Quilted Plague Doctor Mask




Introduction: Quilted Plague Doctor Mask

This project will show you through the steps on how to make a Quilted Plague Doctor Mask.

(This pattern has been designed and made available for free by Mctreeleth on Tumblr. Plague Doctor Mask Pattern )

There are many different ways to assemble the mask depending on which techniques you know or are best at, and the final look you are wishing to achieve.

The techniques I chose to use are:

  • Machine Quilting
  • Hand Sewn Bias Binding
  • Inserting Grommets/ Eyelets
  • Creating Thin Ties

Instead of eyelets and grommets you could make a thick tie, or use elastic.


  • Sewing Machine
  • Needle and Thread
  • Fabric Markers
  • Pins/ Clips
  • Scissors
  • Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutter, Ruler (Optional)
  • Basting Spray
  • Eyelet Hole Puncher/ Grommet Setter
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Bodkin or Safety Pin
  • Quilting Cotton
  • Iron On Interfacing
  • Quilt Batting
  • Eyelets or Grommets

Step 1: Cutting Your Pattern Pieces

The pattern is made of two mirrored sides (4x pieces in total). The top pieces are numbered 1-14 and the bottom pieces are lettered A-H. One side of the pattern the numbers and letters are circled, and each piece has dashes at the corners to show where each piece needs to connect- single dashes connect to the same single dashes, double dashes to double dashes. The pieces surrounding the eye holes are defined by little dots at the end of the dashes.

You will need to print out two copies of your pattern- one directly onto your iron on interfacing, and one onto standard printer paper. To print onto interfacing cut out an A4 size piece and run it through your printer like normal. Ensure to run a clean cycle after each piece. Printing directly onto interfacing ensures that your dimensions are perfect for every piece. Print a second copy pattern onto standard paper cut around the outer edge- this copy will be needed later to cut out the quilt batting and the inner fabric.

Once the interfacing has the pattern printed onto it, cut out all of the little pieces. If the printer ink is faded in places remark the pieces where you need to. Iron each little piece of interfacing to your quilting cotton- ensure that it is facing glue side down onto the wrong side of the fabric (you do not want to accidentally iron your interfacing onto the bottom of your iron). Ensure that you leave ample room around each piece for seam allowance.

Cut out each of your pattern pieces, and then trim each piece to have your chosen amount of seam allowance- this can be up to you and your skill level. Once trimmed lay out all of the pieces over your paper pattern to see if any are missing, and to check that the layout looks nice.

Step 2: Piecing the Outer Fabric Layer

To assemble the outer layer joint each piece right sides together, matching the single and double dashes. For each side of the bottom section piece A with join with piece B, which will join to piece C and so on. The same will be done for the top section starting at one and ending with 14.

Pin each piece together so that the interfacing is perfectly aligned and sew just alongside the edge of the interfacing. The more precise you are at aligning and sewing your pinned pieces, the easier it will be to line each finished section together, and the better the final mask.

Back stitch each piece, especially pieces that are at the edge of an eye hole.

Press all the seams open with an iron.

Step 3: Adding Your Batting, and Quilting the Sections

Using the paper pattern cut out a layer of quilt batting (also called wadding). If you have standard quilt batting spray one side of the batting with a quilt basting spray and lay each piece precisely over the wrong side of each bottom and side section. Be Careful not to saturate the batting with spray as it could seep through the interfacing layer to the outside of your fabric and cause yellow staining, and you would need to redo that section. You could also use iron on quilt batting to avoid having to use spray, in which case iron your batting onto the wrong side of each section. Press all sections with your iron after gluing.

To quilt each section do a line of stitches along each seam line. Choose a top thread that compliments each colour of your fabric- grey works well with most colours.

Close the gap in each of the top sections to complete the eye hole, and quilt along this seam too.

