Cloth Mask Pattern by Dental Student (Free Pattern)

IMG-3369Hey there! Long time, no entry – I’ve been slow on the pattern making (and crocheting in general), ever since I started dental school. However, with the current CDC recommendation that people wear a face mask any time they go out of the house, I’ve been pumping out the cloth face masks!

I’ve tried a number of different patterns I’ve found online, but I keep coming up against the same fit issues over and over again. I know there’s a LOT of masks out there, but I’ve designed my own to try to solve some of the common problems I’ve seen.

As a dental student, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of well-fitting PPE and while a cloth mask is nowhere near as effective as hospital-grade equipment, I’ve addressed a few common patterns with other patterns I’ve found online:

  1. Minimal gaps: This pattern should minimize gaps between the mask and your face. Some mask designs that create gaps at the edges near your ears (especially if the mask is wide on the side and bunches up away from the face) and gaps along the sides of the nose.
  2. Nosewire slot: Part of minimizing the gaps was adding a nose wire, but some of the other patterns I’ve seen involves stitching a wire into the mask. I had two concerns about the sewn-in wire: the wire isn’t removable for washing (it’ll rust more quickly) and stitching directly through the mask can add extra holes for small particles to escape and enter. My design allows the wire to be inserted into the bias, allowing stitches to only be in the bias where the tiny holes are more likely to be blocked plugged by 6 layers of fabric.
  3. Glasses-friendly: A tight seal between your mask and your face also helps prevent fogging glasses! Remember, if your mask fogs your glasses, that means that air from your mouth/nose is escaping through a gap and getting behind your glasses. Droplets can enter and escape through that same pathway. So if you are wearing a mask and your glasses are fogging, it’s not just a nuisance – it means your mask isn’t working well!
  4. Won’t obscure vision: This pattern should keep the mask away from your eyes. The first masks I made (before I started building this pattern) came up to my lower eyelids and were irritating, often getting into my eyes. I’ve contoured the top of this mask to keep it out of your eyes.
  5. Anti-nose smushing: The darts along the nose of this mask should prevent nose-squishing. I’ve seen a lot of people in my neighborhood wearing their masks over their mouth only (rendering the mask ineffective). I pointed it out to one woman who responded that the mask compresses her nose and she finds it uncomfortable to wear. My pattern creates space for your nose and will hopefully encourage people to cover BOTH their nose and mouth.
  6. Ties instead of elastic: I’ve seen a lot of complaints about masks with elastics that irritate ears. Including ties on this mask allows it to fit a variety of head sizes and shapes! Additionally, some say that the elastic doesn’t hold up well to repeated washing in a hospital setting either, so I’m hoping that the ties are useful for the masks I’m donating. (However, if you want to make a mask with elastic instead, I also have a paragraph in the tutorial below for how to modify this pattern).

So with that in mind, please try this pattern for a well-fitting mask (and if you have any extra tips/tricks, share them with me!). If you like the pattern, send your fellow mask-making friends here. The more effective masks we can get out into the world, the better we’ll all fair!

Remember, no face covering is completely protective. The best defense we have is social distancing – staying in your home and avoiding other people as much as possible. Do not let your mask give you a false sense of security, but when you absolutely have to go out, wear a mask that fits tightly and covers both your mouth AND nose!

Materials

IMG-3321

  • Tightly Woven Cotton Fabric
    • Two 6” x 9” rectangles
    • Preferably use two different patterns. Healthcare workers have requested this so they can recall which side was against their face and which was facing outward.
  • Bias Tape (see note at end of post about making your own)
    • 3” (cut 2)
    • 20” (cut 1)
    • 22” (cut 1)
    • 42” (cut 1)
  • Wire
    • 3”
    • Pipe cleaners work, but fold the ends over so they don’t puncture the fabric
    • Twist tie from bread bag or other grocery also works well
  • My template
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Scissors or Rotery Cutter
  • Sewing Machine

Instructions

Align both pieces of fabric right-sides out.

IMG-3326

With pieces together, fold three 3/8 inch pleats lengthwise into the lower portion of the mask and iron into place, leaving the top 1.5 inches free of the pleated zone. (I made a little jig so I can make these in bulk, but you can also just manually fold the pleats – they don’t have to be perfect).

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Fold mask in half vertically.

