DIY Tutorial: Sew A Face Mask Without Pleats

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Here is mask tutorial that explains how to make another style of face mask without pleats and no center seam. After all, fabric face masks aren’t going away for a long while.

Which leads me to what has me fascinated these days. There are countless ways any one thing can be done, when it comes to DIY projects,.

Clearly, creating a face mask or face covering is no different.

Make a face mask without pleats.

There are new fabric mask patterns and styles popping up everywhere. We are seeing things from the handmade world AND the consumer products folks.

It is sometimes fun, and a good laugh, to see which large companies have jumped on the fabric face mask wagon.

(I see you denim! Never mind that denim is a HIGHLY processed fabric and sandblasted denim’s main ingredient is silica. An ingredient we shouldn’t breathe in actively. Like, ever.)

But I digress…

On the handmade front so far, I have tutorials about how to make a:

face mask that ties

face mask with attached t-shirt ties

face mask with contours, no pleats, and no pocket

a no-sew face covering (neck gaiter)

If you’re looking for advice on supplies, I also provide explanations about how long to make face face mask ties and the five best materials for face mask ties.

Regardless of which style or material you choose, the most important thing right now is to wear a face covering and, if it’s a face mask, to wear the face mask correctly.

A Face Mask Without Pleats & A Nose Wire

The Create To Donate face mask without pleats has a new approach to the nose wire. As I’m sure you have seen, many mask designs have a sewn-in nose wire.

I’m still not a fan.

While I can totally see the value in all the different face mask patterns and designs, the sewn-in wire isn’t something I buy into. If we want these masks to last, I’m not convinced the wire will withstand the test of time.

Being able to remove the wire is therefore important.

This tutorial walks you through the steps of sewing a simple fabric face mask without pleats.

Mask Maker, Make Me This Mask

Materials & Tools

Face mask without pleats materials

The materials you’ll need are standard to making a current-day face mask: fabric, pattern, and elastic or t-shirt yarn. Here are the detailed measurements and the tools you’ll need:

One 9″ x 12″ piece of patterned fabric. This design could use a single piece of fabric, but I like to save the patterned fabric for the front of the masks whenever possible.

The way this mask is constructed makes it easy to use two pieces of fabric.

One 9″ x 12″ piece of solid fabric. I treat this like a ‘filter’ fabric and like to use cotton with a very tight weave. Broadcloth and the like aren’t your best best. You still want to go with a quality cotton for the inside of the mask too.

36″ – 40″ of t-shirt yarn or two pieces of 12″ of elastic. A mask with a channel instead of permanently attaching the fastener affords a lot of flexibility.

I prefer creating a channel instead of sewing it in permanently because I can swap out t-shirt ties for elastic or vice versa whenever I want. (Although I still prefer the ties.)

If you haven’t made t-shirt yarn before, check out this t-shirt yarn video tutorial.

Material for a 4″ nose wire. This can be an unfolded paper clip, jewelry wire, or a pipe cleaner. Trim as needed.

Create To Donate face mask without pleats pattern. Download the free pattern here. If you’re looking for additional freebies, hop on over to the Free Patterns, SVG Designs, and Printables page.

Fabric marker or pencil. You will use this to trace the pattern onto the solid fabric and mark your nose bridge holes.

Sewing machine. Not all masks are sewn, like this no-sew neck gaiter, so I always include this for clarity when the machine is necessary.

Don't let the pleats get you down and make this easy face mask without pleats instead!Click to Tweet

Steps To Sew Your Face Mask Without Pleats

Step 1: Trace the free face mask pattern onto the piece of patterned fabric.

Trace the face mask without pleats pattern onto the wrong side of fabric.

If you haven’t already, now is time to download, print, and assemble the face mask without pleats pattern.

Once assembled, place it on the wrong side of the pattern fabric and trace the shape.

It is important that you trace the pattern on the printed fabric and not the solid fabric to complete future steps in the process.

Step 2: Mark the placement for holes the nose wire.

I already explained that I’m not a fan of sewing the nose wire in permanently.

So, all of the patterns and designs I create don’t include instructions for sewing the wire into the mask. With this mask, you could certainly sew it into the mask after sewing the top traced line.

This face mask without pleats design is removable, though. And I’m kinda pleased with this solution! I hope you are too.

Basically, you just sew two small buttonholes onto the front piece of fabric. Once the two pieces are sewn together, you will have a cover for the wire.

