Not all Superheroes Wear Capes

March 26, 2020

Not all Superheroes Wear Capes

I have bins full of fabric, the ability to sew, restless hands and there is a need, so I am answering that call❤️
This is a message I received from a nurse in Maine. But this can be repeated all across the county....These are our family, friends, neighbors who are terrified to go to work because they don’t feel safe. How can we let this happen? I will do everything I can to get them what they (you) need.
"PPE: This has been a rapidly changing area as we've navigated through the ever-changing COVID-19 waters. On the Maine CDC call today we were told to expect supply shortages for another 3-4 months, supplies are being released by FEMA to areas heavily impacted, and will likely not make it to Maine in large numbers, as we're not currently experiencing the community spread many other states are experiencing...."
These masks fit the requirements of my local hospital, use what I have on hand (elastic is hard to find these days), allow for a filter or additional layer of fabric to be inserted inside and to be sewn quickly AND efficiently.  They are washable and reusable. They do not have wire for the nose.
*Before sewing, I pre-wash my fabric in hot water and mild detergent.


Materials :

  • Use 2 different fabrics - cut each 8 x 8 inches
  • 4 fabric ties cut at 15 inches (I am using a knit fabric which is stretchy, if using woven fabric or bias tape, I would suggest cutting a few inches longer)
  • 4 x Pins or Wonder Clips
  • Pleat Template - To simplify the pleating process, I created a template for making the pleats. This way you can just lay your fabric over it and mold it over the pleats. But, you can easily just measure. Each pleat is ~1/2 inch wide, with the first pleat starting 1.5 inches from the top (the edge without the opening). Repeat these measurements 2 more times (3 total pleats).


Step 1 : Serge (or hem) one edge of each 8x8 piece of fabric

**please note you can leave this part out if you don't need an opening

Step 2 : Lay one piece of fabric right side up on your table. At each of the 4 corners of the fabric, place one of the ties. Lay the remaining piece on top, right sides together. Pin in place.

Step 3 : If sewing mask with opening, place marks 2" from raw edge along serged/hem edge.

Step 4 : Starting at one mark, sew all the way around the mask using a 1/4" seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end and at each corner when sewing over the ties to secure in place. Be sure the remaining part of each of the ties is out of the way. Stop sewing at the other mark to leave an opening in which a filter and/or additional layer of fabric can be inserted.

Step 5 : Clip corners, turn right side out and iron.

Step 6 : Make 3 pleats and pin in place.

Step 7 : Sew along pleated edges being sure to secure each pleat by backstitching 2-3x.

Step  8 : Tie a knot at the end of each tie.

***Please note : These masks DO NOT replace actual personal protective equipment (PPE). These are not as effective as medical grade ones, but supply is short and these are better than nothing. They have an opening at the bottom to fit a filter, if available and needed. They’re for a last resort. They’ll also help you and me, but not as much as if we all stay home to protect those who can’t.

If you are in need of a mask I am sending them (for free!) to anyone. You can find information on requesting one (or more) here : :


*For the masks I am making I adapted a pattern from
If you don't have a serger but still want the ability to insert a filter this is another great pattern resource :