Introduction: Two Layer Cotton and One Layer Shop Towel Modified U Florida Health Prototype 2 Mask - Fits Tightly Against Skin and Won't Fog Glasses

This tutorial is a ton of steps to try to make sure nothing is missing for folks who don't sew very often. DISCLAIMER: If you sew often and/or quilt, try not to have a melt down when you see this technique.

Watch the video about why the University of Florida mask fits against your face:

Download the starting pattern:

Find your supplies...

If you have extra financial resources, consider thanking and donating to the awesome team at University of Florida that created this mask pattern.


Fabric two pieces 7.5" x 11.5" -- ideally cotton -- thinner like quilting quarters are easier to work with -- wash and dry the fabric before you begin -- do not use fabric softener & avoid scented detergents

Shop towel one piece (disposable light blue non woven shop towel) -- from amazon, auto zone, Walmart, etc -- come in boxes or rolls

velcro (4" of sew on variety)

elastic -- about 19.25" & 15.5" OR ribbon (longer to accommodate tying behind head) OR similar tie material

wire about 5" of about 14 - 16 gauge (might be stripped house wire in copper) or multiple pipe cleaners or similar


sewing machine OR needle

scissors OR rotary cutter and mat



fabric marker or ball point pen(s)


Step 1: Print Two Copies of the Fourth Page of the University of Florida Prototype 2 Mask at 100% Scale

When you print, use the options in your printer settings to make sure it's 100% (not fit to page).

Print two copies.

Step 2: Measure What You Printed to Make Sure It's the Right Size

Lay a ruler across the section and make sure it's really close to 10" before you get further in the process.

Step 3: Use a Ruler or Similar to Make the Original Pattern Bigger

Use a ruler or similar to make marks about 1" beyond the solid line on the original curved pattern.

Lay the ruler near the top and make a mark with a contrasting color.

--- we're making really big seam allowances that will make sense later.

Step 4: Continue Going Around the Solid Line of the Pattern Making It Larger

Rotate the ruler and make marks on the outside around the entire pattern.

Step 5: Finished Enlargement

When you're finished adding the marks around the outside of the solid lines on the pattern, it should look something like the red lines in this picture.

Step 6: Cut Out the Enlarged Pattern Piece

Don't use fabric scissors!

I glued mine to a thicker piece of card stock since I'm making several masks.

Step 7: Make Another Template, Cut It Out and Make Some Holes

Use the ruler to add some enlargement lines to the second paper you printed.

Create a tab on each side of the original pattern, one on top and two on bottom (see pic).

Cut out on the solid lines from the original pattern and leave the tabs.

At the ends of the nose piece location create four holes in the pattern (I used an exacto knife to make smallish holes). At the ends of the dart locations, create holes in the pattern. See the picture of the cut out version where I have holes.

OPTIONAL: I glued mine to thicker card stock since I would be using it multiple times.

Step 8: If Your Fabric Is One Piece, Fold It Over Making Sure You Have Enough Area to Cut Two Copies of the Bigger Pattern

Use the bigger template to make sure you have enough fabric to cut two copies from your fabric

Step 9: Iron Your Fabric

Don't iron fingers :)

Step 10: Cut Out Two Fabric Pieces of the Expanded Pattern Piece

If you have a nifty rotary fabric cutter (commonly know as a "finger slicer off-er"), then I recommend using it on a cutting mat. You can probably lay the ironed doubled over fabric on the mat and cut two layers at the same time.

If you will be using scissors, pin together the fabric (without wrinkles) and cut two layers at one resulting in two fabric pieces.

Step 11: Cut One Shop Towel the Same As the Expanded Pattern Piece

Scissors or rotary cutter should be able to cut the disposable blue shop towel no problem.

We have about an inch of extra fabric as a seam allowance, so don't worry if the shop towel isn't quite long enough.

Step 12: Layer the Fabric Pieces & Shop Towel Piece

Shop towel on bottom, a piece of fabric with the "outside" facing you, and last a piece of fabric with the "outside" facing down.

In the first pic, notice the printed sides of the fabric will be facing one another.

When you're done with this step, you just have a pile of layered materials.

Step 13: Use the Second Pattern Piece (with the Tabs) to Trace Where You Will Sew

Lay the second pattern piece on your stacked fabric.

If you have a fabric marker or fabric pencil that can be seen on your fabric, you're doing better than I.

