For my own production, I optimized the pattern and manufacture of the cloth mask, to make it fit gapless and fog-free around nose, cheeks and chin and reliably stay in place, so it doesn’t slide up the eyes or down the nose. Individual parts such as wire, filter and ties are very easy to replace, plus the mask is quick and simple to sew, wash and iron.
Table of Contents
(1) Introduction: Test Series of Mask Shapes, Features of the Hybrid Cloth Mask and Safer Handling of Cloth Masks
(2) Instructions: Sewing Instructions for the Hybrid Cloth Mask and Adaptations for different Sizes and Shapes
(3) Frequent Questions about Fit (Glasses), Reviews, Ties, Materials, Workmanship, Tests, Tutorial and Mask for Sale
(4) Download of Instructions and Pattern as Printable PDF, Conditions of Use, Rights and Sharing and Thanksgiving
Test Series of Different Mask Shapes
First, I just meant to sew a couple of cloth masks for myself, family and friends, friends of the family and family of friends. To find a suitable shape, I tested all the sewing patterns known at the time, but didn’t like their fit – and then the pattern nerd took over (long ago, I studied fashion design, with focus on historical sports apparel and seemingly impossible patterns… :)). Finally, I combined a hybrid pattern from known features, plus a couple of my own hacks!
Features of my Optimized Hybrid Cloth Mask
My hybrid cloth mask has a reverse pleat for the nose that adapts gaplessly to the face, even without wire. It does not push up to the eyes or down the nose, and it reliably stays in place when you speak, laugh or yawn. The top seam can hold a nose wire, to improve the fit even further and protect glasses from fogging. The wire can be removed through an invisible opening in the seam and runs across the entire width of the mask, so you can hardly injure yourself.
I opted for pleats that give more air to breathe, move along with facial expressions and gently enclose the chin. In addition, straight pleats have the advantage of a flat lay-down shape, which is easier to sew and to iron. The trapezoid pattern corresponds with the anatomy of the face, it fits much more snug and less bulgy on the chin than a rectangle.
The side of the mask has a drawstring channel, which can be slightly creased, so the side does not gape at all and a tight fit can be achieved. Thanks to the casing, elastic ear loops or a head tie can easily be adjusted and exchanged.
At the bottom of the mask, there is a small opening for the insertion of a disposable filter of your own choice.
Handling Handmade Cloth Masks
With careful handling, a self-sewn cloth mask can be rather effective for protecting others from its wearer, but the protection for the wearer is extremely limited. Please keep that in mind! If you use this mask, you do so at your own risk, and you should of course still follow the usual safety rules (distance, ventilation, hand hygiene, etc.).
Wash your hands well before putting on the mask and insert a wire to the upper seam. If needed, add a non-woven disposable filter (f.e. NWPP) through the lower opening, and pluck it into the corners. Fold up the reverse pleat, place it on your nose and pull the ties around your ears. Now straighten the reverse pleat on your nose, adjust the nose wire and slightly crease the drawstrings. The mask should fit as close to the face as possible, without constricting.
If the mask fits well, do not touch it anymore! Always treat the mask as if it were contaminated. If straightening the mask while wearing it is unavoidable, only touch the ties and never the fabric, and wash your hands immediately. Do not wear the mask for more than 4 hours, if it becomes dirty or damp, or if you can't breathe well!
To take off the mask, grasp the ties and remove it without touching the fabric. Store it in a closed container and wash your hands and face thoroughly. The mask should be cleaned after each use! To do this, remove filter and wire, launder at least 60° C (better 95°) in the machine or cook for 5 minutes. Wash your hands. Allow to dry, and iron well.
My hybrid cloth mask can be sewn easily and quickly (10-20 min.). To make this mask yourself, you need at least two fabrics (please test in advance whether you can breathe well!) which are washable at 60° C, wire and elastic ties or ribbon, a sewing machine or needle and thread, scissors, pins, chalk or pencils for marking, plus (ideally) a flatiron.
The sewing pattern consists of two parts – the actual pattern you use for cutting the fabric, marking and pleating, and a template for trimming the sides after pleating. The height is determined by the pattern, the width by the template.
Instructions for Sewing the Hybrid Cloth Mask
First of all, please print (or draw) pattern and template! Both are available as a PDF document at the end of this post.