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While keeping pleats in place, fold down the top of one of the fabrics to expose the wrong side of the other fabric. Stitch dart in the unfolded fabric. Dart should be at a 45° angle – about 1 inch down and 1 inch in. (Sorry it’s tough to see here – look at the next images for a more clear visual of the size of the dart)

Switch the vertical fold of the mask and repeat on the other side, so each of the two fabrics has a dart sewn in.

Align the two darts and orient the seams of the darts in opposite directions.

IMG-3335

With mask folded in half, align template over the mask and cut along the top. Template is on the last page of this PDF.

Stitch 3” pieces of bias tape up the sides of the masks (covering the pleats so they’re held in place). Trim excess.

IMG-3340

For a mask with ties, follow the upcoming steps. (If you prefer to make a mask with elastic, bias tape doesn’t need to be stitched into ties and can be stitched onto the mask only, leaving a little bit of excess on either side. You should still follow instructions to leave a gap with overlapping bias tape along the top of the mask to insert the nose wire. Then, the bias tape edges can be folded inward, elastic can be inserted into the bias tape and top stitched in place, to make clean ends and to hold the elastic in place.

Find center of 42” piece of bias tape and center it on the bottom of the mask. Fold under the ends of the bias tape to make clean ends. Starting at one end of the bias tape, stitch together, over the mask, and to the other end, creating the ties and bottom stitches at the same time.

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With 20” piece of bias tape, position it so that it only covers about 1/3 of the top of the mask. Fold the free end under to make a clean end, and stitch the tape together.

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With the 22” piece of bias tape, fold under the end and position it so it overlaps with the bias tape over the top. This creates a gap in the bias where a wire can be inserted later. Stitch in place and to the other folded-under end to finish the mask and final tie.

IMG-3344

Insert wire into the bias gap along the nose and you’re done! The wire can be removed for washing to prevent rusting.

I hope this pattern and tutorial helps you make effective masks! Please reach out with questions and comments. I’m happy to update this tutorial to clarify any areas that are confusing.

The one thing I’ll add is that this mask does not have a filter pocket. I haven’t seen convincing scientific evidence that any of the materials people are using as filters are actually effective. If you feel the need to add a pocket, you’re welcome to do so, but please don’t purchase medical filters or respirators for your own personal use. Equipment is in short supply in hospitals, and I’m a big believer that the general public should not contribute to the depletion of that supply. In general, medical workers who encounter this virus in massive quantities need the medical-grade equipment more than a community member going for a walk.

**Don’t have bias tape? Make your own! Cut strips of fabric 1.5” across. Fold the centers edges to the center and iron in place. Then fold in half and iron. This pattern is written so that you can cut two strips off your fabric from edge-to-edge on a 45” piece of fabric. Remove 3” from each piece for the sides of the mask. One of the remaining 42” pieces will cover the bottom of the mask. The other 42” piece can be cut into pieces 20” and 22”

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How Bluprint Hurts Designers

Hello friends! I’m sorry to say that I didn’t catch this sooner. I finished a number of projects in December and posted the patterns before taking a hiatus. However, now that I’m about to finish up the sweater I’ve been making for two years (!) and move onto a new long-term project, I went to Craftsy to look at yarn and then all hell broke loose as I discovered what they’ve done.

Since my last visit to the site, they’ve rebranded as “Bluprint” and changed their entire model, taking advantage of designers and destroying their contributors’ businesses. As I look further into these changes, the more I realize that this is just mundane tale of a corporation taking advantage of artists and creatives. Here’s my story:

However, on December 19, Bluprint sent the following email:

“Good news: you’ve been identified as a top designer on Craftsy! We love your work and we are excited to continue to share it. We thank you. Please note, in some cases, we were not able to include all patterns from all stores that are remaining on our site, so after Friday, 12/28, you may see the selection of patterns on your store reduced. Also, pattern upload will be temporarily disabled on all stores until later in 2019, as we revamp our marketplace and make it a more inspirational destination. Apologies for any disruption this may cause.”

Within 8 days, with only this “warning,” they deleted all but one of my patterns and did not provide any backup of my files or provide a way to recover them. They claim that they’ll provide a way to upload patterns in the future, but that would require me to re-enter the information for the 67 patterns that they removed and re-upload the files, if they’ll even allow them back. Customer service said this when I asked about downloading a .zip or .csv that I could upload again in the future once they re-open the option to upload patterns to Craftsy:

“We don’t have a way to change your store at this point. The patterns were not saved. Hopefully, you have those files on your computer.”

