Making A Fabric Face Mask by Gentleman Crafter

Making A Fabric Face Mask In Less Than 15 Minutes

To Face Mask, or Not To Face Mask – Is It Really A Question?

Since this whole virus lark kicked off there has been much natter about ways to protect oneself and oft the topic of face masks crop up. So, I thought I’d put on my rational filter and go check some info out – long story short, I ended up making some and this post talks about those too.

By the way, I’m fairly sure that a lot of you will have gotten on board this trend for handmade PPE, and burnt through it already but, I take my time to come to conclusions – lol!

On that basis, and just before I start waffling on …

*clears throat


The wearing of a face mask, especially a home-made non safety rated/tested face mask, as a contagion prevention method alone is insufficient to protect the wearer against inbound infectious diseases and measures, including hand hygiene and social distancing, must still be practised whether wearing a mask or not.

By writing this post, and the related video, I am sharing some random ramblings about articles I read, pictures I looked at and one method of making a partial face mask(s) that I chose to explore and do not make any claim as to the efficacy of face masks as a protection method against any current or future contagion.

Dramatic but I feel that I have to make that point. Hope you don’t mind but there are some quite pedantic and literal folk circling the internet and I’d hate for this to be misconstrued.

Anyhoo, onwards.

Now, having put a massive disclaimer denying the efficacy of masks as a viral protection aid to stop things getting in to me, why on earth am I even bothering to look at the prospect of owning/using a face mask, you may well ask.

Well, the long and short of it is, they offer “some” level of containment for stuff already inside me, according to the bumph that I’ve read, by minimising “respiratory droplets” getting out of me and into someone else. So, I might not be able to stop it getting in, but I can do my best to stop it getting out and spreading – which has essentially been the goal of lock-down for the last umpteen weeks.

Essentially, it’s an out filter, not an in filter.

This is most likely why I have seen a few public transport operators, that are gearing up for the relaxation of lock-down in the UK, issue requests – not demands, it’s still voluntary – for passengers to wear face masks when travelling on their services and to me, this makes sense.

THAT is why I am doing this.

Ok, this post seems a little serious so far so let’s lighten the mood…

Making A Fabric Face Mask by Gentleman Crafter

Becoming, yes? Lol.

I will be sharing the process used to make this style of face mask in a video a little later in this post. Before that, here’s why I chose this style.

Having looked through many of the styles, including the very popular Olson style face mask which, whilst it seems to carry many perks, I just wanted something very simple to make, lightweight and portable that “did the job”, which this did seem to do.

After all, there was no pattern, just a rectangle of fabric. There is some folding and pressing to do but that was quick enough, there were only two straight stitch lines which I could do with machine or by hand, it fitted over my nose, mouth and chin – which apparently is a key factor – and there was an option to shove an extra filter layer or two in if needed – so, it seemed to fit the bill.

Well, it seemed to fit my mush at least. Might go a size up next time though.

Anyhoo, once I’d settled on this one, I set to work making a few, tweaking a couple of bits and eventually settling on a method that could be turned into a production line, if needed.

Here were some of the test batch.

Making A Fabric Face Mask by Gentleman Crafter

Pretty, right?

I personally love the fact that they go from flat pack to face hugging with a quick tug. The ear bands were admittedly a little thin and short but I was low on thicker elastic so had to use thin stuff instead and reckon these could be modified easily for future batches. If not, I’ll raid the waste bands from me undies …

Making A Fabric Face Mask by Gentleman Crafter

Quick to make to. It took about 10 min in all, once I’d honed down the process, but with added “faffing” you’re likely up to 15 minutes – and of course, stages can be done in batches so you could average out at less.

It’s hoarses for courses, really. If you’re in a rush, win, if you’re not, win also!

Right, on that note, I had best share the video with you – of how to make the mask, not of me and my undies. The internet ain’t ready for that!

Here you go…

Enjoyed this post? Then you might also like these other from the sewing, machine embroidery or the fabric, fibre and yarn archives.

Let me know if you make any using this pattern/style, I’d love to get a rogues gallery going on if you are up for that?

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Bye for now.

J :)

8 thoughts on “Making A Fabric Face Mask In Less Than 15 Minutes

  1. Hi John,
    Thanks for the tutorial. I like how you have the option for the additional filter. A friend gave me one that she had made but I am a spectacle wearer and more or less as soon as I put the mask on I am steamed up! Just wondered how you found your style? (So to speak ☺️) Did you experience the same problem? I want to do ‘my bit’ but it’s very difficult if you can’t actually see where you’re walking. 😂

    Keep up the good work.


    Kay x


    • I did experience some steaming but I think that this is likely to happen with any mask, as the glass of your spectacles will inevitably be cooler than your breath which is diverted upwards and behind the lens by a mask. Have you tried to nose strips that help the mask confirm more to your face? These might offer some level of help.
      As for me, I’ve not really found a solution at this time. I do however live in quite a quiet part of the world and as masks are all about protecting others from ourselves and the wearing of them therefore is therefore about proximity I tend to be able to keep much more than the 2m distance between me and other people so am unclear as to how much “extra” a mask will do in that situation so choose not to wear it in those circumstances.
      If however I am in a confined space – i.e. shops/office building/public transport – then I am going to go with an “always on” approach.
      It’s all still fairly new and so many folk looking for answers. Hopefully things will return to some form of normal soon.


  2. Hi John

    Brilliant tutorial. My brother works on the railways and me old man in a FE college. I’m about to sit down and make a big batch for those guys. Going to make “clean” and “used” drawstring pouches too. Plus some for me for when the carers pop in. Getting the thick acetate out to make bro a few face sheilds too. Gonna be a busy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent post! Nice to come across someone who is handy AND sensible. There are some situations where a mask is not needed. Yet you invariably cross paths with a militant masker who does not hesitate to tell you that you have to do things their way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheers john, I made masks similar to this for tayside NHS for the staff going to and from the hospital. Like you said, help to stop droplets out and less likely to touch your own face. Stay safe x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well John, I think your face mask is brilliant, I will definitely make one for myself as I have been sheilding for the last 10 weeks but have to go back to work in 2. What a lovely crafting time I’ve had.
    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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