How to sew your own mask at home, it’s so easy

If you have a sewing machine and minimal sewing skills, you can make functional masks to help mitigate the danger of COVID-19 to you, your family, and the rest of the community. Some medical professionals are even using donated homemade cloth masks over their N95 respirators to prolong their lifespan. So let’s get sewing! It’s so easy.

First, cut out two 9×6-inch rectangles of 100% cotton fabric and place them together with the right side facing in. Add a few pins to hold them in place. 

Starting in the middle of one of the long sides, begin sewing, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. No, starting in the middle. That’s okay, just keep going until you get to the edgeSTOPSTOPSTOP! That’s okay.

Next, take one of your elastic strips and place it inside the two layers at an angle in the corner, and continue sewing over it to affix it to the fabric, then continue sewing down the short end, stopping before you get to the next 

It’s okay, sewing machines do that sometimes. Just open the bobbin case and see if you can . . . okay, wow, that’s really interesting. We’ve never seen that before. Do you, do you have any other bobbins? That’s great! So just dig out that sort of tassel effect you have going on there. And those . . . tufts. Now load in the new bobbin, and

Dude, it literally has instructions printed directly on the machine. Yes, call your kid over to help. 

A tension problem, ha ha, you don’t say! That happens. Now rethread your machine and let’s continue. It’s so easy. If your two rectangles have come out of alignment, don’t worry. It definitely shouldn’t make you think about your responsibility in the fabric of society coming apart. Just add a few more pins. We’re in too deep to stop now. 

Now you’re going to reach in and grasp the other end of the elastic and angle it in to the next corner, forming a loop. No, the other end. Well, it has to be in there somewhere.

All right, so you’ve somehow sewed the elastic to your . . . pants? That’s all right. Normal people do this all the time. They usually notice before they go back and reinforce it twice, but you were just being thorough, so kudos. It probably wasn’t necessary to use the buttonhole stitch setting, but hey, let’s see a virus get through that! Kudos to you. It’s so good to know that people like you own sewing machines.

The beauty of this project is that it’s so adaptable. It’s really so easy. So what we’re going to do is change gears a little bit. We’ll just forget about the elastic thing and instead make a mask with ties. It’s so easy! Well, many people find it so easy. 

Reach in and turn your mask right side out. Reach in through the little hole you left. You did leave– never mind, it looks fine the way it is. It’s not a beauty contest. Is your kid still there? See if she can get those pins out before you sew anything else. No, we really are going to insist you need to get those pins out. Do what you need to do; we won’t watch.

Now for the ties. If you don’t have a large stash of bias tape or twill ribbon, you can easily make ties by using extra fabric from your large fabric stash using a serger. That’s okay, lots of people don’t have sergers. You can cut a 36-inch strip and iron it down the edge . . . That’s okay, lots of people don’t have irons. Simply cut your fabric

I’m sorry, how can you not have scissors?

Wait, if you don’t have scissors, how did you cut the original fabric? 

You scored it with a beer cap and then pulled it apart with your teeth.


So, at this point we are currently experiencing some shortness of breath. No, we already tested negative. The shortness of breath may be related to . . . other things. We strongly feel the need to isolate ourselves from you indefinitely. We applaud your efforts and would like to remind you that it would be a sad world indeed if we all had the exact same set of skills. Your particular skill might be just sitting there with your thumb up your ass until other people fix things. And look, you already opened a beer. Bottoms up, Miss Domesticity! It’s so easy.


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6 thoughts on “How to sew your own mask at home, it’s so easy”

  1. I can sew, but have not made any masks yet. Why don’t people just tie a bandanna, a la bandit style, over their face? Is it really that difficult? I also saw a video where a woman used a clean pair of knit boxer shorts (one leg over the face, the other leg over the head). Now, all those Muslim woman are laughing at us.

  2. You, Simcha Fisher, need to be BLOCKED from the internet sites…..terrible language. . .terrible
    Instructions….not funny

  3. My sister has actually spent entire days trying to figure out how to sew masks. It took her several tries and headaches to find the right type of material, because fabric alone won’t do it. Her husband is a police officer in a town in Northern Italy where they ran out of masks – even the Police did – and she’s terrified to see him go out to work everyday without having at least this little shield of protection.

  4. This would be me if I ever had the temerity to try to sew a mask. Surely the second one will go better than the first…
    What do you mean, you want me to leave the room?

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