A ball point pen works in a pinch.

mark around the pattern with the fabric marker/pencil/pen. When you're finished it should look like the last picture.

Step 14: Mark the Areas Where the Tabs Were and Put X's on the Line to Not Sew at First

Look at the picture on this step. Hand draw the lines where the tabs show missing "holes" in the outline.

On a bottom straight section put X's --- this will remind us to not sew this line during the first step of sewing.

Step 15: Pin the Layers, But Be Careful

Pin only in the seam allowance (outside of the traced area)... see picture for example.

Don't poke pin holes in your shop towel layer in the middle of mask pattern.

Step 16: Start Sewing

I suggest starting on the edge next to the line you won't sew at this step... next to the X's.

(congratulate yourself if you're hand sewing that you won't be fighting with a sewing machine!)

When you first start sewing sew three or four stitches in the normal orientation, then back stitch (cause the machine to sew backwards using the backup lever or button) over the three or four stitches, then continue sewing.

Sew right along the marked line -- but leave open the section with the X's.

Step 17: With Machine Only... Don't Sew Pins

When you get close to were the pins were, stop and pull them out. Most machines skip stitches pretty bad when you try to sew pins.

Step 18: With Machine Only... When You Get to a Sharp Corner

As you approach the sharp corner, slow down.

Remove any pins in your way.

At the sharp corner, stop the machine with the needle in the down position.

Lift up the presser foot and rotate the fabric.

Step 19: With Machine Only... When You Get to the End Back Stitch and Stop With the Needle in Up Position

When you get all the way around the marked sewing line (remember not to sew the line with the X's), then back stitch three or four stitches then forward stitch through them (keeps it from unraveling).

When you've finished the back stitching move the needle to the uppermost position (look at the thread holder thingee that goes up and down and make sure it's in the upmost position).

Lift up presser foot and pull the fabric away from the machine, cut threads.

Step 20: What the Stitching Should Look Like...

Notice the open area that's not sewed...

My machine leaves little presser foot indentations on the shop towel layer.

Step 21: Cut Off Excess Seam Allowance

Using scissors or rotary tool, cut off the excess seam allowance.

If the fabric is really prone to fraying (like denium) leave more seam allowance. If it doesn't fray at all cut as close to the stitching as you'd like.

We'll be turning this inside out, so having too much fabric will make it hard to get everything smoothed out, but too little fabric and you risk fraying and the seams coming apart.

note, I clipped the edges of the sharp corners where there will be too much fabric when turned inside out -- see pictures

Step 22: Reach Between the Fabric Layers and Turn Inside Out

Combination of pushing with fingers and pulling until it's inside out.

This is way easier with thinner fabric, BTW.

Step 23: Use Something Blunt to Push on the Inside of the Seams You Just Turned

root around in the corners of the fabric and push till everything is smoothed out and the seams are well turned (especially the corners)

Step 24: Iron the Mask

Admire my superior seamstress abilities (or maybe recoil in horror).

Use an iron to press the inside out sections.

If you have a cute little iron you've been telling your significant other was a good purchase, now is a good time to use it... otherwise use a normal iron.

Step 25: Mark the Ironed Mask on the "right Side"

put the template with the tabs on your mask and use a fabric marker or fabric pencil (or if you don't have one of those you can see on the fabric just a pen or marker) to mark the "holes" in the template.

Four holes at the top are for the nose piece and two holes on the sides for the darts.

You can hand sketch the curved lines around the nose piece holes--- these do not need to be exact, but will need to be wide enough to accommodate the wire nose piece.

Step 26: Slide the Template Around and Mark the Edges of Darts and the Tie Locations

Slide the mask template down a bit and mark the edges of where the top ties will go.

Slide the mas template a bit to the side and mark where the edges of the side ties will go.

Mark the edges of where the dart will go (the triangle shaped dotted line on the original pattern piece).

Step 27: Cut Nose Piece Wire and Bend Over Edges - Check Size

Cut the nose piece wire to about 5" length.

bend over the ends so nothing sharp will poke through the mask.

Make sure the finished nose piece wire looks like it's about the right length to fit in the outline of the nose piece pocket we'll sew.

If you're using pipe cleaners or other wire, you may need a wider "nose piece pocket" to accommodate the wire(s).

Step 28: Sew the Nose Piece Pocket -- Leave One End Open

Start out on one end of the nose piece pocket. Sew three or four stitches, back stitch, continue sewing.

