Fitted Pocket Mask (Modified Olson), in Eight Sizes (Adult Large to Youth/Child Extra Small)

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Introduction: Fitted Pocket Mask (Modified Olson), in Eight Sizes (Adult Large to Youth/Child Extra Small)

About: I am a retired IT professional with a fantastic husband and two great children. My passions include sewing, baking, graphic design, organizing, and helping others. My late mother was a seamstress and my fir…

***UPDATE #3

When soft elastic, adjustable ear loops became widely available, I liked the idea of incorporating them into my pattern. As such, I created this YouTube video to explain how to make a quick change to my original pattern and assembly instructions to accommodate permanently sewn-in, adjustable ear loops. Many of the steps overlap with those in this Instructable and will be helpful to understanding the instructions below.

***UPDATE #2

A filter template to accommodate all sizes can be downloaded here.

***UPDATE #1

The pattern and instructions have been updated to include the following:

  • Metric measurements.
  • Instructions for measuring for fit.

***ORIGINAL POST

If, like me, you have been searching for the perfect mask pattern, you know it can be overwhelming. Given my involvement with a group of volunteers sewing fabric masks and other items to help Canadian front line workers during this difficult time, I’ve had many friends and family ask me for the “best pattern”.

The short answer is, there is no right answer. It really is a matter of need and personal preference. If you're inclined to dig deeper, you may enjoy reading my Fabric Mask Fast Facts & Patterns information sheet. If you're eager to get started, keep reading!

The mask we prefer in my home is a fitted style, inspired by the Olson design. Although similar in style, my design is more simple to cut and assemble. I have also designed multiple sizes, ranging from Adult Large to Youth XS, and added a nose wire channel for better fit.

Before we begin, it should go without saying that fabric masks are inferior to medical-grade masks. I offer no guarantees of protection should you choose to make and wear these masks. Everyone must do their own research to educate themselves regarding the best materials to use and the proper use and care of these masks.

Now let's get started!

Supplies

Pattern

Instructions

Sewing Machine

Iron

Rotary Cutter (optional)

Scissors

Fabric (100% cotton or cotton blend)

Thread

Pins

Soft,Tailor Tape Measure and/or Ruler

Malleable Metal Nose Piece (such as pipe cleaner)

Pliers

Pre-made Strap (48”/122cm), Elastic (up to 30”/76cm), or Cord (48”/122cm)

Step 1: Print Pattern

  • When printing the pattern, be sure to print the actual size (deselect any scaling options) and print single-sided.
  • Verify the scale by measuring the 1"/2.5cm block.

Step 2: Prepare Pattern Pieces

  • Cut out the desired pattern size and use a hole punch to remove the dots. For future reference, one dot = TOP and two dots = BOTTOM.
  • Please refer to the Instruction file for steps to measure for fit.

Step 3: Choose Fabric

  • Recommended fabrics for masks include tight-weave cotton blends and 100% cotton.
  • It is recommended that the outside (or EXTERIOR piece) fabric is noticeably different from the interior (MOUTH & CHEEK) fabric, so it is easy to identify which side to place against your face.

Step 4: Cut Fabric

  • Cut two of each piece.

Step 5: Mark Fabric

  • Use the tiny holes on each pattern piece to mark each fabric piece.
  • I use a black Sharpie for light fabric and a silver Sharpie for dark.

Step 6: Press & Topstitch

  • Press under the flat edge of each MOUTH piece, and the longest flat edge of each CHEEK piece, ¼”/6mm towards the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Top stitch pressed seams on MOUTH & CHEEK pieces.

Step 7: Stitch & Clip Curved Edges

  • With right sides together, stitch the curved edge of both the EXTERIOR and MOUTH pieces using a ¼”/6mm seam.
  • Clip the curved seams of both the EXTERIOR and MOUTH pieces, taking care to not snip too close to your stitching. This helps to ease the curve when turning right sides out.