Bluprint has essentially shut down pattern designers’ businesses. In my case, they removed all my paid patterns, but kept my free pattern available. Bluprint is using designers’ free work on their website while denying us the ability to sell. They’ve kept the content that help their business while destroying ours.

If this is how they treat someone they consider a “top designer,” I can only imagine how little they think of any other contributor or customer.

I would encourage you to delete your Bluprint account and take your time, money, and loyalty elsewhere. This is an unethical move by a company that’s only here to get your money. I’m asking for your support in sending Bluprint a message.

Craftsy was a well-loved community that celebrated crafting and supported designers. Contrarily, Bluprint has destroyed the community and is trying to milk both its customers and its designers for all they’re worth. Please stand with me in showing them that our patterns, contributions, and creativity have value and that they cannot exploit designers like this.

For those of you who enjoy knitting and crocheting, I want to send you all to Ravelry: a much better, independently-run, volunteer-edited site that values its members. An account is completely free and the site has a database of hundreds of thousands of patterns from all over the world (paid and unpaid) – a much larger database than Bluprint’s. All of my patterns are available there. If you’re interested and haven’t already been, find my patterns at:

https://www.ravelry.com/designers/allison-mcdonough

Pinterest is also another great source for craft ideas of all kinds and you can also try Etsy (but please know that Etsy charges sellers much higher fees. Some of us even charge more for a pattern on Etsy than we charge on Ravelry or charged on Craftsy, so check Ravelry first!).

And if you’re wondering, yes, I did update the one pattern that Bluprint/Craftsy kept on their site (free snowflake patterns) and it now comes with this story as a preface. #ScorchedEarth

Thank you in advance for your understanding and support,
Allie

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Moss Stitch Baby Outfit

This cardigan set is perfect for a baby 3-9 months. The moss stitch allows for an illusion of colorwork and striping that is much easier than Fair Isle or tapestry crochet and creates a stretchier, cozier fabric. The pattern includes photos and diagrams to help you along the way. This sweater and hat are created in one piece with no seaming and work up quickly for a great baby shower gift!

Gauge for Moss Stitch: 11 moss stitches across for 22 rows = 4”x4” square

Patterns are available on EtsyRavelry, and Craftsy!
Set Cover Photo

Patterns include Moss Stitch Baby Cardigan and Moss Stitch Baby Hat.
Cardigan Cover Photo Hat Cover Photo

Materials:
Sport Weight Yarn
–Recommended: Machine-Washable,
—-Tumble-Dryable, Plant or Synthetic
–Used: Knit Picks Shine Sport
—-Color A: Grapefruit
—-Color B: Cream
Size 6-G (4.0 mm) Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle
2 Buttons (about 15 mm in diameter)
Thread (Color A) and Needle
Scissors
Optional: Super Glue
Blocking tools of your choice (pins, spray bottle, steamer, water, etc…)
Stitches/Abbreviations:
ch – chain
ms – moss stitch
msinc – moss stitch increase
sc – single crochet
yo – yarn over
sk – skip
sl – slip
st – stitch
sp – space

Patterns are available on EtsyRavelry, and Craftsy!

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Moss Stitch Baby Hat

This beanie is perfect for a baby 3-9 months. The moss stitch allows for an illusion of colorwork and striping that is much easier than Fair Isle or tapestry crochet and creates a stretchier, cozier fabric. The pattern includes photos and diagrams to help you along the way. This hat is created in one piece with no seaming and works up quickly for a great baby shower gift! Pair it with the matching cardigan for a cute and cozy outfit.

Gauge for Moss Stitch: 11 moss stitches across for 22 rows = 4”x4” square

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry and Craftsy!

Hat Cover Photo

Materials:
Sport Weight Yarn
–Recommended: Machine-Washable,
—-Tumble-Dryable, Plant or Synthetic
–Used: Knit Picks Shine Sport
—-Color A: Cream (100-120m)
—-Color B: Sailor (20-40m)
——(add another 50m if adding pom-pom)
Size 6-G (4.0 mm) Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle
Scissors
Optional: Super Glue
Blocking tools of your choice (pins, spray bottle, steamer, water, etc…)
Stitches/Abbreviations:
ch – chain
ms – moss stitch
msinc – moss stitch increase
sc – single crochet
yo – yarn over
sk – skip
sl – slip
st – stitch
sp – space

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry and Craftsy!

