Over the weekend I completed something I’m really proud of! Honestly, I worked like a dog because I felt the urgency to share this tutorial with the world. If you happen to follow me on social media, you already know that I created the Best Fit Face Mask. After struggling with several different patterns online I bemoaned the fit on all of them. Not one of the face mask were any I could wear for any length of time. You could say, I consider myself a face mask connoisseur especially because I searched for years to find my more form-fitting and comfortable masks used for carpentry or demolition.


Best Fit Face Mask

As a general contractor and woodworker, I had searched for form-fitting and comfortable masks to protect my lungs from dust and debris and had my favorites. Several didn’t have a good tight fit around the nose, which inevitably meant I was blowing sawdust out my nose at night. A good fitting mask doesn’t allow air to come in next to your nose. For that reason, I knew there were better options than most of the sewing mask patterns I found. After a weekend, I designed this easy sew Best Fit Facemask Tutorial for use by the public and medical professionals trying to protect N95 and surgical masks while also staying safe during the COVID crisis. (These are not a replacement for N95 or surgical masks. These masks are designed to add an additional layer of protection.) Looking for a simple, stylish, and better fitting face mask? Well, I have you covered. Get it? Covered? ;-D

Truth be told, my Mom reminded me I’ve been sewing and perfecting this design for almost forty years! This is me sewing a quilted rainbow vest (remember Punky Brewster?!)

And this was my costume for Future Day in elementary school. It’s a bit crazy that I thought the future was a place where we’d have so much smog we couldn’t breathe clean air. My costume was a mask with an oxygen tank on my back made from an egg carton. Kind of scary how our current day is a place where we fear the air we are breathing.

Thank goodness, we don’t have to wear tin foil covered milk jugs on our heads. I much prefer wearing the Best Fit Face Mask, a more form-fitted cloth mask with adjustable ties around the ears to fit a wider variety of faces (and keep from irritating the ears after wearing for long periods of time). The mask pattern also has an optional filter pocket, should you need the extra protection (although, frankly it gets harder to breathe the more layers you add.)

Here are a few details about the mask:

  • Two Sizes (Medium and Large)
  • Easy to Sew
  • Filter Pocket
  • Adjustable Nose Clip
  • Fitted around nose, chin and cheeks
  • Less Fabric Waste

Are you ready to make your own Best Fit Face Mask?
Click here to be taken to the full instructions with video and downloadable instruction sheet with templates!

One more thing, I share several options for materials, especially because there seems to be a shortage of elastic.

 

Prefer to purchase a Best Fit Face Mask? This is the link to the database of sellers.

166 replies
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  1. Fran
    Fran says:

    Loved your mask made several used Flexible Plant ties from the Dollar store instead of wire.Washes well and had good bend memory. Thanks for the pattern

    Reply
  2. Dan
    Dan says:

    Made masks for my family and some friends. The fit was good using t-shirt material. Very easy and quick sewing, I did modify the template a bit. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  3. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    LOVE THESE! Thanks for sharing. I was unable to find fabric on my trip out to Walmart. I wanted to get all I needed at one time as to not come back. So i began looking at tea towels and napkins, but then saw the pretty patterns on the Pioneer Womans quilted place mats!!! They have a lining already. They’re comfortable, breathable, pretty and sew-easy to do! I wish I could post some pics.

    Reply
  4. Jacquie Schuster
    Jacquie Schuster says:

    I made a few using denim as the front panel. My husband says this is the best fitting of the trial and error masks I have been making…in search of “the one”. And your coffee clasp idea is brilliant.

    Reply
    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      l apologize for not being able to directly answer your question. Look at the top of the comment thread on the YouTube video (https://youtu.be/-t_Gz3lGwF8) for my FAQ comment which answers your question. You can also get answer directly on this page which was linked in the video description, but here it is again: https://www.prettyhandygirl.com/best-fit-facemask/

      Reply
  5. Denise
    Denise says:

    This is the best fitting mask, thank you. For my first mask, I did use a featherweight fusible pellon for extra filtration without adding the bulk of a filter pocket. It definitely reduced the bulk and increased the filtration. With allergy season ramping up in my area, I could definitely tell the difference. I applied the pellon to the back of the outer fabric layer but it can just as easily be applied to the inner liner.

    I did find coffee bag ties on Amazon. They are not prime but it is cheaper than buying more coffee and easier than making your own plus shipping was only 5 days. They also have a sticky back that can help them to stay put when sewing.

    Reply
  6. Anne Burden
    Anne Burden says:

    Thank you for posting this, I have made a few other designs for other people but have found yours to be the best fitting and it’s easy to make too! I’ve made one for each of my family and now making some for my parents. So thank you again for helping keep us safe.

    Reply
  7. Joanne Ohlman
    Joanne Ohlman says:

    Brilliant, and so generous. Thank you for such detailed and user-friendly instructions. I just found your site today, and it is by far the most useful for creating a well-fitting mask. Merci!!

    Reply
  8. Karen
    Karen says:

    I used a piece of thread to pull the cord or elastic thru the bead, just feed the thread thru the hole on the bead, make a loop with your cord, feed the thread thru the loop and back thru the bead. This allows you to pull the loop thru and it “thins” out the cord when you pull or stretch it.

    Reply
  9. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    Do you find that that these are breathable? I have a cloth mask that conforms to my face. I sweat terribly and after a while I feel like it’s harder to breathe.

    Reply
  10. MARILYN WALKER
    MARILYN WALKER says:

    THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS!!I I HAVE DONE SOME RESEARCH AND LIKED YOURS THE BEST. I HAVE 15 GRANDCHILDREN AND AM IN CHARGE OF MAKING MASKS. iS THERE A WAY YOU COULD PUT UP A PATTERN FOR 7-12 AND UNDER 7? I WOULD APPRECIATE IT SO MUCH. THANK YOU AND STAY SAFE

    Reply
    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      l apologize for not being able to directly answer your question. Look at the top of the comment thread on the YouTube video (https://youtu.be/-t_Gz3lGwF8) for my FAQ comment which answers your question. You can also get answer directly on this page which was linked in the video description, but here it is again: https://www.prettyhandygirl.com/best-fit-facemask/

      Reply
  11. IanR
    IanR says:

    Hi
    Thanks so much for this. I managed to make one for size and now I will adjust to fit. A bit rusty with the machine but ok.
    I used blackout curtain lining which has a slightly flocked finish so very soft and comfortable on the face, and I washed it first at 60°C because we will want to sterilise them to check for shrinkage. I think white is good because you might have to bleach it.
    Those coffee bag ties are also to be found on pasta and sometimes bread where I am. I used a sort of mouldable garden wire though and it keeps the shape very well. It’s a quite thick and soft one and designed to keep its shape.
    I didn’t have any elastic so I used cord like the sort of thing you would use on a roller blind . You have to loop one part over your head and the second part tie it at the back of your head but you’ve got to use what you have. I might try elastic later if I can find any.
    Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      As posted in the instructions, I do not have children’s sizes: “Because children are a wide variety of sizes, you will need to downsize the template by printing the medium mask smaller. From limited testing, we found reducing the medium mask by 12% when printing yielded a mask that fit a four year old, but was still too big for a two year old.”

      Reply
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