Step 8: Press Curved Edges

  • Open the two, attached EXTERIOR pieces. With the wrong side up, and TOP of the mask facing away from you, press the curved seam of the EXTERIOR piece to the LEFT.
  • Open the two, attached MOUTH pieces. With the wrong side up, and TOP of the mask facing away from you, press the seam of the MOUTH piece to the RIGHT.
  • Later, this and the previous step will ensure that the metal nose piece will not catch upon insertion and removal.

Step 9: Stack & Pin

  • With right sides together, pin the MOUTH pieces to the EXTERIOR pieces, lining up at centre seam and dots.
  • Ensure the centre seams are both pointing in the same direction.
  • With MOUTH pieces facing up, place, align (using the dots and straight edges) and pin CHEEK pieces, wrong side up.

Step 10: Sew & Turn Right Side Out

  • Stitch ¼”/6mm seam around the entire perimeter.
  • Clip corners.
  • Turn out CHEEK pieces.
  • Use a tool to push out corners.
  • Turn remainder of mask right side out.

Step 11: Press & Topstitch

  • Press the outer edge of the perimeter.
  • Top stitch around the entire perimeter of the mask.

Step 12: Pin & Sew Nose Piece Channel

  • Fold the finished mask in half at the curved, centre seam and place a pin approximately 1.5”/4cm down from each side.
  • ½-⅝”/1.5cm from the top edge of the nose, sew a line between the two pins, back-stitching at both ends.

Step 13: Create Strap Channels

  • Fold under short ends of the mask approximately 1”/2.5cm and pin.
  • Sew along top-stitching line, back-stitching at each end.

Step 14: Prepare & Insert Nose Wire

  • If using pipe cleaners or other, weak wire, twist two or more together to strengthen.
  • Use pliers to turn under and pinch ends so there are no sharp edges.
  • Using a Sharpie, mark direction of nose wire with arrows (right-to-left).

Step 15: Insert Elastic & Measure Fit

  • Insert elastic up one ear channel and down the other.
  • Place bottom loop over head.
  • Pull cut ends up and over ears, ensuring the mask is snug to face.
  • Secure cut ends by tying or sewing (with 1"/2.5cm overlap).

Step 16: Enjoy Your Mask!

Step 17:

4 People Made This Project!

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44 Comments

0
jenni.normandin
jenni.normandin

Reply 4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

1
HuaMeisMom
HuaMeisMom

Tip 9 months ago

Attached are 3D print files that can be used to create plastic patterns for the eight Olson mask sizes. They are so much easier to use to cut pieces versus using paper patterns. The people who printed them for our mask group etched the names of the sizes on the mask pieces. You could also create a template and print stickers for each piece. If you are not using the filter you'll only need to print the largest pieces (labeled with an "E" or without an "M" or "C".

0
SarahJane65
SarahJane65

Reply 4 months ago

Wow this is awesome! Any chance you have available the size large?

0
jenni.normandin
jenni.normandin

Reply 4 months ago

It appears as though the files were attached above, in a separate thread, under the username @linnerconsulting. Happy sewing!

0
HuaMeisMom
HuaMeisMom

9 months ago

Jenni- Thank you so, sew much for sharing these instructions.

Our delightful and talented group of volunteers has created a tool that may be helpful to you and lots of other mask makers. A clever high school senior took the PDF of all eight pattern sizes and turned them into files that can be read and used by 3D print shops. We then had two different companies print sets of them for our group. One is owned by the stepson of a mask maker and the other is the husband of a mask maker. These files can be used by someone with a personal, home 3D printer or a professional 3D print company can make many at a time. We are making the non-filter masks. But I have files with all three of the pieces for every size. I can email you the files if you would like to post them on your site. Please reach out at maskmaking2020@gmail.com so I can share the bounty. I can try uploading them in another post. There are 24 files - 8 sizes with three pieces each.

We are so excited to have these different mask sizes and the ability to measure faces and match kids with the right size masks. This will be a deal changer for teachers when we finally get our students back into classrooms.

One question on elastic - we will be using pieces of elastic through each channel that can be tied together to make ear loops. Do you have any recommendations on how long to make these pieces of elastci for each size mask? We can't make the long piece type for smaller kids because they will have a hard time tying them and they also can be a choking hazard for the small kids. Any advice you have would be great.

I belong to a mask making group in Minneapolis called Making and Sharing Kindness (M.A.S.K.s). We have collectively donated over 9,000 masks. And we have made even more because we sell finished masks for $10 a piece at my friend's ice cream shop - Pumphouse Creamery. This allows us to buy more and more fabric and elastic. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise, instructions and patterns with the world.
Karen L.
Minneapolis, MN






8 patterns stack.jpg8 patterns.jpg
0
jenni.normandin
jenni.normandin

Reply 9 months ago

This fills my heart Karen! Thank you so much for sharing this story and the files! Also, please thank the young man that created the files -- it is so encouraging to see someone take the initiative to create and share for the greater good. And congratulations to all of the M.A.S.K.s volunteers for rising to the challenge before us in these strange times! You are all heroes in my eyes. <3 To answer your question re. ear loops, it really depends on the stretch of the elastic. I typically cut mine to 10 inches for adult masks (to leave enough room for comfortably tying a knot), but I've had some elastic where 8" is enough. Hope that helps.

0
Amosmick
Amosmick

11 months ago

Hi Jenni, I'm having trouble getting the measurements for sizing. Nothing happens when I click on "Measuring to fit." It keeps sending me back and forth between the same pages of instructions, neither of which have the sizing measurements. Can you please help me? I previously cut out and made a mask from another pattern that was supposedly for "women's size" and it didn't fit, so I'd like to know how to measure with your pattern so I don't make the same mistake, wasting time and fabric. Thanks so much! Amy



0
jenni.normandin
jenni.normandin

Reply 11 months ago

Yes, you are not the first to encounter this problem. Apparently, in preview mode, the hyperlink I inserted to advance to the measurement section later in the document does not work. It should work if you open the document in a PDF viewer. Sorry for the confusion.

0
Amosmick
Amosmick

Reply 11 months ago

Thanks for the help...:-)

0
chrpay4
chrpay4

Reply 11 months ago

If you look on the instruction page 3 the information regarding measuring to fit is there.

0
Amosmick
Amosmick

Reply 11 months ago

You're awesome. I found it. I think once I saw the "Enjoy your mask" at the end of the instructions I stopped scrolling down! That'll teach me...:-)

0
Amosmick
Amosmick

Reply 11 months ago

Thanks. I thought I looked everywhere. I'll check again.

0
Amosmick
Amosmick

Question 11 months ago

Am I correctly reading that all seams are 1/4" wide?

0
jenni.normandin
jenni.normandin

Answer 11 months ago

Yes, all seams are 1/4”. Topstitching is ~1/16.

1
neesre
neesre

Question 11 months ago on Step 1

I am elderly and therefore at high coronovirus risk, and am sequestered in a cabin in the woods, isolated from people and, unfortunately, also from the required electronics to download and print a pattern. Is there any chance I could get a hard copy of your mask patterns? My contact info is Rosemary Srebalus, P.O. Box 99, Harman, WV, 26270. I will truly appreciate any help you can give me. Be safe.

0
Suzie Q1
Suzie Q1

Question 11 months ago on Step 8

As I understand this nesting of the face (outside) fabric and mouth (inside) fabric, with right sides together the top facing wrong side of the mouth piece seam will go to the right and the top facing wrong side of the face piece seam will go to the left... am I understanding this correctly? Further do I do the same for the bottom seams?

0
jenni.normandin
jenni.normandin

Answer 11 months ago

Yes, the goal is to have the both seams facing the same direction (top-to-bottom). It is contrary to most sewing rules, where one distributes the "bulk" by pressing the seams in opposite directions, but it is necessary in this case to prevent the nose wire from "catching" on the seam when inserted.

0
jenni.normandin
jenni.normandin

Reply 1 year ago

I don't currently but am hoping to make one soon. Will post here if/when that becomes a reality.