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If you would like to volunteer to assist in maskIIT please fill out this SIGN UP FORM.


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.

How do I sanitize a fabric mask?

Most washing machine cycles should be sufficient to disinfect a fabric face mask, but cycles with hot water that last at least 20 minutes are advisable.

See this PDF from the CDC regarding fabric face masks:

How do I get a fabric mask?

Currently we are distributing fabric masks to Illinois Tech essential staff and students on campus. If you qualify for receipt of a fabric mask please see our current available masks here: and email ideashop[at]iit[dot]edu to arrange pick up.

Mask Making

Step by Step Instructions

Video Coming Soon!


1. Fold the bottom edge of the fabric up 7 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

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).

Step 2. Sew the curved edge (this seam will be the center of the mask). Click to Enlarge

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).

Step 3. Press the edges. Click to Enlarge

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.

Step 4. Edges are folded over, pinned, and pressed, and ready to be sewn.Click to Enlarge

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

Step 6. Once inside and outside pieces are nested and pinned, sew the two pieces together starting with the top seam, beginning at one end of the inside piece and ending at the other end of the inside piece.

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 one edge of the inside piece and ending at the opposite edge of the inside piece. Repeat for the bottom seam. Make sure you do not sew to the edges of the outside piece.

Step 8. Turn your near-complete mask right side out. Then press the four remaining raw top and bottom edges (from the front piece) flat.

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.

Step 9. Turn your near-complete mask right side out. Then press the four remaining raw top and bottom edges (from the front piece) flat.

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.

Step 11. Sew the side casings shut. Take care to sew over the previous line.

10. Press the mask top and bottom edges.

11. Sew the side casings shut by sewing the folded over sections from the outer piece down on the original line of stitching. Make sure not to sew the pocket shut! Finish the mask by topstitching the top and bottom of the mask approx 1/4”.


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, cut up HVAC 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: MaskIIT PDF