Easy Sew Face Mask (& Optional Matching Dress) 1
Refashions,  Dress Refashions,  Life

Easy Sew Face Mask (& Optional Matching Dress)

How to Dip Dye a Sweater (or any Fabric!)
How to Make a No-Sew Face Mask

I know that by now we’re all heeding the CDC’s instructions by wearing face masks on the rare occasions in which we have to go in public for essential supplies, right?

The other day, I shared an easy no-sew face mask tutorial, but a few of you asked me to share a tutorial for a sewn version.

When my husband asked me to sew a mask for him, AND I had a refashion I wanted to complete, an idea (albeit a creepy one) was born.

Here’s How to sew an Easy DIY Face Mask (& Optional Matching Dress)

Yep. It’s as weird as it sounds, but these are weird times. If feeling “unfashionable” was keeping even one person from wearing a mask when in public and this changes that one person’s mind, it will have all been worthwhile.

First, find a dress you want to raise the hem on.

I started with this one.

refashion a dress and matching face mask before image
Those shoulder pads tho.

I really like this dress. The fit is spot-on, and I’m really digging the vintage vibe of the collar and sleeves. The print is lovely as well.

Those shoulder pads were a bit much though, so I ripped them out.

ripped out shoulder pads
Byeeee!

Then I chopped off some of the bottom by pinning where I wanted it fall (allowing a couple of extra inches for a hem allowance) then snipping that part off.

snipping bottom from dress
A simple chop!

I folded the raw edge of the dress over twice and gave it a new hem.

hemming a refashioned dress
Just an easy hem!

And then I stitched it down!

sewing down dress hem on machine
Just a simple whirrrr!

After a quick press of my new hem, the dress part was done.

Now to make a mask to match my new dress!

To make a face mask to match your dress, you’ll need:

  • A Fabric Scrap that’s 18×14″
  • A bit of Quilt Binding (less than a foot)
  • Two Hair Ties (any type of elastic bands will do!)

When I cut the bottom part from my dress, I was left with these two scraps (two, because the back had a slit).

bottom scraps from dress refashion
These will do nicely!

As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t own a printer, so making a mask from a pattern found online wasn’t going to work.

No worries! You don’t need a pattern to make your own custom face mask.

I needed two sizes of face masks. One for Brian (large), and one for me (small).

I took one of the fabric scraps and folded it over, like this:

folded over fabric
See?

Now, for sizing!

To make a large mask, you’ll want to cut this folded-over part into a 9×7″ rectangle.

To make a smaller mask, you’ll want to cut this folded-over part into an 8×6″ rectangle.

cutting fabric for face mask.
Simple! No pattern needed!

Turn this inside-out and pin along the open edge.

pinning raw edge of fabric scrap for face mask
Pin it!

Now, just stitch that down!

stitching seam for face mask
Just one quick seam!

Turn the fabric tube you’ve created inside out and press your new seam.

The next step is to make your pleating. Fold three pleats into your fabric tube with the raw edges facing left & right.

folding pleating for face mask
Fold, fold, & fold!

When this is done, you can either pin these down or weigh the middle down with something heavy (I used my sewing shears and that worked just fine).

Now, grab your quilt binding and hair ties. Cut the binding to the size of the vertical edge of your mask, and put the hair tie inside of it like this:

inserting hair tie into binding for diy face mask
Got it?

Then, pin this to the sides of the fabric for your mask!

pinning binding and elastic to diy face mask
It’s all coming together!

We’re almost done!

pinned diy face mask
Ready to go under the needle!

Here’s what the small mask looked like after it was done!

completed diy face mask
It is complete!

And that’s it!

Here’s what my newly-hemmed dress looked like after I was done:

refashioned green dress after
Anybody else obsessed with watching their plants grow lately?

And here it is with my matching mask.

refashioned dress with matching face mask
Yes. This looks like something from The Twilight Zone.

And here’s Brian & I looking incredibly creepy together:

Matching couples DIY face masks
Surreal, innit?

Creepy or no, I was able to make a couple of face masks for us out of a fabric scrap without having to run to a craft store (because we should all be staying home as much as possible right now), so I’m cool with it.

refashionista in matching face mask and dress
I just wish this was all over.

Stay safe, friends! These are strange times.

How to Make a Face Mask to Match Your Refashioned Dress (Without a Pattern)
How to sew a face mask without a pattern
How to Dip Dye a Sweater (or any Fabric!)
How to Make a No-Sew Face Mask

38 Comments

  • Sunflower

    And I thought I was the only one making masks to match. I make most of my clothes so I had lots of leftovers so when I pulled out small pieces for masks I realized they could match all my skirts. Even found flame printed fabric scraps my husband picked out 20 years ago for curtains in his work van! All the biker guys he works with were envious of his masks! Also- I was glad to see you are still doing these posts. I’ve been reading them for a year now and just discovered the new ones. Congratulations on your marriage too!

  • Ann Harper

    LOL my husband and I have several matching masks in various fabrics- starwars, dogs,bird and Mexican skulls. You have to keep these scary and trying times fun. Both of us are old folk ha ha

  • Christine

    Yes, I felt really creepy making my young daughter a mask but given that people still don’t social distance in supermarkets it was the only choice.

