Fabric face masks continue to be in high demand and since not everyone likes to make pleats, I created a free face mask pattern with no pleats.
At the onset of the pandemic, I tried a variety of face mask patterns to see which worked best for me and the organizations I supported.
Of the four patterns I tried, I wasn’t a fan of the highly contoured non-pleated face mask or the “Olson” pattern because I felt they took too long to cut and I didn’t like the fit of either of them.
So for a while now, my tried and true pattern has been a pleated face mask with channel to insert either elastic or t-shirt ties as the fastener.
I don’t even make them with a filter pocket anymore because the masks I’m sewing aren’t for a clinicians of any kind. I feel filter options are most important in the higher risk settings.
For everyday folks, a two-layer fabric mask with tightly woven cotton should do the trick, though. So, for family and friends I have been sticking with a patterned front and solid color backing.
My “go to” fabric for the backing is muslin because it’s easy to find, has a tight weave, and is an inexpensive option when compared to quilting cotton.
The pleated pattern was still hitting a little too high on the cheek, though. For some it was causing an issue with periphery vision.
So this pattern adds a soft nose bridge (no wire) and lowers the coverage on the cheek just a little bit.
Oh, and the level of difficulty on this pattern is definitely “beginner”.
It’s the perfect mask pattern for people new to sewing because it mostly straight line sewing except for the small curve of the nose bridge.
Materials For A Face Mask Without Pleats
The materials and tools you’ll need to sew free face mask pattern with no pleats are:
– Two 7.5″ x 10″ pieces of contrasting fabric. I like to go with a fun pattern or print on the front and, as I mentioned above white or unbleached muslin for the back.
If you are making the mask for a tall person or someone with a larger face or head, you can work with a larger piece of fabric.
For a family member of mine, the mask height worked fine, but we needed a better seal on the sides. So, I added an inch to the width of the fabric.
– Create To Donate’s FREE face mask pattern. Click here to download the free face mask with no pleats pattern. And really, calling it a “pattern” is a little silly.
The reason why any pattern is necessary is to get the right shape shape for the soft nose bridge.
If you are working with fabric dimensions than listed above, you still follow the same directions for using pattern different.
The placement of the nose bridge is the biggest purpose of this pattern and you’re going to want that centered no matter what size you make it.
– Elastic or t-shirt ties. Neither one is pictured above because if you’ve sewn even one mask, you know what each of those entails.
If you’re still trying to perfect your face mask tying game, read my post about how long ties should be on a face mask.
If you haven’t made your own t-shirt yarn yet, hop over and how to make t-shirt yarn using this video tutorial.
– Sewing tools. You’ll (of course) need a sewing machine and either scissors or a rotary cutter to cut out your fabric pieces.
Pins or clips will also help throughout the process. But, they aren’t required if you’re comfortable with sewing straight lines on small pieces of fabric.
Let’s Sew An Easy Face Mask Pattern
There are less than ten steps to sewing this face mask without pleats. So once you get the hang of it, you should be able to sew a lot of them at once.
Step One: Use the face mask pattern, cut out two pieces fabric.
Fold each piece of fabric in half. Then, place the tip of pattern at the top right edge of the fabric.
The bottom of the pattern doesn’t reach all the way down to the bottom of the fabric, but that’s OK. You already have the straight edges that you need for sewing. The curve of the pattern is what you need to cut cleanly.
Step Two: Create the semi-contoured face mask shape.
This non-pleated face mask is semi-contoured which is why the soft nose bridge can work. To help the semi-contoured shape lay nicely while wearing the mask, it’s helpful to create a center seam.
Instead of cutting the larger piece in two and then sewing it together I tried something else.
I used a 1/4″ seam with the already-folded fabric and just sewed straight down the long vertical edge.
Then, in order to open up the seam so it lays flat, I used a small scissors to cut the fabric open.
A simple finger press after cutting was the final step needed to flatten out the seam and prepare the piece.
Repeat this step with the second piece of fabric.
