias tape)
  • Cut 1 wire 5" long, if you have something to round/bend at the end of the wire, so they are not sharp do so. *optional* 

Sewing Construction: 

Sew everything in a 2.5 stitch length.
If your fabric has a design, place it horizontally. 

Step 1: Fold the main piece of fabric in half, right sides together. Sew along both 9-inch width edges, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

Step 2: Now that you have an inside out tube shape, go to your iron and bust open the seams. Turn tube shape right side out. Press this flat, keeping the seam as straight as possible to prevent rolling.

Step 3: Top-stitch 3/8" on 9" top and bottom seam.

Step 4: Slide your wire between the sewn layers along the top of the 9" seam. Push the wire to the middle. Sew on both sides of the wire to create a casing. Start at the top of the finished edge to the top-stitching seam. This will ensure the wire will stay in place and contour the face over the nose. *If you are not using a wire skip this step.*

Step 5: Place the tube of fabric so that the raw edges are on each side. Use your pattern and mark your pintucks using a fabric marking tool or pins. Do both sides.  

Step 6: Create pintuck marks. Take the first line at 1 1/2" and fold the fabric to the back of the mask until that mark kisses the 1" pintuck mark, pin in place. Continue this with the next 1" mark meeting the next one down and so on until you have 3 pintucks. MAKE SURE ALL YOUR TUCKS ARE GOING THE SAME WAY. 

Step 7: Using a 1/8" seam allowance, sew the raw edge pintucks in place.

Step 8: Place bias tape open, right sides touching, so the raw edges are facing out. Leave about 1/2" to 3/4" of tape on each end. Trim if you have a lot extra. Sew in the first crease of the binding should be about 1/4" in from the raw edge. Repeat on the other side.

Step 9: Pin one elastic piece on top of bias tape to the raw edge, making sure not to twist the elastic. Elastic "U" should be on the mask. Stitch 1/4" seam allowance to attach elastic. Repeat on the other raw edge side. 

Step 10: Fold the binding around seam allowance, and fold ends in to make "caps," pin on the opposite side, encasing the raw edge. Topstitch or edge stitch 1/8" in place. Press. 

Step 11: Fold back elastic and stitch across bias tape/elastic width to secure in place. 



Rebecca Rae Design Inc. (Rebecca Johnson) does not suggest medical advice and will not be held responsible for any mask misuse or malfunction. We suggest reading the CDC guidelines for facemasks best use case and practices. 


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