(1) Cut 20 x 20 cm / 8" x 8" of fabrics, plus 2 strips of 5 x 10 cm / 2" x 4". Also cut 16 - 18 cm / 6" - 7" of nose wire and 60 - 80 cm / 24" - 32" elastics or 90 - 120 cm / 36" - 48" textile ribbon or jersey strips for ear loops or head ties.
Variants: To use more than 2 layers, stack fabric in even groups, then treat them as one layer. Added inside layers may make a softer cushion to the nose piece! For thicker combos, cut your fabric strips wider (6 - 7 cm / 2.4" - 2.8").
(2) Layer both fabrics neatly, with the right side inwards. Mark the opening for the wire at the top and the opening for the filter at the bottom. Topstitch both seams 1 cm / 0,4" from the cutting edge. Iron the seam allowances apart.
Variants: For a neater finish, you can serger and / or stitch down the bottom edges! In order to simplify the filter insert, the bottom edge may be cut slightly longer, stitched down on both layers and left open over the entire width.
(3) Turn your piece inside out, to the right side. Iron the allowance and topstitch a wire tunnel 0,5 cm / 0,2" – 1 cm / 0,4" from the top edge. Mark and fold the pleats (A, B, C) from the outside, according to pattern and illustrations.
There are different ways of folding the pleats: (a) Mark with the pattern, (b) Layer with the pre-folded pattern and use it as a template or (c) First fold and iron the reverse pleat, then fold the rest of the piece in half, quarters, eighths.
(4) Iron the pleats and pin them down. Place the fabric strips right side down on the edges. Angle them, fold in top and bottom to align, then stitch them app. 1 cm / 0,4" from the strips' cutting edge. Cut off excess fabric at the edge.
Variants: For a neater finish, you can fold the seam allowances on the top and bottom of the strip around the mask, and stitch these seam allowances down on the fabric strip, right after sewing that strip on and turning it over.
(5) Fold fabric strips outwards and iron them down. Then fold them in, and around the edge. Pin strips down, overlapping the seam on the back. Stitch from the front, in the ditch. Bend the wire ends and insert into the tunnel.
Variants: If the original size of the pattern pieces seems fiddly, you can add a up to 1 cm / 0.4" to each side, but make sure to still sew in the right places! If you work with stiff fabrics / layers, wider side channels can help the creasing.
(6) Use a bodkin, a bended wire or a safety pin to pull your ties – either elastics for two ear loops or ribbon for a head tie – into the side channels. Adjust ties individually, either knot or sew them and pull seams into the casing. – Done!
Detailed Step by Step Picture Instructions in a Separate Tutorial
Especially for beginners (and anyone else who easily gets lost in patterns!), I've made a very detailed step by step picture tutorial for this mask, to go along with – and complement – the illustrated short instructions. If you'd like to use the photo tutorial, please download and print short instructions and pattern (PDF at the end of this post) first! ➔
Adaptations for different Sizes and Shapes
The dimensions of my pattern and instructions are designed as a rather universal Ladies' Mask (size M), which also fits quite well on most gentlemen and teenagers. Before you start sewing modified sizes and shapes, I recommend to make – and fully understand – the original hybrid mask first, because otherwise it might become overly complicated!
For a true Men's Mask (size L), I cut 1 cm / 0.4" more on each side (fabrics 22 x 22 cm / 8.8" x 8.8", strips 5 x 11 cm / 2" x 4.4") and then redistributed the pleat height (2,2 cm / 0.9"). For a bigger men's mask (size XL), I cut 2 cm / 0.8" more on each side (fabrics 24 x 24 cm / 9.4" x 9.4", strips 5 x 12 cm / 2" x 4.8") and redistributed the pleat height to 2,4 cm / 1".
With a beard, masks never fit as gapless as on a smooth face. If you are willing to take the risk, I'd recommend keeping the width, adding two segments of length at the bottom and folding a third pleat (pattern see Hybrid Beard Mask)!
