From Idea Shop Wiki



In light of CDC recommendations that citizens wear masks in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Idea Shop is organizing a group at-home effort to provide IIT essential facilities workers and students living on campus with cloth face masks.

Anyone is welcome to contribute.

How does this work?

The Idea Shop will provide volunteers with a mask making kit containing fabric, a pattern, and tie material. Participants can sew masks at home and return them to us for sanitizing and distribution via a prepaid UPS shipment.

Mask Making

Step by Step Instructions


1. Fold the bottom edge of the fabric up 6 inches.

2. Place pattern piece A in the bottom left corner and cut around the edge. This should yield 2 mirror images of piece A from the fabric.

3. Next to where piece A was cut, place piece B. Cut around piece B to yield 2 mirror images of piece B from the fabric.

4. Continue cutting in this way creating an equal, even number of pieces A and B.


Step 1. Click to Enlarge
Step 2. Click to Enlarge
Step 3. Click to Enlarge
Step 4. Click to Enlarge
Step 5 and 6. Once inside and outside pieces are nested and pinned, sew the two pieces together starting with the top seam, beginning at one end and ending at the other.

1. Place the mask outside pieces (piece A) with the right sides of the fabric together. Align and pin along the curved edges. Repeat this step for the mask inside pieces (piece B).

2. Sew the mask outside pieces (piece A) together along the curved edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end to reinforce the seam. Repeat this step for the mask inside pieces (piece B).

3. Fold the left side edge of the mask outside pieces over ¼ inch (Fabric comes from the right side to the wrong side) and press. Repeat on the right side of the mask outside pieces and both sides of the mask inside pieces.

4. Pin down the ¼ inch fold-over and stitch it in place. Repeat this for all 4 edges.

5. Place the inside mask piece into the outside mask piece with the right sides together and both seams facing the outside. Ensure that the curved center seams match up. Nest the center seams by putting the seam allowance in opposite directions so that the bulk of the fabric is distributed. Place a pin in the top center and bottom center then continue pinning the top and bottom edges from the center out to the edge of the inside pieces.

6. Sew the top seam beginning at the edge of the inside piece and ending at the opposite edge of the inside piece. Repeat for the bottom seam.

7. Turn the mask right side out through the center pocket.

8. With the mask inside piece facing up, press all 4 of the top and bottom raw edges of the outside piece down ¼ inch.

9. Bring the outside piece's edge to meet the inside piece's edge. Press it down and pin it in place. Repeat for the other side.

10. Press the mask top and bottom edges.

11. Sew the outside of the mask (the top and bottom ¼ inch away from the edge as well as sewing the side casings shut by stitching over the line of sewing on the outside piece) Make sure the pocket isn’t sewn shut!


1. Cut an 18 inch piece of tie material.

2. Thread one end of the tie through the left side casing from bottom to top.

3. Thread the other side of the tie through the right side casing from bottom to top.

Need help? Email us at for questions and support.


About this pattern

This pattern is modified from by idea shop staff, and is for a fitted face mask with a filter pocket. This pocket allows a filter (like a coffee filter or additional fabric) to be added and removed after the mask is sewn. The side casings are left open for an overhead tie to be threaded through. This tie can also be changed by the user to suit their needs.

You can download our modified pattern here.