Since I first published my pattern for sewing the Hybrid Cloth Mask, which fits gapless (even without nosepiece!) and reliably stays in place, I’ve been asked about adjustments for special shapes and needs. In this post, I introduce a selection of these customized Hybrid patterns, and every now and then (last March 8th, 2021), I add new ones!
Adaptations to the original Hybrid Cloth Mask
If you haven’t already done so, please download the introduction, instructions, pattern and template for sewing the original Hybrid Cloth Mask as a PDF, and print them! If you have already sewn the original mask and understood all the details of the pattern and its manufacturing process, the adjustments should not cause you any problems.
To use the adjusted patterns and templates, simply follow the original instructions – except for one particular detail, which I have adjusted in each case, and which I explain below. These details can be freely varied and combined!
For comparison, you can see a Hybrid Mask sewn with the original pattern in the pictures above and belows.
Overall, I have tried to (a) keep the original flat shape, so that the adjusted masks are as easy to maintain and iron, (b) avoid any kind of seams in the middle of the mask, as these could possibly pose a safety risk, and (c) not multiply the layers of fabric created by pleating, so that the adjustments are as easy as possible to machine sew.
You can download all the patterns at the end of this post, after reading about their usage and process! For instructions, please visit the original Hybrid Mask Pattern and if you need any assistance, the Hybrid Mask Picture Tutorial. For double masking with disposable filter materials (f.e. Filti), you can adapt the Instant Hybrid Mask.
Overview of all Hybrid Mask Adjustments
(1) Simple adjustments of length and width of the Hybrid Cloth Mask without using special patterns or templates
(2) Adaptation of the nose part of the Hybrid Mask with the Hybrid Nose Mask and Hybrid Flat / Beak Pinches
(3) Adaptation of the chin part of the Hybrid Mask with the Hybrid Chin Mask and Hybrid Beard Mask (+ extension)
(4) Tips and minor adjustments for more space to breathe, speak and sing, plus introducing a Hybrid Space Mask
(5) Adaptation of the front with a transparent vinyl “smile” window for all the hearing impaired and / or lip readers
(6) Templates for adapting the side parts of the Hybrid Mask to different face shapes and some special needs
Examples for a sensible use and combination of the modified patterns, templates and details of the Hybrid Mask
Download of all the modified Hybrid Mask patterns as a printable PDF, plus Conditions of Use, Rights and Sharing
With careful handling, a homemade mask can be rather effective for protecting others from its wearer, but the protection for the wearer is extremely limited. If you decide to sew and use this mask, you do so at your own risk, and you should of course still follow the usual safety rules (distance, hand hygiene, cough / sneeze protocol, etc.)!
(1) Simple Adjustments without a Special Pattern
To solve problems with the fit of the Hybrid Mask, it is essential to observe the Tying Technique (see below). The Hybrid Mask fits best, gapless and non-slip, when ear loops or (back, side or front) crossed head ties are pulled tight, so that the side channels of the mask scrunch and round to the front, which helps the mask protrude!
The most simple way to further adjust is to combine different lengths and widths. For a long face or a FFP2 / KN95 cover, you can use the pattern in size L (22 cm / 8.6″), cut the width to size M (20 cm / 8″) and apply the corresponding template in M. For a wide face, use the pattern in size M, cut the width to size L and use the template in L.
You can find a size chart, useful tipps and further simple adjustments in the original post! Like the original pattern, the customized patterns can also be resized via printing (e.g. 90% for size S, 100% for size M, 110% for size L).
Another easy modification is changing the trapezoid sides by giving them more tilt or a special shape, for which I present various templates at the end of this post. The angle can of course also be modified without a template!
(2) Patterns for adjusting the Nose Part of the Hybrid Mask
The original Hybrid Mask fits great on most faces, and the reverse pleat seals the nose area so snug and gapless that even without a nose piece, most people’s glasses do not fog up! But every face is different, so some makers asked me if there was a way to adjust the reverse pleat for larger or flatter noses, or for wearing it higher up.