For Children's Masks (size S, age 8-12), I cut 1 cm / 0.4" less on each side (fabric 18 x 18 cm / 7.2" x 7.2", strips 5 x 9 cm / 2" x 3.6") and redistribute pleat height (1,8 cm / 0.7"). For a smaller child size (XS, 4-8), I cut 2 cm / 0.8" less on each side (fabric 16 x 16 cm / 6.4" x 6.4", strips 5 x 8 cm / 2" x 3.2", pleats 1.6 cm / 0.6"), and for even smaller children (XXS, 2-4), I cut 3 cm / 1.2" less on each side (fabric 14 x 14 cm / 5.6" x 5.6", strips 5 x 7 cm / 2" x 2.8", pleats 1,4 cm / 0.5").
Most children have triangular faces, so the fit can be improved by slanting the sides further (Hybrid Petite Template). A longer reverse pleat (Hybrid Nose Pattern) may help with big or long noses as well as very small, soft or flat noses. ➔
|XXS||70%||14 x 14 cm / 5.6" x 5.6"||5 x 7 cm / 2" x 2.8"||1,4 cm / 0.5"||5,6 x 14 cm / 2.0" x 5"|
|XS||80%||16 x 16 cm / 6.4" x 6.4"||5 x 8 cm / 2" x 3.2"||1,6 cm / 0.6"||6,4 x 16 cm / 2.4" x 6"|
|S||90%||18 x 18 cm / 7.2" x 7.2"||5 x 9 cm / 2" x 3.6"||1,8 cm / 0.7"||7,2 x 18 cm / 2.8" x 7"|
|M||100%||20 x 20 cm / 8.0" x 8.0"||5 x 10 cm / 2" x 4.0"||2,0 cm / 0,8"||8,0 x 20 cm / 3.2" x 8"|
|L||110%||22 x 22 cm / 8.8" x 8.8"||5 x 11 cm / 2" x 4.4"||2,2 cm / 0.9"||8,8 x 22 cm / 3.6" x 9"|
|XL||120%||24 x 24 cm / 9.6" x 9.6"||5 x 12 cm / 2" x 4.8"||2,4 cm / 1.0"||9,6 x 24 cm / 4.0" x 10"|
|XXL||130%||26 x 26 cm / 10.4" x 10.4"||5 x 13 cm / 2" x 5.2"||2,6 cm / 1.1"||10,4 x 26 cm / 4.4" x 11"|
If your printer allows, you can simply adjust the size there: Size XS is 80%, S is 90%, M is 100%, L is 110% and XL is 120% (and might take two pages!). I highly recommend to write size and percentage on your printout right away :)
If you want, you can also measure, from the top of the ear root to the middle of the nose tip. We call this number X. [X – (X : 3,5)] x 2 = mask width. For example, if you measure 14 cm, you calculate [14 – (14 : 3.5)] x 2 = 20 and should use size M (20 x 20 cm). Due to the pleats, the length is variable and only needs to be adjusted for very long faces. There, you measure from the top of the root of your nose to the crease of your chin and add 1-2 cm, to have air to breathe!
In case of doubt, smaller sizes often offer more space, as they rather protrude to the front than stay flat on the face.
As a cover for one-size FFP2 / KN95 masks, height L and width M usually fit gapless and stay in place. For height L, sew with the pattern printed at 110% (or use the special cover mask pattern I've added to the appendix of my most recent PDF versions!), and after pleating, apply a template printed out at 100% for width M. – If you'd like to know more, I've written separate posts about the science behind masks and how to combine filter and fit with double masking :)
Further Customizations of the Hybrid Mask
Depending on face shapes, length and width of the mask as well as the angle of the sides can be adjusted individually. For further customizations to face shapes, special needs and preferences (e.g. beards, noses or space), please visit my separate post about Customized Hybrid Face Masks, which includes all these patterns as a printable PDF! ➔
After playing through all the customizations of my Hybrid Pleated Mask, I reinvented the 3D / Boxy mask, for those who need even more space. Just like the Hybrid Pleated Mask, my Hybrid Boxy Mask is optimized to seal gaplessly even without nosepiece, and to reliably stay in place. Instructions and patterns can be found in a separate post! ➔
Frequently Asked Questions (+ some little Hacks)
You'll find everything you really need to sew the hybrid mask above and in the PDF, so it is not necessary to read all the questions and answers beforehand. If you want, you can scroll down now, to download the pattern at the bottom of the post! If you run into problems, you can always come back, and possibly you will find your solution here :)
Does this mask really fit so well that glasses don't fog?
