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In light of CDC recommendations that residents 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 do I volunteer?

We currently have sufficient supply of masks and are not in need of volunteers at this time.

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. For our masks with a continuous 'U' shaped fabric tie we recommend washing in a delicate garmet bag or with the fabric tie secured.

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 faculty, staff, and students on campus. Limit two masks per person.

See our current available masks here: Mask Selection

Email ideashop[at]iit[dot]edu to arrange pick up. Please specify which mask(s) you would like in the email.

Example: Hi! Can I please get one 'Lilypad' mask and one 'Eccentric Professor' mask? Thanks!

We will let you know via email when the mask(s) are ready for pickup.

Mask Making

Step by Step Instructions


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 both A pieces with the right sides of the fabric together. Align and pin along the curved edges. Repeat this step for the B pieces.

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

2. Sew the A pieces together along the curved edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end to reinforce the seam. Repeat this step for the B pieces.

Step 3. Press the edges. Click to Enlarge

3. Fold the each of the side edges of the over ¼ inch and press (Fabric is folded in from the front side to the back side). Do this for both the A and B pieces.

Step 4. Edges are folded over and sewn.Click to Enlarge

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

Step 5. Nest piece B into piece A

5. Place the B pieces into the A pieces 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.

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

6. Sew the top seam beginning at one edge of the B piece and ending at the opposite edge of the B piece. Repeat for the bottom seam. Make sure you do not sew to the edges of the outside piece.

Step 7. Turn your near-complete mask right side out.

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

Step 8. Press the four remaining raw top and bottom edges (from the front piece) flat.

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.

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 10.

10. Press the mask top and bottom edges.

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

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!

Step 12. Top stitch around the mask

12. Finish the mask by topstitching the top and bottom of the mask approx 1/4” from the edge.


1. Cut an 44 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