The ends of the wire will stick out a little bit on the outside but won’t touch your skin. You just fold the nose wire over to secure it and it makes for a great fit. There are pictures of it later on in the tutorial.

So, let’s get back to it!

Step 3: Sew two 3/4″ buttonholes using the marks as a guide.

Sew and open the two button holes on the pattered fabric.

Remember: You don’t want the button holes to be too high because they will hold the nose wire in place.

Step 4: Put fabrics right sides together and clip.

Step 5: Use the traced lines as a guide & sew all around the shape. Leave 2″ hole for turning.

Sew the two pieces of fabric together using the lines as a guide.

I’ve become a fan for tracing the pattern first, when the design allows it, because makes it for really easy sewing.

All you have to do is sew along the lines to create the shape of the mask.

Just remember to leave around a 2″ on one side of the mask. You need to be able to turn it right sides out.

Step 6: Cut off the excess fabric 1/4″ from the stitching.

Before you turn it right sides out, trim away the excess fabric.

Use the stitching as a guide and trim 1/4″ away from the seams.

Step 7: Turn the mask right sides out and top stitch 1/8″ from the edge.

It’s time to turn the mask rights sides out.

To finish turning, make sure you’ve poked out all of the corners at the angles.

I typically finger press the seams flat as well to get out any little lumps in the fabric.

Top stitch 1/8″ from the edge.

Step 8: Form the top and bottom of the mask.

Instead of pleats on the front of the mask, this design has folds at the top and bottom of the mask.

This allows it to fit over someone’s nose and chin comfortably. And it allows you to have a face mask option without having to sew pleats!

To form the bottom of the mask, start with the front of the mask facing down. Then, take the bottom edge and fold it over 2″ toward the center.

Take that same edge and fold it back toward the bottom of the mask. Clip to secure the fold. It should measure ~1″.

PRO TIP: If you haven’t done this before, for future reference, this is typically called an “accordion fold”.

Form the top of the mask by repeating the same steps you did for the bottom.

Step 9: Fold and sew the side channels.

Sew the fabric face mask side channels

Now you need to form the side channels that will hold the elastic or t-shirt ties.

To form the side channel, fold the edge over 1″ toward the middle of the mask.

Secure the edge of the channel with a zigzag stitch.

Step 10: Thread the t-shirt ties and insert the nose wire.

Thread the ties and insert the nose wire into the face mask without pleats.

The mask body is done! Now you just need to thread the t-shirt yarn ties and insert the nose wire.

To thread the ties, take a safety pin and attach it to the end of the tie. Then, just like you would pajama pants, push the safety pin through the channel until it comes out the other end.

Since this mask has a nose wire, you’ll want to start threading at the top of the mask.

Inserting the nose wire is as straightforward as pushing it through the two buttonholes. Fold over both ends of the wire to secure it.

Video Tutorial: Fabric Mask Without Pleats

The video tutorial demonstrates the steps necessary to make a face mask without pleats.

This is the super duper quick version and doesn’t include a nose wire.

Make Life Easy With A Face Mask Zipper Pouch

How-to-sew-a-zipper-pouch-for-face-masks-header

Even if you’re busy sewing and using fabric face masks sometimes, they stay at home when they shouldn’t.

So I created a zipper pouch tutorial so you can store extra masks – either sewn or disposable – in your car. After all, some fabric masks like to take a nap on the couch at home sometimes too, right?

Wearing A Face Mask Makes A Difference

Sewing tutorial for a face mask without pleats and a nose wire.

When you wear a face mask, you are making a difference for your family, friends and your community.

I hope that at least one of fabric face mask patterns on Create To Donate has helped you. Even better, I hope that one or more become part of your regular rotation.

2 thoughts on “DIY Tutorial: Sew A Face Mask Without Pleats

  • August 10, 2020 at 8:49 am
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    It’s so good to have so many options when making face masks, thanks for this one. I think there is a style for everyone so having choices makes it easier for everyone to find one that is right for them.

    • August 10, 2020 at 8:56 am
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      Julie – I couldn’t agree more because people’s comfort levels really are SO different. My biggest hope is that each person finds one that makes wearing them just that little bit easier.

      Thank you for stopping by again. I have enjoyed perusing through your blog and many of the other links in your Handmade Monday community. Kind regards, Dana

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