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Moss Stitch Baby Cardigan

This cardigan sweater is perfect for a baby 3-9 months. The moss stitch allows for an illusion of colorwork and striping that is much easier than Fair Isle or tapestry crochet and creates a stretchier, cozier fabric. For best effects, choose colors with a lot of contrast! Use neutral colors for a chic, rustic look or choose something bright for a fun, bold style.

The pattern includes photos and diagrams to help you along the way. This sweater is created in one piece with no seaming and works up quickly for a great baby shower gift! Pair it with the matching hat for a cute and cozy outfit.

Gauge for Moss Stitch: 11 moss stitches across for 22 rows = 4”x4” square

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry and Craftsy!Cardigan Cover Photo

Materials:
Sport Weight Yarn
–Recommended: Machine-Washable,
—-Tumble-Dryable, Plant or Synthetic
–Used: Knit Picks Shine Sport
—-Color A: Cream (230-250m)
—-Color B: Sailor (40-60m)
Size 6-G (4.0 mm) Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle
5 Buttons (about 15 mm in diameter)
Thread (Color A) and Needle
Scissors
Blocking tools of your choice (pins, spray bottle, steamer, water, etc…)
Stitches/Abbreviations:
ch – chain
ms – moss stitch
msinc – moss stitch increase
sc – single crochet
yo – yarn over
sk – skip
sl – slip
st – stitch
sp – space

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry and Craftsy!

Posted in Finished Patterns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Color Block Baby Outfit

This trendy color-block outfit is perfect for a child 3-9 months and so easy to make! Make up your own funky color combinations to make a bold, eye-catching top or stick to the neutrals for something chic and soothing. Even better, add a bright pop of color!

The sweater is worked flat, starting with the collar, and then seamed. The side-closure on the collar allows for easy dressing and adds some interest. The pattern includes plenty of photos and color coded instructions to help you along the way. The hat is worked in the round and comes together quickly for a cute, matching accessory to finish this cozy outfit.

This fast, easy pattern set make great baby shower gifts! Individual patterns also available.

Gauge for hdc: 17 hdc stitches across for 14 rows = 4”x4” square

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry, and Craftsy!

Hat and Sweater Set Cover Photo With Text

Patterns include Color Block Baby Sweater and Color Block Baby Hat.

Sweater Cover Photo With Text   Hat Cover Photo With Text

Materials:
Sport Weight Yarn
–Recommended: Machine-Washable, Tumble-Dryable, Plant or Synthetic
–Used: Knit Picks Shine Sport
—-Color A: Robot (180-210m)
——Suggested: Two Separate Skeins
—-Color B: Blush (110-140m)
—-Color C: Cream (110-140m)
Size 6-G (4.0 mm) Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle
4 Buttons (about 15 mm in diameter)
Scissors
Optional: Super Glue
Blocking tools of your choice (pins, spray bottle, steamer, water, etc…)
Stitches/Abbreviations:
ch – chain
sc – single crochet
hdc – half double crochet
yo – yarn over
sk – skip
sl – slip
st – stitch
sp – space

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry, and Craftsy!

Posted in Bundle Package Discount Deals, Finished Patterns, Finished Pieces | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Color Block Baby Sweater

This trendy color-block sweater is perfect for a child 3-9 months and so easy to make! Make up your own funky color combinations to make a bold, eye-catching top or stick to the neutrals for something chic and soothing. Even better, add a bright pop of color!

The sweater is worked flat, starting with the collar, and then seamed. The side-closure on the collar allows for easy dressing and adds some interest. The pattern includes plenty of photos and color coded instructions to help you along the way. This fast, easy pattern makes a great baby shower gift. Pair it with the matching hat for a cute and cozy outfit.

Gauge for hdc: 17 hdc stitches across for 14 rows = 4”x4” square

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry and Craftsy!

Sweater Cover Photo With Text

Materials:
Sport Weight Yarn
–Recommended: Machine-Washable, Tumble-Dryable, Plant or Synthetic
–Used: Knit Picks Shine Sport
—-Color A: Robot (140-160m)
——Suggested: Two Separate Skeins
—-Color B: Blush (70-90m)
—-Color C: Cream (70-90m)
Size 6-G (4.0 mm) Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle
4 Buttons (about 15 mm in diameter)
Scissors
Blocking tools of your choice (pins, spray bottle, steamer, water, etc…)
Stitches/Abbreviations:
ch – chain
hdc – half double crochet
yo – yarn over
sk – skip
sl – slip
st – stitch
sp – space

Pattern is available on EtsyRavelry and Craftsy!

Posted in Finished Patterns, Finished Pieces | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment