(Free Pattern No.1) Easy DIY A Mask with a Replaceable Filter

Hello! Sara here.

Before I go on, I would like to update the situation as of March 11, 2020.

“The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries and killed more than 4,000 people is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday”.

Unfortunately, we hear the news that COVID-19 situation is getting worse and worse. I live in Vancouver, BC and I’ve heard and read horrifying stories that were happening in Seattle. I try not to panic, but I am getting more concerned as well. That’s why I decided to write this post as well. I know that the topic ‘mask or no mask’ is debatable at the moment. However, if you know how to sew and want to be more cautious about the situation, making a mask with a replaceable filter can give you peace of mind.

While the best line of defence is a thorough hand-washing regimen, but masks are also super helpful if you’re ill and don’t want to spread your germs. Masks can be hard to come by these days, so I am also providing the free mask pattern that I created as well.

Just let you know, N95 filter is the way to go and most suggested.

Let’s get started!

N95 Mask Filter Links
Canada https://amzn.to/3f0RgUP
USA https://amzn.to/388W8Wg

Fabric Link
Any lightweight fabric pieces will work.
All the fabrics from Dailylike Canada

Other Materials
Nose Clip (I upcycled it from a used mask.) : Produce twist ties will work perfectly.
Ear Loops (I upcycled it from a used mask.) : 1/4″ Elastic will work.

Canada https://amzn.to/2UKZPMQ
USA https://amzn.to/3bTPV0y

  • Draw a mask pattern (check the video between 1:00~2:00)
    I won’t go over the details since I provide a free pattern, you can check out the video for drawing a pattern.
  1. Cut Fabrics
    1 pair of front, 1 pair of lining, 1 pair of filter pocket (Optional)
    Fold the ear side of the pattern and cut the ear pocket fabrics
  2. Sew Front Curved Edges
    Sew front curved edges RST (Right Side Together)
    Clip to make nice curves
  3. Make Filter Pocket
    Double fold the ear sides and sew
    Make layers and sew
    Front (Right Side) + (Right Side) Filter Pocket (Wrong Side) + (Right Side) Lining
    Pin and sew the top and bottom edges (Leaving side edges as an opening)
    Turn the mask inside out, making sure the Filter Pocket and Front are on the outside
  4. Insert Nose Clip
    I upcycled a nose clip from a used mask but a produce twist tie would be perfect
    Slide the nose clip into the gap between the Filter Pocket and the Lining
    Pin and mark around the nose clip
    Topstitch along the edge and the mark
    Topstitch the edge of the bottom as well
  5. Sew Ear Side with Ear-Loops
    Double fold the ear sides and slide the ear loop into the folding and pin
    Repeat for the other side and sew
    I upcycled the ear-loops from a used mask but 1/4″ elastic will also work!
    Making two small pleats on the bottom edge will provide a tighter fit

And that’s all that it takes to make your very own mask.

I’ve heard the news saying that there’s a shortage of elastic in U.S. There’s a tutorial on how to make a mask WITHOUT elastic with this pattern from Quilt Addicts Anonymous. Here’s the link. https://www.quiltaddictsanonymous.com/2020/03/how-to-make-a-mask-without-elastic/

I hope you all stay safe and healthy!
See you on the next post!

These are my online fabric shops.
– Dailylike Canada http://www.dailylike.ca
– Two O Nine Fabric Studio https://www.etsy.com/shop/twooninefabricstudio

Here’s my Patreon page link. Your support is greatly appreciated! https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32815284

Let’s get connected!
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/yoursara_k/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/dailylikecanada
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SewingTherapy
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.ca/dailylikecanada

Some of the links above are affiliate links. .Clicking and purchasing through affiliate links gives me a small commission. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, I wanted to help you find the materials easier. So you can focus more on your project. Thank you.


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    • Sara SJ

      I saw the latest news about the fabric mask with an n95 filter (PM 2.5 N95 activated carbon filter). In case there’s n95 filter in it, the fabric masks are 85%-95% effective. And you can use n80-n95 masks for about 3 days without efficiency drop. I will leave links for Canada and USA. I hope it helps. Stay safe and healthy!
      Canada https://amzn.to/38UfqNU
      USA https://amzn.to/3ag2y5X

        • Sara SJ

          Hello, Olga

          The filter is not a fabric. As you can see from the title, this is a mask with a replaceable filter. That means you can wash and reuse the fabric mask itself with replacing filters.


    • Carol

      Shop towels (the heavy duty blue type available in auto supply stores) are supposed to the best readily available filter. Do not use paper towels – they’re too porous.

  2. LAURA

    I used two twisty ties from the bulk section of the grocery. Taped them together with painters tape and used that for the adjustable nose bridge . I also used the elastic to go around my head, not my ears. Fits great. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS IMPORTANT VIDEO

    • Sara SJ

      Hello, Laura

      You’re so welcome! That produce twist tie is the one that I mentioned on the video for a substitute as a nose clip. And using longer elastic to go around the head sounds quite comfortable! I might try that method for my hubby’s. Thank you for sharing your idea!


    • Kathy

      Can you please provide the measurements of the pieces of elastic to go around the head? I am making masks for nursing homes and I know their have been complaints about it bothering their ears. I would like to do one piece of elastic that goes through the side pieces and is then attached together in one of the sides pieces. Your help would greatly be appreciated.
      Thank you………

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  5. Angie

    I just made one and it seems quite small. Also I feel it’s so close a fit that it’s hot and snug. Should I have added steam allowance. Was your pattern to scale?

    • Sara SJ

      The mask is supposed to be fit your face not to have any gap for better protection. And it would be stuffy since it has 3 layers due to the filter pocket. That’s why I recommended using lightweight fabrics. If you feel its size itself is too small for your face, please feel free to scale up and print out the pattern for use.

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  7. Siena Van Brabant

    I had to use the bulk elastic, and cut two 9″ pieces. Stitched each elastic into a circle. Placed the joins inside the casing on the two sides. It fitted beautifully.

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  9. ChristineB

    Thanks for the pattern. Your instructions and video make it so easy to sew this mask! I just left a question on your instagram page but will ask you here as well: Will enlarging this pattern on a photocopier throw off the pattern? What is the best way to enlarge this pattern? Also what seam allowances do you use. I used a 3/8 inch seam allowance when making the curved edges but had to cut it back to less than that when joing the layers and sewing the top and bottom edges (leaving the side edges as an opening) because the edge opening was so small that I couldn’t turn the mask inside out. Also what length elastic is the best. I used about 10 inches but 9 to 9.5 would work better I think.

    • Sara SJ

      You’re welcome! And thank you!
      You can enlarge the pattern by setting the size 115% when you print it out or on a photocopier might work as well.
      I used 3/8″ seam allowance. If you have difficulty on turning inside out, feel free to use 1/4″ SA. I used an upcycled ear-loops from an old mask on this video, which measures 7″. But in case you’re using an elastic, it actually depends on your head size and the way you tie the ends of an elastic. I used 10″ and it fits perfectly to me, but my hubby said it’s too tight.
      Hope this explanation helps!

  10. Donna B.

    The bendable strips that re-seal coffee bags make perfect nose pieces. They can be shortened and the ends rounded with a sturdy pair of scissors. Might want to remove them before putting in a hot dryer.

  11. Libby

    Thank you for getting the pattern to print out perfectly the first time, to scale, simply and easily from this page. Appreciate the measurements on the pattern page too.

  12. I have made two of these so far, as well as a bunch of the “disposable” variety with pleats, and this one is by far the best fit! I varied mine by making a channel on the outside top edge so I can take the wire out when washing the masks. By doing this, I am able to use the wire (after disinfecting) in cleaned masks while those used are being laundered. I used a 1.5 X 4.5 inch rectangle, turned the short sides under 1/4 inch and stitched to make a hem, then folded the now 4 inch rectangle in half lengthwise, sewed about a slight half inch down from the top along the raw edges, then turned the folded edge up to the top edge of the mask and stitched as close as possible to the edge. This gave me a casing in which I can insert/remove the wire easily. (I am using 20 gauge wire cut to 4.25 inches and using needle-nosed pliers to curl the ends into circles so they don’t poke!)

  13. Lillian H.

    You mentioned you use a 3/8″ seam allowance, but adjusted to 1/4″ if necessary. The pattern provided, does seam allowance need to be added or you already allowed for it in the pattern. Thank you.

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  15. evie schaffer

    Your design and instructions appeal to me more than most patterns out there. I am looking forward to having the dimensions presented more specifically as I am not good at converting the dimensions. My copy machine is limited. Thanks. I really like your pattern.

    • Sara SJ

      Thanks for your compliment. I am happy that the pattern helps. I don’t understand ‘present the dimensions more specifically’. Why do you need to convert the dimensions if I may ask?

  16. Sarah Jennings

    I found your tutorial video Very helpful, And Very explanatory, I Would like to know is . 2. Questions 1. Where can I get Filters for making face mask?
    2. Where/how do I get the the pattern and tools for making the Face masks.
    I Don’t have a website, but I would like the information, please, Thank you.

  17. L W

    Sara, This is the type of mask I would like to make (with ties-I don’t have any elastic). But, I find your written instructions don’t make a lot of sense. Maybe a little more detail and more step by step with pictures would help.

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