How to make a mouth mask easy?

Corona times… unseen and unreal what is happening in the world today!

In this blog post I am going to show you how to make a simple mouth mask which is light and reusable. Because one of the things that was clear quite quickly is that we are short of mouth masks. If there are still mouth masks available, they cost 10 times more than usual. I would like to contribute and do something. How do you make a mouth mask to protect ourselves and our loved ones and others who need them badly? We can cut and stitch it out of cotton fabric. Of course these masks are not medical masks because medical masks are only good for 1 to 2 hours and then they have to be thrown away. But if we make them in cotton, as in our case, they can be washed at high temperatures and you don’t have to throw them away. These mouth masks are simple and can also be made by beginners. Are you a beginner and would you like to know what you need to start with sewing projects, I have made a blog post for you about making clothes yourself: how do you start? What do you need?

Making a mouth mask for beginners: what do we need?

  • Cotton fabric, woven or tricot. that does not matter, as long as the fabrics can be washed at high temperatures
  • Elastic that also can be washed at these high temperatures or cotton ribbons. You can make cotton bias that we fold and stitch together
  • patterned paper or other thin paper
  • paper scissors and fabric scissors
  • pins
  • possibly chalk or something to mark your seam value with
  • a tape measure or ruler
  • yarn
  • a sewing machine
  • an iron

Method (with elastic rubber bands)

  • make a pattern out of paper with the following dimensions: 20 – 17 cm
  • place the pattern on the fabric and cut out with 1 cm seam allowance
  • cut 2 more pieces of fabric of 10 * 3 cm with 1 cm seam allowance
  • cut out elastic bands (max. 1 cm wide) with a length of 15 cm
Mondmasker knippen
  • fold the 2 longest ends of your piece of fabric in 1 cm and fold in again
  • pin in place
  • iron these flat
  • make pleats in the middle of the fabric: first pleat at 5 cm
    2nd and 3rd pleat at 3cm
  • iron these folds flat
  • stitch the pleated ends with a straight stitch
  • place the pieces of fabric wrong side up on the nice side of the piece of fabric
  • stitch it with a straight stitch
  • double fold and sew
Mondmasker stikken
Mondmasker met elastiek maken
  • take 2 elastic bands of 15 cm
  • place it on both sides on the wrong side of the mask
  • attach the elastic band by stitching back and forth over it (stitch on the same stitchings of your seam to make it look nicer)

This way you can easily make a mouth mask that can help protect yourself and others. I wish everyone a lot of strength in these difficult times and I also thank all people in the healthcare sector for their incredible commitment and persistence.

Whilst sitting at home, if you want to know more about how to make the best choices for your first sewing project, I wrote this blog post especially for you “How to start sewing for beginners?” and “How to start making your own clothes?”

Definitely check it out!


How do I start sewing for beginners?

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In my previous blog post I indicated what the basic necessities are that you will need to start with your first sewing project. But of course there are a number of things that we have to consider, if we want to start with a first sewing project.

Today I will elaborate on the following topics:

  • buying a sewing machine
  • self-made fashion magazines with patterns
  • fabric and sewing supplies


That is of course an important choice that you have to make yourself. At the time I was advised to start with a decent machine that had a number of basic functions, but also some extra functions. And I’m actually very happy about that. In this way it doesn’t scare you too much at the beginning. And after a while, people still have the opportunity to experiment with those nice extras.
Zigzag stitch sewing machine If you choose a solid brand and you want a more modern sewing machine with more options, you don’t have to buy all the accessories again. Today there are machines on the market with many computer-controlled functions. But the basis is and remains that a machine must be able to make a straight stitch as well as a zigzag.
Of course you should not spend too much on a first machine, if you do not know whether you will really like to make clothes yourself. But on the other hand, a cheap sewing machine doesn’t always suffocate. Be sure to keep this in mind when purchasing.
Choose a decent machine with basic functions and a few extras for not too much money

What is recommended is that the machine can make an automatic buttonhole. The thread threader is also handy (easy to get your thread through the needle) if the eyes no longer want to work well.
It is best to go to a local store and ask if you can try out some models or try to compare as many reviews on the internet as possible before making a purchase. Some well-known brands are: Bernina, Brother, Janome, Juke, Pfaff and Singer.

start to sew


There are many nice magazines for sale that contain patterns that you can easily draw or cut out, with an explanation of how you work when making the garment. Later you can possibly draw your own patterns. But to start with, I find the magazines the most useful. Burda, Burda Style and Burda Easy are well known, but you also have Knip, Diana, Simplicity and La Maison Victor and many others.
It is best to first determine your dimensions yourself. Because the sizes mentioned in the magazines are not always the normal clothing sizes.
In every magazine you will find a kind of workbook with information about the worksheets (patterns) and how you take your size, explanation about the drawings and the symbols used.


After you have decided what you want to make, you should first check the explanation in your home-made fashion magazine to see what kind of fabric is recommended to make that particular item of clothing. If you do not choose the right type of fabric, you can sometimes be faced with unpleasant surprises. If you are going to use a pattern suitable for a jersey fabric with silk, this will not give the desired result!

Good tip : Always check which fabric is suitable for which pattern!

rollen stof

As a beginner it is best to buy something plain or a fabric with motifs that will not stand out quickly if you were to go awry. Also check which sewing supplies (thread, zipper, buttons, etc.) you will need. If you buy fabric and sewing supplies together, you can immediately see if it fits well together. There are lots of stores where you can go for fabrics as well as haberdashery.


How to start making your own clothes?

Everyone can start making their own clothes!

