Updated: May 13
A super-simple version of the pleated face mask, with a pocket to add an additional filter, and using the pleats to anchor the elastic.
Cut two pieces of fabric:
17cm x 25cm
17cm x 17cm
Cut two pieces of elastic 21cm long
Closely woven cotton is best. I'm using different fabrics here to make the photos clearer.
This is going to be the opening for a pocket on the inside to add another layer of filter if you want.
I find this easiest to do with the inside of the mask facing up. Broadly I fold the bottom to just over half way up the mask, then fold it back again to give me a pleat about about 1cm - 1.5cm deep. Then repeat for the top half. It doesn't really matter though, as long as the pleats take the sides down to 7-8cm wide.
The elastic is going to be secured in place in the pleats, nearest the top and bottom of the mask.
Tuck one end of the elastic into the pleat at the top. You can tuck in 1.5cm of the elastic, which makes it easier to hold in place while you sew.
So, this is the point you anchor the elastic into the mask. The elastic tucks into the pleats, closest to the edges of the mask. I stitch the top end in, then carry on top stitching to halfway down. Then it's easy to tuck the other end of the elastic into place and finish the top stitching to anchor it too. Here's a wee video of how I do it, though of course you could pin the elastic into place if you find that easier.
For the first mask you make, I'd recommend anchoring one end of the elastic with your top stitching, then baste the other end in to check your fit. You can make the mask tighter by adjusting the length of the elastic, although you might prefer to adjust the size of the fabric next time instead.
Here are a couple of masks I made from fabric I'd hand painted in advance, more details on Instagram.