(2a) Extension of the Reverse Pleat for the Hybrid Nose Mask (round)
The easiest solution to gain nose room would be to just lengthen the reverse pleat. But then, part of the reverse pleat overlaps the inner part of the center pleat, and the layers of fabric become so thick that it’s no longer easy to sew. To solve this, you might want to try to redistribute the lower pleats – but then, the width is no longer where you need it. Plus, at a length of more then 2,5 cm / 1″, the reverse pleat pulls on the nose and the sides start to dimple.
Therefore, I’ve been looking for a better fitting solution, and lengthening only the middle of the reverse pleat with a curve, while the sides remain the same, does not form overly steep angles when dressed, and can be sewn as easy as usual. In the photos you can see that the glasses – as preferred by some – sit on top of the Hybrid Nose Mask instead of right next to it, as in the original pattern. Thanks to Brandie for being the very first to try out this pattern!
Because noses and needs are so different, there are two variants with different lengths! One reverse pleat is just half more (3 cm / 1.2”; see above) than standard (2 cm / 0.8”), the other has double length (4 cm / 1.6; see below).
With a pleat height of 3 cm / 1.2″, the pull formed by backwards pleat and side channels is often sufficient enough to hold glasses fog free even without a nose piece, but with a pleat height of 4 cm, almost everyone will need a wire!
Usually, the top edge of the mask is roughly aligned with the tip of the nose, but – provided that fabrics have some stability and structure that doesn’t easily collapse – it can also be longer, to create more space inside the mask.
If you extend the reverse pleat beyond the tip of your nose, the width of the mask shifts downwards. Therefore, I recommend to increase the side tilts (e.g. with a Template), so that the mask still fits snugly on the chin, and to use a Tying Technique that pulls the bottom ties upwards (e.g. ear loops or side crossed ties). If the elongated nose leads to more fabric around the chin than desired, you may shorten the mask by using a slightly smaller size.
These extended reverse pleats are not only ideal for particularly large or long noses, but also for particularly small, soft or flat noses, on which the usual reverse pleat does not find enough support and therefore may be more slippery than intended. Many thanks to Rebecca for asking, and for being the first to try out this pattern variation!
(2b) Extension of the reverse Pleat for the hybrid Nose mask (angular)
If you would prefer to have a flat top edge flat (e.g. when working with checks or stripes), you can also cut the extended reverse pleat to an angular form. If you do this, you need to make sure that the corner where the reverse pleat and the side seam meet is exactly in the right place (ideally 2 cm / 0.8″, max. 2,5 cm / 1″ from the top edge of the mask; see blue point in the pattern)! Of the extended reverse pleats, the rounded one is a lot easier to sew :)
In parallel to the rounded extended Hybrid Nose Masks, I didn’t only test the elongated reverse pleat (3 cm / 1.2”; see above), but also the double elongation (4 cm / 1.6; see below) with the angular pattern, and it works pretty well too!
To be worn without a wire, the original pattern fits by far the best, because the reverse nose pleat has a really good pull there from the sides. For some, the smaller extended, rounded reverse nose pleat also has enough tension to be worn wireless, but for the longer extended reverse pleats, most wearers will quite certainly need to insert a wire.
(2c) Angulation of the Reverse Pleat for the hybrid flat / pointed mask
For my friend Rebecca, I was looking for a solution for flat noses, on which the reverse pleat folds up or slips. The longer pleat (see above) helps, but does not yet fit perfectly. However, if you angle the pleat while sewing and make the reverse part slightly wider (see below), the angle of the reverse pleat becomes flatter and also fits flat noses!
Accordingly, you can make that angle shorter when sewing for a very pointed or beaky nose. On the left, you can see the original pattern with side seams (which are usually applied with the template), for comparison.
I use these modifications in such a way that when I sew the reverse pleat for flatter noses, I simply pull the reverse folded segment inwards a little (approx. 5 mm / 0.2″ – 10 mm / 0.4″, depending on the shape of the nose), aligned with a central point exactly between the top edge of the mask and the bottom edge of the pleat (see below), and pin it there. When sewing the reverse pleat for pointed noses, I push the reverse part outwards a little, accordingly.