If you have never held a needle and thread yourself, it indeed seems like a “mission impossible”. But believe me; I speak from experience, making clothes yourself is certainly not impossible. Before my mother died of cancer a while ago I never once sewed anything. My mother was a seamstress and made clothes for other people. It was easy for her to put in a hem, to make a dress or replace a zipper. And then suddenly I was no longer there and  I knew nothing about sewing. But with a little help and the right tools, I have made good progress. In this and following blog posts I want to share my experiences with you. What I think is important is that you have the right sewing supplies to start with.


What do I need to start sewing my own clothes?
  • Good scissors:
    • A good pair of fabric scissors: you should choose one with long “blades” so that you can cut through the fabric with long, smooth movements. The length of the leaf can vary between 20 and 30 cm. The scissors must lie well in your hand. So it’s best to ask the store to be able to test them. There are also scissors with curved blades that are great for cutting textiles because the fabric can then stay flat. It is best to choose a scissor of very good quality that can also be sharpened later. And that way can last a lifetime. These scissors may only be used to cut fabric. If you use them for paper, they will become blunt!
  • Paper scissors: use these scissors to cut pattern pieces
  • Small sewing scissors: is useful for cutting threads or giving small cuts to your sewing
  • Knurled scissors (optional): these scissors are just as large as a dust scissors but with a blade that has a zigzag pattern. It is used to finish seams of certain fabrics so that they do not fray and to make a decorative border. You can also cut textile that unravels quickly
  • Pins: come in different sizes. Preferably use stainless steel pins of at least 3 cm long. The best pins are long, thin, sharp and of good quality so as not to damage the fabrics
  • Needles: are available in various lengths and thicknesses. The higher the number, the finer the needle. It is best to buy a standard assortment box to get started. Also don’t forget to purchase a basting needle. This one has a large eye and a blunt tip and is used to baste 2 pieces of clothing together (or three as I heard my mother and grandmother say)
  • Seam ripper: is indispensable for loosening stitching. It has a forked end. There is a sharp edge between the teeth of the fork that acts as a knife. The seam ripper is also used to cut open buttonholes without damaging the fabric. Cam knives come in varying degrees, suitable for seams in light and heavier fabrics
  • Thimble: to protect the finger when sewing (optional)
  • Thread: to be used with the thread


  • Yarn: cannot of course be missing as one of the necessary sewing accessories. Use the same color as the fabric to the extent possible. If this is not available, it is best to use a shade that is darker. For fabrics with a motif, rhombus or stripe, choose a thread color that matches the most striking color of the fabric. The type of yarn that we choose depends on the fabric to be stitched. In a specialist store they usually give you very good advice here.

For all types of yarn (cotton, silk, polyester, synthetic) the number determines the thickness of the thread. The higher the number, the finer the yarn. Be careful with 100% cotton yarns because there is a risk that they will shrink while washing. Synthetic sewing thread (100% polyester) is suitable for almost all types of fabric, even for elastic fabrics because it is lightly stretchable. It is best to go for branded yarn from eg Gütermann, because my experience is that cheaper yarns can break and fluff easier and that is not so good for the sewing machine.

  • Measuring material:
    • Tape measure : a tape measure is useful for measuring curved lines. This ruler is usually just as wide as the standard seam allowance (1.5 cm).
    • A sewing seam ruler: a 15 cm long seam ruler has a caliper that you can set at different distances. This is very useful for marking seams and hems and for measuring small dimensions precisely. There are also seam gauges without sliders. These are also useful for finishing seams and hems. Each side has a different seam value.
      The type of yarn that we choose depends on the fabric to be stitched!
  • Fabric marking tools:
    • ceramic lead pens (gives more precise lines) 
    • tailor’s chalk (you can wipe it off in no time). There is also a chalk pencil. I personally find this very useful. You can fill this with chalks in different colors so that you can apply the appropriate chalk color to any fabric color.
    • water soluble or disappearing ink pens: to apply markings to textiles, which gradually disappear afterwards. This pen looks like a felt-tip pen. With some markers they can be dusted off with a spray or water, or they disappear by allowing them to air dry. Be careful because if you iron over it, they may not go out. Test first for a piece of fabric.
    • Tracing wheel and carbon paper: to transfer markings from a paper pattern to your fabric. Note: they are not suitable for all types of fabric, because the markings do not always come out easily. So here too: best to test.
  • Material to draw or improve patterns:
    • Pattern paper: there is pattern paper with pre-printed squares of 4 by 4 cm, patterned paper per roll or in packets of a few sheets
    • Pencil and eraser
      A transparent ruler of 30 cm: to draw straight lines of patterns on paper and textile and to check dimensions. Ideal is the square, which has a right angle and a curve along which you can draw curved lines in your pattern.
      Indispensable: a pencil and an eraser to (re) draw patterns
  • Ironing equipment:
    • Iron: A steam iron is a fantastic help
    • Ironing board: you definitely need to iron
      sleeve board: for easy ironing of sleeves
    • Pressing cloth: take a cloth made of silk organza or nettle cloth so that you can see through it. It prevents the iron from scortching, melting or burning fine fabrics
    • Press pad: used to press the seams of collars and shoulders


  • Machines

A good sewing machine is of course indispensable for making your own clothing. And although in principle a machine that can make a straight and zigzag stitch is sufficient, modern machines offer countless possibilities. I personally have a very good experience with Janome. With regard to sewing machines, I will go into more detail in a subsequent blog post.
A lock machine is easy but not a must.
In my next post I will give you tips for the purchase of a first sewing machine, patterns and fabric.

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