Step 4: Assembling the Quilted Outer

Pin the top and bottom section of each half together. Since the top section and the bottom section curve in opposite ways to each other this can be tricky. Hand baste the sections together and then sew alongside the edge of interfacing/ quilt batting. Press each seam open with an iron, and then quilt along each seam.

Join top of each of the completed halves together. This seam is right in the middle of the mask so take your time, pin and baste where necessary. Press and quilt along the seam line.

Turn the work inside-out and stitch the bottom of the mask right sides together. Turn the mask back out the right way and quilt along the seam at the bottom for as far as you can.

Trim the eye holes- the seam allowance is not required here.

Step 5: Making and Inserting the Lining

Using the paper pattern, trace each piece and cut out each section in your lining fabric, adding seam allowance to the outside. Sew the gap in the top sections to close the eye hole, join each of the top and bottom pieces together, and then the two halves. Press and trim the seams. Trim the seam allowance out of the eye holes.

Once the lining has been assembled insert it into the quilted outer of the mask. (The wrong sides should now be facing each other). Check the fit of the lining- if there are any parts where it seems like excess fabric is pooling remove the lining and sew those seams slightly larger.

Align the eye holes of the lining and the quilted outer, and pin around each eye hole edge. Align the outer edge and pin. Trim any overhanging seam allowance from the lining and machine sew a basting stitch around the outer edge. Trim again if required. Hand stitch around the eye holes to secure both layers together.

Step 6: Completing the Bias Binding

Bias Binding can be sewn on by machine, however it is easier to manipulate the fabric into place while sewing it down by hand, and can often create a neater finished edge on the inside and outside.

Cut 2x strips of complimentary fabric for the eye holes and outer edge of the mask. I chose to cut the strips one inch wide. The wide the fabric, the wider bias edge. Each eye hole bias tape measures ten inches long, and the outer inch measures 26. To create bias tape fold and iron each edge of the strip into the centre. Iron and fold the fold the strip in half again.

To hand sew the bias tape the method is the same for the eye holes and the outer edge. Fold the bias tape over the raw edges of the mask- the raw edges will be pressed into the centre crease of the bias tape, and each neat edge of the bias tape will be sewn down on either side of the mask. Stitch the outside length of bias tape using small stitches. Sew around the full circumference of the eye hole or outer edge, and continue for an extra quarter inch over the starting point. Cut the remaining bias tape, but leave an extra half inch excess- don't sew this down. Run the needle to the inside of the mask, and secure with a knot.

Sew down the inside edge of the bias, and continue around the full circumference until you reach the starting point. Fold the excess half inch of bias over itself to encase the raw end and sew it down, from the inside to the outside. Once finished, bring the needle back through from the outside to the inside and securely knot the thread.

Step 7: Installing the Eyelets and Creating the Lacing

Use a fabric marker to place 4 dots on each side of the mask where you would like the eyelets to be installed. Getting the placement right before cutting the holes is essential. Double check that all the holes lie up and are symmetrical. Punch the holes and set the eyelets or grommets in place. Hand sewn eyelets are also an option.

To create the lacing cut a lengthy strip of fabric one inch wide. Seam the edges together with right sides facing, and using a bodkin or small safety pin turn the tube right side out. Since the tube is so small this can be tricky. Fold the ends back into themselves and hand sew the opening closed.

Lace the ties through the eyelets and leave it slack so that you can fit the mask over your head. Pull the lacing tight and tie the end, or leave them loose.

You have now successfully finished your Quilted Plague Doctor Mask.


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    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    Hey, I love this patter. Amazing job! My question is what type of batting did you use? I have this thicker more stable kind and then a soft flexible kind I use for my quilts.! Thanks for any info.


    Answer 1 year ago

    The stitching will give a lot of stability to the mask, so you don't need a batting that has a lot of stiffness. I wish I kept the label from my the roll of batting I have, but it is soft and maybe about 2mm thick.


    2 years ago

    I was joking today that these should be the masks people use :)

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    Nice job with putting it together and documenting the process :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks so much 😊