(2) Patterns for adjusting the Chin Part of the Hybrid Mask
In addition, I am sometimes asked about adjustments of the chin area – on one hand, for additional length, e.g. as a FFP2 / KN95 cover or for beards, and on the other hand, to get the chin area closer to the face and gain space in front.
(3a) Extension of the Chin Part for the Hybrid Chin Mask or FFP2 Cover Mask
There are several ways to wear the Hybrid Cloth Mask. Many wearers leave the pleats mostly folded, so that the mask closes roughly with the edge of the chin, fits tight all around and, due to the pleats, allows unrestricted jaw movement. Others prefer to open the pleats all the way, over the chin to the neck. At the crease of the neck, the length is sometimes a bit short or protrudes slightly. To remedy this, there is the Hybrid Chin Mask, with is extended at the bottom with a small fourth pleat. This extra pleat can be worn under the chin, and fits slightly tighter there.
This pattern may also be suitable for those who dislike the small filter opening of the original hybrid mask. If you want, you can either enlarge the filter opening or stitch down the edges of inner and outer layer and leave them completely open to the bottom! Thanks to the bottom pleat, the filter shouldn’t slip out, even though the edge is open.
The Hybrid Chin Mask also fits surprisingly well as a Cover Mask over the FFP2 / KN95 type of masks. If you fold the Hybrid Mask in the middle, with pleats opened up, and place it next to or on top of a commercially available FFP2 / KN95 mask, you can see how the length and angle of the pleats correspond to the FFP2 / KN95 shape :)
(3b) Extension of the Chin Part to the Hybrid Beard Mask
In addition, I have had many inquiries from bearded people who do not want to sacrifice their beards, but want to wear them as safely as possible in the mask. For the resulting Hybrid Beard Mask, two pleat segments are added at the bottom, to form comfortably and gaplessly around the bearded chin. Slightly longer and bigger beards can be conveniently placed in the added bottom pleat! – Many thanks to Gelo for asking, and testing this modification, first!
Even small gaps can reduce the filter efficiency of a mask by up to 2/3 (!). Protruding beard hair keeps most masks from fitting snug on the skin, as they should, and leads to visible side gaps. When correctly fitted, the side channels of the Hybrid Mask press the protruding beard hair tightly against the face, and thereby reduce the usual gaps :)
To make this work as good as possible, the Hybrid Beard Mask should be worn completely around the beard and not only on top of it! I therefore recommend ear loops or crossed ties instead of a low fastening in the neck.
For shorter beards, the original Hybrid Mask – without further modifications – fits most people very well. We successfully tested it on full beards with up to 3 – 4 cm / 1.2″ – 1.6″ hair length, but it can probably fit some more!
For voluminous beards, I’d recommend to just skip the angled template and keep the sides straight. For beard volumes that protrude far to the sides, you could even use the template upside down, so the bottom is wider than the top :)
(3c) Double extension of the chin area to the hybrid beard (+) mask
If you’d like to have even more space in the Hybrid Beard Mask, you can simply choose a longer length and, for example, print out and use the pattern at 120% (size XL), then combine it with the width of the template at 110% (L).
You can also add further pleat segments at the bottom, by printing out the pattern twice, cutting open one pattern above the green marking and then sticking it on the other pattern below the green marking (see below). If the pattern is extended, the side strips of fabric should of course be cut appropriately (2 cm / segment in size M). In order to be able to pull the sides together despite excess length, the strips should also be cut a little wider.
Please make sure to wear long, voluminous and protruding beards as completely as possible within the mask. The bottom edge of the mask should sit under the chin, behind the beard, and touch the neck. Pull the channels together as much as possible, so they scrunch well, and the protruding beard hair on the sides is pressed down neatly.
This way, you can (theoretically) extend the mask further. However, you should always make sure that the sides fit tight and gapless! With multiple extensions, it may be advisable to sew the channels even wider and in thinner fabric.
