Pocket-Style Cloth Mask (to add a filter to)

20200405_080912Does this already exist anywhere? If so, sorry. I conceptualized this after spending two days trying to figure out an idea and then finally praying for the Lord to help me come up with a means to make a mask with a pocket. This idea hit me like a ton of bricks only minutes after praying! (Thank you, God!) No surprise, it was inspired by the applecheeks pocket-diaper!

I’m no hand at sewing so I apologize in advance… in fact, when I made the tutorial video and took pictures of the process for this blog, I did the WORST I had ever done sewing (thanks a lot, Murphy). But, you know what, even with my blunderful sewing skills… it works!


So here’s what you need:

(2) pieces of elastic (I use 5/8 FOE because it’s easier to find and the cheap stuff is surprisingly comfortable!) cut to 5″ for a child or 6-7″ for adults.) I cut mine 6″. Alternatively you can cut (4) 5″ ties, one for each corner.

(1) piece of 9″x13″ fabric, cotton or cotton blend (you can make two pocketed masks with a fat quarter and have enough left to still sew a standard non-pocketed facemask! Bed sheets are an excellent source of fabric, especially 300 count cotton!)

(4) sewing or binder clips to hold the elastic in place

Your sewing machine (be it a singer, brother… your hands…)

Remember to prewash/shrink your fabric!!!

I’m not much on whipping out the iron, but you’ll probably want to. Iron some tiny hems on the top and bottom (the 9″ sides), and sew them. If you have one of those fancy hemming feet, use that. I actually probably do but it seems overkill to use it here… or am I just a slob? Anyways…

With the right side up, find the center of the long side, measure about 2 3/4-3 inches in either direction of the center, add a clip. That marks where your elastics will be attached as you want the final mask (before pleating) to be ~6 inches tall. This isn’t science. In fact, I don’t even measure, I fold the ends in like a letter so there is about an inch overlap and mark my corners with clips, then unfold it to add the elastics. Just tuck the elastic under the clips on either side as shown, making sure not to twist them… (although its not a big deal if you do by accident, they’ll still be usable). Fold the ends in with an inch overlap, clip the top layer of fabric, the elastic, and the bottom layer of fabric together. Sew straight down each side, being sure not to catch your elastics anywhere other than the corners, and backtack over the elastics to secure them. (Did I mention I’m bad at giving instructions? Does any of this make sense? This is why I make videos…)

After you’ve sewn down each side, use the pocket opening to invert the mask, turn it so it’s pocket-opening is facing down.

Fold two pleats… like pictured-ish. They fold the same direction, like an accordion. And sew them down, whoops! That kink is the first time I ever did that, and I’ve made like 30 masks hahaha! It still works and I’m not about to rip it out. EMBRACE IMPERFECTION! I tend to sew INTO the pleats instead of WITH the pleats because I find it doesn’t slide open this way… but, you know, my lazy way of sewing is showing.

And that’s it! Just stuff it with an electrostatic filter or coffee filter for an added layer or protection, discard the filter, wash the mask and reuse with a new filter! Once you stuff it, a yank on the ends will close everything right up (usually lol)

You don’t have to stuff it, but this works up quicker than my non-pocketed masks I had been making so I’m planning to continue making these!

I hope this helps! Check out Normalize Cloth on YouTube for the tutorial video!

If you have an tips, tricks, suggestions, improvements, I and my readers are all ears!

Have a blessed day and stay healthy!

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