Step Three: Sew the two pieces of fabric together, then turn right sides out and top stitch around the whole piece.
With the fabric right sides together, clip or pin the two pieces to each other. Make sure to double check that the finger-pressed seams are on the OUTSIDE when you are sewing the pieces together.
Sew the fabric pieces together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Don’t sew it all the way closed, however. You’ll want to leave a 1″ – 2″ opening on one side of the mask so you can turn it right sides out.
After you turn the piece right sides out, top stitch around the whole piece. The top stitching no only makes it look nicer but also helps with the fit of the face mask.
Step Four: Create the face mask nose bridge.
Folding and forming the nose bridge is what helps the edge of the mask sit farther away from the eye line. This simple fold also holds the nose bridge in place.
To create to the face mask nose bridge, mark 3/4″ down from the top edge on one side. Then, fold the nose bridge toward the inside of the mask at the mark you just made.
Now you need to sew down the fold – but you don’t want to sew all the way across the top, otherwise you will tack the nose bridge down too.
So, take a pin or a clip to mark 1.5″ on each side of the center seam and that will be your end point.
Sew the folded fabric down from the bottom edge of the fold with a 1/4″ allowance.
Below is what it should look like when you pull up the nose piece once you’ve sewn the fabric down.
Step Five: Sew a channel on each side of the mask.
The overall mask shape has been formed. Now the face mask needs channels so you can insert ties for the mask to fasten it.
Fold over each edge 3/4″ toward the inside and clip.
Then, remove one clip at a time to take the tie of your choice and thread it through the channel you’ve created. Clip the edges again to secure each tie so they doesn’t move.
I continue to use clips while I sew the edge down so that they tie doesn’t slip and get caught in the stitches.
The beauty of the t-shirt ties, however, is that they provide a little bumper for your presser foot while you’re sewing.
A Finished Face Mask With No Pleats
And voilà! Your face mask with no pleats is complete. When you look at it from the front, the nose bridge is almost like a peek-a-boo feature because you don’t know it’s there.
The sizing for this free face mask pattern is great for tweens, teens, and average-sized adults.
I haven’t made it for younger kids yet and therefore haven’t mastered the “sweet spot” dimensions. A pure guess would be to use fabric pieces that are 6″ x 8″. I will update the post once I have exact measurements for children.
For larger adults, I recommend adding an inch on each side. So a width total of 12″. The height might also benefit from 1/2 – 1″ more. Therefore you can start with fabric that is 8.5″ x 12″ instead.
Even though I just started making these in the last week, the feedback about the face mask pattern with no pleats has already been very positive.
People like that it is more form-fitting on across their nose and also where it hits them on their face.
This fabric mask pattern let’s glasses sit nicely, but the soft nose bridge, unfortunately doesn’t provide a tight enough seal to keep glasses from fogging a little bit. They do fog a less than with other styles, though.
If you’re wondering how best to secure the mask, t-shirt ties provide a better fit than elastic.
Since the pattern uses a channel instead of sewing things permanently, you can easily work with either of them.
Video Tutorial For Face Mask With No Pleats
Face Mask With Pleats Or No Pleats?
I know there are plenty of debates around which face mask style if best. The way I see it though, is that there is no contest.
Why? Because, the best face mask style is the one that will support you in complying with local regulations. The best face mask is one you and your family will wear regularly and properly.
Which leads me to some reminders about how to wear a face mask. When fashioning a face mask, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
– The face mask should not have large gaps on the sides of your face. The seal doesn’t have to be suctioned tightly to your face, but the sides of the fabric mask should be close to your cheeks.
– The face mask should cover your nose and mouth completely. The top edge of the mask should not sit below your nostrils.
– The face mask’s bottom edge should cover your chin. Even better if the mask fits around the base of your chin. (This pattern does cover the base of the chin as well.)
No matter which style you speaks to you, let’s all stay safe out there and wear a face mask to protect ourselves and our community.
Share The Goods
What’s your favorite face mask pattern to make and wear? Share your experiences in the comments below.