Even though soon it may no longer be required for us to wear homemade fabric face masks when we go out for grocery shopping and other essential tasks, you will probably still want to have one handy in your purse or car for crowds or situations when you are unsure. This might help prevent us from becoming sick and (even more importantly), help us from spreading germs if we happen to be sick and not know it.
Even if you’ve never sewn before, you can sew a face mask with a pocket using the Olson Face Mask Pattern and my easy sewing tips.
I already wrote a face mask photo tutorial for this process and I wasn’t going to make a video – but then my own sister doubted me when I told her how quickly she could make these face masks!
(If you have any printing issues, please make sure you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader – it’s free – and then print at 100%. I’ve heard that printing using a mobile device does not result in the correct size.)
In my video, I used 5/8’’ fold over elastic (FOE) as a way to secure the mask, but that’s not the only way. Here are some other face mask elastic and tie options you can try depending on the materials that you have available.
Sew an organizer covered with pockets that you can hang in your closet! This easy sewing project is great for organizing sewing and craft supplies, fashion accessories, bathroom necessities, gift wrappings, and more. There are pockets on both sides plus a big interior pocket so every bit of space is used. I’ll show you easy step by step instructions for sewing this organizer and putting it to use in your home. Get sew organized today.
At my daughter Chloe’s high school (can you believe my baby started high school???), the lunch lines are so long that she has been skipping lunch! She’s always starving by the time she gets home because she doesn’t want to carry a big lunch bag as well as her heavy backpack – poor girl!
I am so in love with the beautiful look of simple patchwork quilts with lots of squares. This is the perfect way to use up fabric scraps like I did, or you can make a beautifully coordinated quilt with pre-cut 2 1/2’’ square fabric pieces that come in mini-charm packs.
I’m also in love with the process. If you feel like quilt making is your escape from the world and sitting down to sew for a few hours makes your troubles fade away… this is the quilt for you!
Sew an easy beautiful apron with this free sewing pattern that only uses one yard of fabric! Whether you are sewing for yourself or for a friend, an apron always comes in handy and makes a great gift. This blog post includes a link to a free template that I digitized for you.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂
Finally this past week I got the itch to quilt (after all the practical sewing I’ve been doing lately). Not to piece anything or select fabrics for a new quilt (although I do love those parts). No, I just wanted to quilt.
There’s a fun new product that you may have seen at the craft store… iCraft Deco Foils. I saw them at Michaels near the paper crafting section, but guess what? They are amazing on fabric too!
This 6” square cosmetic pouch is simple, but looks gorgeous thanks to the Deco Foils, don’t you think? Plus, it closes with hook and loop tape (velcro) instead of a zipper. I love zippers, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s fun to do something different.
Find a hospital near you to sew fabric face masks and other protective gear for! I don’t think any of us can believe what uncertain times we are living in. The news is difficult to watch and read, and I…
I've been feeling so bogged down and harried lately with a million things to do at once and nothing getting finished until the last minute that I decided it was time to take a breath and change something. The thing that needed to be changed was the gigantic pile of fabric, paper, patterns, books, notions, tools, and lots and lots of scraps that was stifling any creativity I might have felt.
Thank you so much for these tutorials! I am a klutzy seamstress who has good intentions but zero talent and not much knowledge. Thanks to you, I completed an Olson Mask. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am sewing masks for my family and friends thanks to the generosity of bloggers such as yourself, who post these helpful tutorials.
Hello! I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your tutorial on how to make the face mask. I watched it twice and then sewed along with you, pausing every few seconds. I know "how" to sew, however I don’t know how to sew. I only have a sewing machine because I took my aunt’s cast off and because every art studio should have a sewing machine. I will absolutely be watching more of your videos and looking through your blog. Thank you for having such clear instructions, it really was so easy to follow along with you. Thank you for posting this! Melly
Thanks so much for sharing your time and research. I was curious about the spelling for that cool locking tweezer threader thing you used. "Vodkin"??? That is cool and I’ve never seen such a thing.
Hi Tina, it’s a bodkin and you can find them on Amazon. 🙂
Thank you for showing your version of the Olson mask. It’s the one I’ve been making from the beginning. Your tutorial helped make it go faster by omitting the bar tacks they suggested. Hated that part anyway! 😂 Keep those tutorials coming, we need it!!
I am sewing my masks today… Are the double sided skin adhesives necessary. I did not see you use them in your tutorial.
I have skin issues so I have not been using the tape. I mentioned it to the people that I gave masks to, but I don’t know if they have been using it. 🙂
I noticed that you didn’t finish any of the edges via zigzags, serging, etc. Is that just a trade-off for speed, or are you not expecting fraying? Apologies for my ignorance and thanks for the great video (and posts in general–I’ve followed along quietly for quite a while!).
Hi Lisa – since none of the raw edges are showing I didn’t worry about finishing my seams. Since I’m using high quality fabric, I don’t anticipate much fraying. xoxo
Easy to make. One question, why don’t you snip around the curved edges? Would it not lay better?