(3d) Darts (or subsequent Pinch) on the chin for the Hybrid Form Mask
Due to its trapezoidal shape, the original Hybrid Mask fits very well and gapless around the chin for most people, regardless of whether the pleats are worn open or closed. To adjust the width of the sides and chin and remove potential bulk, I actually prefer to work with trapezoidal templates (see below), which, depending on the angle, pull the sides and chin area of the mask upwards. This solution seems safest to me, because the fabric remains intact.
For those who, due to their special face shape or personal preferences, would still like a more “fitted” fit and perhaps also a little more space in front, there now is the Hybrid Dart Mask pattern, with a dart on the chin!
To use this pattern, cut your fabrics as indicated, start with sewing the darts of the inner and outer fabric and ironing them apart. Then, continue with the upper and lower seam as instructed in the original pattern! If necessary, the length, the width and the rounding of the bottom dart can of course be adjusted to any desired shape.
The Hybrid Dart Mask is also called “Teacher’s Mask”, because it is quite popular with teachers and speakers :)
The dart can be added to finished masks in the form of a pinch (see below). To do this, put the mask on, press the bottom edge together until you have found a good fit, and pin it in place with a needle. Then take off the mask and mark the distance and end of the triangle indicated by the needle. This triangle is moved to the middle and fixed on the lower edge, from the inside of the mask, with a few stitches as a trick. Since there is no filter opening here, you can, for example, wear a filtering instant mask underneath.
(4) Patterns for more Space to Breathe, Speak and Sing
Most of the people who have problems breathing and speaking with other masks are overjoyed with the original Hybrid Mask, though some would like to have more space due to their face shape (e.g. flat nose) or special needs (e.g. asthma, hypersensitivity / HSP, autism spectrum, sensory issues or claustrophobia). In addition to the Hybrid Dart Mask presented above, there are other solutions that can also be freely combined with one another.
(4a) Simple Tips for how to add more Space to a Hybrid Mask
Many space issues can be solved without using any special cutting patterns! To do this, you should first check whether the sides of the mask are scrunched tightly, as this will help the mask to protrude further forward. This effect can be enhanced by pulling the bottom ties upwards, for example through ear loops or crossed ties.
Furthermore, smaller sizes often fit more spaciously because they tend to curve and protrude to the front rather than lie flat on the face. In addition, you can increase the protuding by cutting the outer layer 2-3 mm longer (Thanks, Rebecca!). Stronger materials, e.g. non-woven polypropylene (NWPP), can add stability and structure to your mask.
Some of the solutions presented above, e.g. the Hybrid Dart Mask or the Hybrid Nose Mask with an extended reverse pleat, also provide more space. In addition, there are two special templates at the bottom of this post that can be used to get more space! You can combine all these special features for maximizing the effect.
If you want even more space to breathe and speak, you can also wear a silicone bracket (also known as a support frame, mask holder or spacer) under the Hybrid Mask! They’re quite immobile, but fit well underneath. To hold a bracket in place, small loops of appropriate length can be sewn into the upper inner side seams of the mask.
(4b) Instructions for how to add Boning
If you’d like the mask to fit further from your mouth, you can use boning. You can either sew the boning directly into your mask (with some hand stitching, boning can be applied to a finished mask!), or slide it into tunnels that you topstitch after the first two seams have been sewn and you turned your piece right side out. For interchangeable boning, you could sew a buttonhole on the outermost edge of the inside of your mask, right after cutting your fabric.
I tested several variations of boning; the “I” (vertical boning in the middle), the “V” (two vertical pieces of boning) and the “X” (two diagonally crossed pieces of boning) seemed to fit decently on a silent face – but once you start moving your face, you see how they make the mask too immobile to reliably stay in place! Horizontal boning fits better, yet not perfectly. Because every face is different, I recommend testing the placement on a finished mask with pinning.
(4c) Pinches (unsewn Darts) for the Hybrid Space Mask
In order to create even more space and avoid the pleats to collapse, I tried to pinch and twist the pleats, so they function like unsewn darts. In solid fabrics such as 80 g / m2 non-woven polypropylene (NWPP) that works really well! The Hybrid Space Mask is not as flexible and not quite as easy and quick to sew as the original Hybrid Mask, but it actually offers a whole lot of space. Personally, I prefer the original, but maybe this pattern will help someone :)
The trick with the pinches is that the pleats do not only open when the mask is put on, but are sewn in by default at the angle the have when the’re unfolded. As a result, they don’t easily collapse, but remain open all the time.
I cut or tear my fabrics roughly to the appropriate dimensions, sew the first three seams (i.e. top seam, bottom seam, turn right side out, wire seam) and then draw the sides and angle markings of the pattern directly onto the front of the piece. In order to have as little waste as possible when cutting more than one mask, every second piece can be torn / cut upside down. Fabrics that are patterned in one direction can be cut with an appropriate offset.
Please note that you do not use the usual templates on the sides of this mask, but draw the sides directly from the pattern onto the fabric! After sewing the pinches, the side seams will be absolutely straight and approx. 8,5 cm / 3.4″ long. In the event of discrepancy (which easily happens here), I’d recommend to cut your fabric strips a little longer.
The Hybrid Space Mask also fits particularly well on faces with flat noses! Thanks to Rebecca for testing :)
New: (5) Pattern with Window for Lip Readers
I’m not particularly keen on stitching in the middle of a mask because it can reduce filter efficiency, so I’ve hesitated to create a Hybrid Window Mask pattern for a long time. Finally, someone told me that when talking to hearing impaired persons, they take off their mask – and in such a case, a less efficient mask with a window is sure better than none at all! I wouldn’t recommend it to people who don’t need a window but just want to show their smile.
For a Hybrid Window Mask made of fabric and vinyl, first cut all parts according to pattern, iron seam allowances of the cutout, sew top and bottom seam, turn and iron your piece, sew the nose wire tunnel, and then place the vinyl windowpane neatly between the two layers, sew around that window and proceed according to instructions.
If you want to work particularly neat, you can stitch in the window panel like a quilt or patchwork element. First, divide the pattern by the green lines, either horizontally or vertically, and then stitch the pieces from the inside.
Personally, I think that NWPP (non-woven polypropylene) is not only more pleasant to work with, but also goes better with the vinyl. NWPP does not fray and can therefore be processed with open edges, i.e. the window can be cut in its original size, without seam allowance or ironing. This mask can also be produced very easily with a heat seal!
Overall, I was quite surprised at how well the window worked in the hybrid mask, despite the pleats. The unfolded vinyl window gives the whole center front a very nice stability and reliably protrudes from the mouth!
(6) Templates for adapting the Sides to various Face Shapes
These templates can be used individually with the original Hybrid Cloth Mask pattern, or with one of my pattern modifications, to achieve a fit that is perfectly tailored to your – or your recipient’s – face shape and preferences.
For particularly petite or triangular faces (e.g. children), the Hybrid Petite Mask with a more pronounced trapezoid shape offers a better fit. If necessary, the angle can be increased. For particularly big, wide or square faces, I recommend to simply not use an angle at all and go with straight sides. For faces that are wider at the bottom than at nose height (e.g. with a big beard), the trapezoid angle can be set accordingly, with the template upside down.
In petite faces, the mask may protrude under the chin. To avoid this, there’s the Hybrid Pinch Mask, that pulls the bottom up from the sides! For an individual fit, the pinch can also be used with any of the other tilted templats.
Another variant is the Hybrid Round Mask, for people who would like to have more space in front of their mouths. Please take into account the extra width from the beginning here, and cut 1 cm / 0,4” more on each side!
With complex shaped sides, it may become slightly more difficult to attach the drawstring channels, but it is worth it :)
Usage and Combinations of Patterns and Templates
You can combine all the Hybrid Mask patterns with each other and with the templates, in order to solve your specific problem – and to find the adaptation that fits perfectly! To combine two patterns, simply cut both on the same line (ideally, line B, right above the pattern name, as it doesn’t pleat!), join the pieces together and tape them on both sides.
The best way to find a suitable fit is to first sew the original Hybrid Mask and then look at all the details. Where is it too big, where maybe too small? What does the wearer find comfortable, and what don’t they like that much?
With a big beard, for example, you can see that the original Hybrid Mask stretches over the chin and that the bottom edges slide forward. As a logical consequence, you would use the Hybrid Beard Mask pattern with the Hybrid Big Mask template, or use the classic Hybrid Mask Template and turn it upside down for more space. If the bearded person has a particularly large, long or flat nose, you might want to combine the Hybrid Nose Mask pattern.
Children often have tiny faces, so the original pattern with one of the Hybrid Petite Mask templates usually fits particularly well. For kids with a very small or soft nose, you might want to use one of the Hybrid Nose Mask patterns.
For someone who wants more space in the mask, the Hybrid Nose Mask and Hybrid Dart Mask patterns can be combined with the Hybrid Round Mask template. If that’s not enough, the Hybrid Space Mask pattern may be!
In addition, please be aware of the way the mask is tied (see Mask Tying Techniques!), as it alters the fit. Most masks fit well when ties are pulled straight back, over / under the ear, and even better when the lower tie is pulled up.
If you prefer to wear both ties under your ear (e.g. to protect your glasses / hearing aid), the focus of the mask shifts, in a way that the top of the reverse pleat starts pulling on the nose uncomfortably, and the width gets much deeper at the bottom. When this happens, the fit can be drastically improved by using the more extended Hybrid Nose Mask pattern and one of the strongly angled Hybrid Petite Mask templates, and possibly even adding a dart.
Do the patterns and templates fit, and do you find your and your loved ones’ face shapes and preferences here? Did I maybe forget to cover an important shape, feature or preference? I am very excited to read your comments, and I look forward to reading about your experiences with and combinations of my Hybrid Mask pattern variations! <3
Download of modified Patterns and Templates as printable PDF
Here you can download a printable PDF with all eight adjusted patterns and templates for my Hybrid Cloth Mask [V7 | March8th, 2021] on 13 pages, in EU Din A4 or US letter format. Before download, please read the conditions below!
* Conditions of Use, Rights and Sharing
This design, pattern and instructions are protected by German copyright laws (© Iris Luckhaus | All rights reserved). I hereby agree to a non-commercial use of my design, which means that you may sew masks for yourself, your family and friends or for donating them to others for free, given that my copyright, name and website are always included!
Without my prior written permission, you may not reproduce, distribute or commercially use any of this material in any way. This means that you are not authorized to present this design (or modifications of it) as your own, and that you may not publish your own photo or video tutorials with my pattern! As long as it’s not a tutorial though, I enjoy seeing your pictures with my mask, and thank you very much for tagging @irisluckhaus and #luckhausmask! :)
For updates and further developments (which are sure to come!), please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Xing, LinkedIn, Pinterest or YouTube. If you’d like to share my pattern with your friends, feel free to use my posts!
I’m spending a lot of unpaid time on elaborating and explaining those instructions, helping the helpers to help. If you’d like to encourage this, I’d highly appreciate if you could buy me a little time via Paypal (post@irisluckhaus)!
If you’d like to use my instructions commercially (i.e. with the intention of making a profit), f.e. by selling masks sewn according to my pattern, please contact me and let me know more about your business, your location and your ideas!
Great thanks to Matthias, Angelika, Reinhard and Minna the manikin for enthusiasm and support from near and far, for reading and trying out, as well as to the amazing members of various Facebook mask making groups – first of all Open Source Medical Supplies, Craft Passion Mask Support Group, Sewing Mask Pattern, NWPP4masks Group, Mask Makers Unite and Mask Makers Community – for awesome encouragement, good questions, exciting challenges and enthusiastic testing of ideas for pattern adjustments! I would especially like to thank Brandie, Gelo and Rebecca (who now probably owns the largest collection of Hybrid tweaks outside of Wuppertal :)). Also, many thanks to every single person who sews masks for others (you are my heroes!), and to everyone who voluntarily wears a mask! :)