When you get to the end of the first line, slow down

leave needle in down position

lift presser foot

rotate fabric.

put presser foot back down

continue sewing... when you get to the next corner, repeat the corner process....

at the end of the second long line, back stitch, then leave needle in the totally upmost position (based on the thread holder thingee mentioned several steps prior).... pull fabric from machine and clip threads

remember to leave one of the narrow ends open.

Step 29: Put Wire Into the Nose Wire Pocket

wiggle and finagle nose wire into the nose wire pocket

Step 30: Sew Closed the Open Side of the Nose Wire Pocket

sew it closed and make sure to not try to sew the wire

you can also sew farther away from the pocket and the 5" wire won't come out of the pocket

Step 31: Sew on the Scratchy Part of Velcro Tie Holders

At the four locations for tie holders, sew on your approximately 1" each tie holder scratchy velcro.

Use the scratchy part of the velcro on the mask side (you'll be using the soft fluffy side of the velcro later).

These do not have to be exact, but you do need to make sure the edges of the velcro don't stick past the edges of the mask fabric--- if they do, they'll poke you in the face.

I sewed rectangles to hold mine down.

The last picture on this step is what the backside looked like after I sewed the nose piece wire into it's pocket and all four of the scratch velcro tie holders on.

Step 32: Fold in the Open End of the Mask and Iron

Fold it back to where the line is on the inside and iron

Step 33: Pinch Together a Dart and Sew It

A dart is a fold that you sew.

On each side of the mask there is a narrow dart (fold that gets sewed).

Pinch together the marks at the outside edge of the dart and align them... then sew from the dot we marked on the front to the outside edge...

The last picture on this step is what it looks like after both darts are sewn.

They do not need to be perfect.

Step 34: In About the Middle of the Nose Wire Bend It So the Mask Is Folded in Half (loosely)

It helps to start bending the nose piece in the middle, then just fold the mask in half loosely... you don't need to bend the nose wire tight, just enough to get the fabric towards the bottom of the mask to be able to come together for the next step

read ahead to the next step to see how far you might need to bend the nose wire

Step 35: Sew the Pinched Together Last Two/one Seam(s)

pinch together the bottom of the mask (opposite side from the nose wire)

sew from the middle to the edge and middle to the edge of the two sides of the seam

open up the mask (might need to bend the nose wire so it's less pinched)

Step 36: Elastic or Ribbon Tie Length

If you're using elastic, you probably need two pieces one about 19.25" and one about 15.5".

I'm not sure how long ties need to be but my guess would be at least 14" each (4 ties at 14" each).

Use a pin or safety pin to attach a 1" section of fuzzy velcro to an end of your elastic. Stick the fuzzy velcro to one of the scratchy velcros on the mask. Put the mask up to your face and wrap the elastic around your head in the same type of orientation that you'll be wearing the mask --- look at the pics one strap goes up at across upper part of head. Use you fingers to pull the elastic around to the mask and determine how long the strap needs to be. Repeat for second strap. (or just use 19.25" and 15.5")

Step 37: Sew Fuzzy Velcro to the Strap Ends

Each strap or tie end gets a 1" piece of fuzzy velcro sewn to it.

Orient the fuzzy velcro on the bottom and the elastic on the top. Sew down the length then back stitch the entire length of the velcro.

Step 38: Stick the Straps or Ties Onto Your Mask

The longer strap goes on top and the shorter on bottom.

The nose wire is at the top of the mask.

Step 39: Adjust the Nose Piece (and Chin If Necessary)

Adjust the nose piece until you can exhale with glasses on and not get condensation/air on the glasses.

Use your hands to feel around the edges of the mask while you breathe to feel for leaks.

You may need medical tape or similar at the nose or chin to get better sealing.

Step 40: Clean Your Mask

DO NOT try to heat this mask in the microwave -- metal nose piece will arc and potentially start fire!

DO NOT try to heat this mask in a normal home oven -- not worth it to potentially burn down your home!

You may wish to remove ties/elastic during cleaning.

Consider steaming for 30 minutes is likely to remove biological contaminants -- steam dryer? clothes steamer? etc.

Consider washing or hand washing the mask body.

Step 41: Final Consideration

Promise anyone you know who has a sewing machine that you won't let me near it, their sewing scissors or other supplies :)