Thank you for your tutorial and video. Easy to understand. I noticed that when I clicked on your site it mentioned there were 4 sizes, Men, Women, Teenager & Child. I see the patterns for the Men(adult) & Children, are the others in a different place? The adult is way to large for me and the teenagers I’m sewing for. Any advice is appreciated.
Hi Dianne. I’m not sure where you read that – I have 2 child sizes and one adult size.
Hey ! thank you for sharing this video it was so easy to follow and learn your ways, however I noticed once I finished the project the mask would not fit my face nor my teen daughters I downloaded and printed both adult and child sized patterns so I compared the adult pattern to the others and it is the same size as a child small ? This could only be me or some fluke on my end? The largest pattern is the child large ? confusing but I hope this makes some sense HELP?
Please make sure you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader – it’s free – and then print at 100%. I’ve heard that printing using a mobile device does not result in the correct size.
Thanks! Love the tutorial and love the red lipstick. I’ll give it a try. I have been making pleated masks but am interested in this style of mask using a filtration sheet. Thank you.
I’ve been sewing off and on for 20 years, but I’m self-taught, and I know none of the tricks of the trade. I just wing it and hope more of my stitches can stay than need to be removed. Your video taught me to use the scrap of fabric to begin sewing (omgsh how did I not know about this?!) and chain piecing which is a complete game changer! Wow! I’ve watched countless mask videos and yours is a breeze. Thank you so much!
P.S. I had to enlarge to pattern to 115% to fit most comfortably, yet still snuggly, for women and 125% for bearded men.
First, thank you so much for posting a mask using hair ties!!! And your shortcuts were amazing not to mention the speed method. I can’t wait to get started now. But I’m curious about cutting each of the 6 pattern pieces once. Couldn’t you fold the fabric in half right sides together and then only cut 3 pieces once??? I printed the pattern pieces and Face 1/Face 2 match perfectly if I place the pattern pieces together right sides facing. Is there a reason not to do it this way? It’s been a decades since I’ve done any sewing but this would help me move a lot faster. Thanks in advance!!!
Hmm, I think I answered my own question. Contrasting fabric! I need a vacation to somewhere other than the backyard!!!!
Just wanted to say a massive thank you and how much I love your blog/video tutorials. I’ve made several of the pleated masks (from Button Counter), modified slightly to add a pocket for a nose wire, but adding a third filter layer in the pleated ones makes them too bulky. I’m about to have a go at one of these, using your wonderfully speedy method. Thanks also for the super tip on chain sewing – I was struggling with the start of pieces getting caught in the machine.
Positive thoughts from the UK.
Caroline, thank you for your excellent "speed method" face mask tutorial! I had been making the pleated masks and initially thought the Olson style seemed complicated. With your help, I discovered that it’s easy, and I’ve been making these daily (for friends and charity) ever since. The mask fits me well, and I’m very grateful for your tips. Your help made all the difference.
Thanks so much for the wonderful video! I just made two masks for my daughter and daughter-in-law for Mother’s Day tomorrow. Strange Mother’s Day gift, but I figure they will get lots of use. Your directions made it so easy! I also appreciated the tips about starting with a small piece of fabric to avoid the feed dog issue and chain sewing. I will definitely be checking out more on your site as your instructions are so clear. Thanks again!
I too would like to thank you so much for this. I had been looking for a super fast easy sew pattern for a mask. I live in Italy and honestly having to go to the local pharmacy to pick up masks was getting old. Here we are still required to use them when we are in public areas. Even if the government is handing out 5 per person per week, still the option of sewing some and washing is just more convenient. Also the feed dog trick was great since the cotton fabric I had was a bit light weight and was getting caught in the feed dog. So this was a time saver. Again, thanks so much!!!
I made this face mask and it came out beautiful. Your Vidéo is extraordinary clear and following you through the steps was very easy. Now, ma face is crowned with daisies. I insert a surgical face mask inside the pocket. I am well protected with a daisies garden on my face.
It appears the child size masks have a 3/8" seam allowance. Is this correct? I did check the one inch square measurement after printing the pattern and it was spot on.
Use a 1/4” seam allowance on all sizes.
hello – my mask came out lovely, but didn’t fit my husband or son – they have big faces with full… and I mean santa full… beards! Can you post a larger pattern?
Can I see it on? Just curious about the fit.
Love the tutorials for making the masks I have downloaded the free pattern, I just want to say, thank you so very much for all you are doing to help us home sewists . This is so great to be able to help family and friends.
I sewed(first time ever) this mask the other day. The only part left is the elastic for around the ears. I’m not planning on using hair ties, but just some elastic that I want to go around my ears. What seems to be the average length to cut them?
I am not a sewer and your directions are sooooo clear. Thank you for such clear, step by step directions!!
THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU!! This is really the fastest mask pattern and is very easy to make! This is making my life so much nicer and less frustrating!!!
Your speed method to make makes was amazing. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much from New Zealand, where facemasks have Recently become compulsory outside. It is very generous of you to take the time to post this. And share your your pattern. Definitely the best one I have made yet.