DIY masks guidance approved by NC Novant Health Infection Prevention Team

April 3, 2020 UPDATE: Donate Novant emailed today that they are working directly with PROJECT MASKS WS. PLEASE read all their announcements page and answer the 3 questions to join this fabulous group creating masks! HERE 

April 3, 2020 UPDATE: Press Release: Wake Forest Baptist Health tests handmade masks. THE FABRIC YOU USE MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN THE FILTRATION. See the news release HERE. See the ABC news release HERE.

April 1, 2020: I received an email tonight from Dasha Tretiu, MHA, Sourcing Manager for Novant Health with instructions for “How to Make Face Mask with Filter Pocket and Adjustable Wire Sewing Tutorial”. Her email quote is below:

“Attached is the design that was approved by our (Novant Health) infection prevention team. We hope this helps. Thank you for your consideration to sew masks for us.”

Here are the instructions:

Easy to Sew® Face Mask with Filter Pocket (Pleated version)*
These instructions are for an easy to sew pleated surgical mask. This YouTube video provides step-by-step instructions.
 One piece of 100% cotton, tightly woven fabric (NO Quilted or perforated fabric can be used) cut to the size of 15” x
7.5” (38 cm x 19 cm).
 2 heavier plastic-coated wire, (such as a twist tie) 4 – 6 inches in length (no paper twist ties – as they will not stand up
to washing).
 Extra wide double fold bias tape – 8 inches per mask.
 Braided elastic for ear loops (ties are an acceptable alternative). Recommend 1/16 to 1/8 inch, about 20 inches.
Instructions for sewing mask
1. Serge or zig-zag stitch the short (7.5”) sides of the fabric.
2. Fold fabric in half, matching short sides, with wrong sides together.
3. Mark 1 ½ inch in from each side edge.
4. Sew a straight line stitch from each 1 ½ inch marking to the outer edge of the fabric on both sides with a ¼ inch seam. Backstitch (at both ends of the stitching) to secure the seam. This will leave a gapped opening in the middle.
5. Press seams and gap edges open.
6. Turn right side out and topstitch across seams and gap seams.
7. Mark ½ inch in from seam line on both edges but on one side only of the seam line.
8. Fold across the width of the mask using the ½ inch marks and press.
9. Topstitch across the top of the folded edge and then all the way around the mask edges.
10. Insert the plastic-coated wire/twist tie and center it in the top folded edge next to the gap opening.
11. Stitch across the gap seam securing the twist tie in the fold. Stitch across the ends of the twist tie to keep it from
12. With the gap opening up and facing you, make pleats any size you’d like folding them toward the gap opening.
13. Stitch across ends of the pleats to secure.
14. Sew bias tape to the pleat ends by first folding under the raw end of the bias tape and ending by folding back the raw end of the bias tape so there isn’t a raw end of bias tape showing.
15. Insert a 10-inch elastic piece through the bias tape. Knot the elastic and pull the knot into the bias tape to hide the knot. Do not trim ends of the elastic knot so the elastic can be adjusted to suit the user.

How to make your own bias tape
Cut a 2-inch strip* of cotton or cotton-blend fabric that is more than twice as long as the top length of the mask. Use fabric similar to the lining fabric, it will be easier to use than the heavier fabric. (*For this project, the strip does not need to be cut on the bias. It can be cut along the straight of grain.)
To make the tape:
1. Using an iron and pressing as you go, fold the strip up so that the raw edge lies 1/8 inch away from the top of the other raw edge. This will result in an approx. one inch wide strip of fabric.
2. Open the fabric. You will see the crease down the center.
3. Fold the bottom edge up to allow the raw edge to meet the crease. Press along the bottom folded edge.
4. Now fold the top edge to the center crease and press along the top fold. You will once again have a one-inch wide strip – with the raw edges not quite touching in the center crease.
5. Fold the one-inch strip in half (along the center crease) so that the raw edges are folded inward and you are left with a ½ strip with folded edges on the top and bottom.

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