    I love your refashion. The only addition I would make is to close the gap either side of the nose I’ve been using pipe cleaners, sewing them into a pocket (I use a slightly different pattern). I’ve also heard that the metal from a hanging file folder is also flexible enough to work.

    Good on you for putting an easy pattern out there

  • Andi To

    You are always so clever and brave (dyeing scares me!). When did you get married? How did I miss this? Did you make your own dress? Congratulations!

  • Diane Baumgartner

    I love these instructions, but am not sure what to get for the quilt binding. The quilt bindings I see online are about 3 inches wide, but it doesn’t look like that’s what you used. Did you use regular bias binding? What width?

  • Thea

    I love both the sew and no-sew version. You’re awesome! Though I’m pretty curious: have you ever done a refashion where you left the shoulder pads on? I’ve been following you for years but I don’t think I’ve seen one (might be wrong tho). Cheers!

  • Wendy McGraw

    I love the matchy matchy! I’m stuck in Arizona [dang] without a sewing machine so I made one just like yours with stitch witchery and an iron….worked great! My mom used an old Crown Royal Bag [she saw it on a facebook post]. It is especially classy. LOL! Stay safe and thanks for posting so much more often. You can’t believe how much I look forward to seeing what you’re up to! Keep on keepin on! [That’s a “boomer” saying from back in the day.]

  • grocery worker

    Such an easy tutorial without having to watch a YouTube video. As an essential worker, I wanted to make a few masks for me and my coworkers. I can figure it out easily from this email without having to listen to all the blather on the videos.

  • Taryn

    If you have shop towels (those heavy duty blue paper towels that mechanics use) those are allegedly good filters. My sister is making masks with a pocket to slip a shop towel inside. And I just saw something the CDC put out saying you could use a coffee filter for the same purpose.

  • Phoebe Aviva

    Jillian, I’ve always enjoyed your blog but right now you are one of the highlights of my day. You are facing the crisis with such creativity and good humour, without disputing the weirdness and bleakness of it all, and I just wanted you to know that it makes a big difference.

  • monica

    Yes, these are definitely weird times. And I had a bit of a giggling fit at the pic with both of you in the masks. I can feel the love between you both. Thank you so much for lightening the mood around here (CT)

  • nina

    This dress certainly takes me back…it looks very cute indeed. Matching mask ? Brilliant. Made the no-sew version and now looking for elastic to make the other. Hope to make them for family and friends.

  • pinksnoopydancer

    thanks for the matching outfit. i was wondering if Mr Refashionista didn’t deserve a matching outfit too. he seems like a great guy. this made me smile.

  • pinksnoopydancer

    you could just make the mask rectangle a little wider and fold the ends over wider to make a casing. you would need to put the hair tie in and sew it up. or you could cut the same fabric into rectangles to make the same casing as her white fabric and add them the same way as the tutorial. or pick a contrasting fabric that is a little stronger than your mask fabric.

  • Denise

    You can just use fabric to make your own binding. You could look at videos for making binding. Most will be for making bias tape binding with fabric cut on the bias. I don’t think cutting on the bias would be necessary for this, but it would show you the basics for making binding which you can do by folding the fabric and pressing with an iron.

  • MaryJo

    Your refashion is adorable and I love the idea of making the coordinated mask, but it’s important that when you have the same fabric on both sides of a facemask, you should designate one side as the inside and one side as outside (maybe an X with a Sharpee). Always be consistent about wearing the facemask the same way, otherwise you risk putting the contaminated outside against your face and directly exposing yourself the germs you’re trying to avoid. And we’re told to wash the masks regularly. Heat and soap kills the coronavirus.

  • Thea

    Thank you as always for a good tutorial AND a good laugh. MamaSquirrel can find lots of video and written tutorials online on making your own bias tape. There’s a good one on the Instructables website and on YouTube there’s a video by Man Sewing in which his guest, Violet Craft, takes the Instructables instructions one step further to make continual biased tape easily (that vid doesn’t show the whole process, just how to make a looong strip easily). But since you only need a little, the Instructables post will suffice. And since this application isn’t on a curved surface, you don’t even have to do it on the bias (diagonal). I just made some for a nurse’s scrub cap the other day that I made by cutting the fabric straight, not on the bias.

  • redbam

    Wow, another fantastic refashioning. Loved what you did with the face mask. When I made our face masks, I used 1/4 inch elastic but I like the idea of hair ties. I also like the use of the bias tape on the ends. Thanks for sharing as I look forward to your posts everyday. Enjoy the creativity so much. Always wonder what you did with the left over parts of the long dresses you shorten. There’s potential for many home accessory projects.

  • Nancy

    I am always so glad to get your emails with the latest refashion!!! Especially now that so many of us are at home!
    Today your refashion was spot on with the mask that was sewn. And who would have thought of it matching your dress?! Stay healthy!

  • Holly

    I saw a video by a doctor & wife that if you have hepa filters like for a vacuumn cleaner you should line your mask with the hepa fabric. It makes for a safer coverage or so the doctor said. btw I love your “pulled together” look.

  • Melanie

    Cute but I think the dress hangs better with the shoulder pads plus it helps if one is a pear shape. However, I love, love, love all your emails. It is so fun to see what you come up with every time! Thanks!!

  • Linda S. Busch

    You are amazing! I don’t think the idea is creepy – it’s #couplegoals in these interesting days. Thanks for bringing cheer to my inbox❤️

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