For me and many others, it does! I've tried every pattern available at the time, and glasses fogging up and / or colliding with mask edges were one of the reasons I finally decided to create a hybrid mask. I was actually surprised when I realised how well the nose pleat works – and that it doesn't even need a wire to fit gapless and keep my glasses clear!
Is the pattern suitable for people with special needs?
I guess this depends on their needs! My pattern is well loved by many who have problems with others masks, just like I had myself. Teachers and speakers appreciate it for the talking space it offers (some even call it "teachers mask"), and I've read a couple of times that people wear masks made with my hybrid pattern as a sports or workout mask!
I've also heard surprisingly often that the hybrid mask is the only mask people with HSP / hypersensitivity, sensory issues or on the autism spectrum can bear to wear! Some people with asthma or claustrophobia are also extremely enthusiastic about it, yet others need even more space. To help them (and some others with unique shapes, needs or preferences), I have created several Customized Hybrid Masks and published them in a separate post :)
What do others say about the Hybrid mask?
»I struck gold when I found the Iris Luckhaus DIY cloth mask. This is German engineering at its finest! (...) It has an extra pleat behind the top of the mask which you pull up when putting it on to get a great fit around your nose, even without a wire. (...) I’ve found this the best fitting mask. It’s genius!« – CraftFix [IE], May 19th, 2020
»Iris Luckhaus (...) changed the course of emergency mask production throughout the rest of the world.« – »Sewing Change: The Iris Luckhaus Story« (incl. interview) by John Kalil for Open Source Medical Supplies [US], July 13th, 2020
»I tried a few mask patterns before finding my current favourite: the @irisluckhaus hybrid #luckhausmask (...) – a pleated surgeon-style mask with a special inward pleat at the top for perfect positioning over the nose, keeping your eyes clear for seeing.« – Mending icon Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald [AU] on Instagram and in The Australian, July 20th, 2020
»This mask (...) sits up nice and high (...), so that her glasses hold it flat to her face and there’s no warm breath escaping out the top to fog them up. No nose wire. The pattern is by Iris Luckhaus. (...) Iris writes very detailed posts about masks; she includes information on different mask types, ways to tie a mask, why her mask works well, and the instructions and patterns are excellent.« – »Adventures in Mask Making« by Lara Thornberry [AU], July 26th, 2020
»What I love about this mask is that it has an inverted nose pleat with nose bridge wire that helps it fit great and stay put!« – »Masking up the N Club« by Knitwear designer Laura Nelkin at Nelkins Designs Blog [US], Sep 29th, 2020
Does this Pattern have ear Loops or a head tie?
You have all options – and thanks to drawstring channels, you can even switch later! First is two elastic ear loops (easy to dress, but might hurt the ears, so it's practical for shorter wearing), second is a long textile tie (harder to dress, but doesn't hurt the ears, so it's comfortable for longer wearing). I often donate my masks in double packs, one with ear loops and the other with head ties, and I like to make ties adjustable with sliding knots, pony beads or cord stoppers.
If you wear glasses or hearing aids, I'd recommend to either go with the long tie or to use some sort of fastening (hair / paper clips or ribbon), pull the ear loops back and fasten them behind the head, to take the pressure off your ears.
At second sight, there are far more ways then the well-known ones to tie a mask to your ears or around your head! That's why I drew a helpful infographic – and published a separate post about 16 different mask tying techniques. ➔
Depending on tying techniques, masks can fit differently. Most masks fit well when the ties are pulled straight back, above and below the ear, f.e. with a simple ear loop or head tie – and even better when the lower tie is pulled up, f.e. by crossing ties. If both ties are worn under the ear, the center of gravity shifts and the pattern should be adjusted.
What are the best materials for Ties and wires?
For my own production, I often use leftovers and ask for fabrics, wire and ties whenever I'm giving away a mask. So far, this works really well and I'm very happy with the amazing (or funny) materials concidence brought my way! :)
For ear loops, I've so far used elastic ties, bra straps and jersey or nylon strips (which roll up on their own, even better with spandex!) and for the head tie, I've used textile ribbon or straight binding. Right now, I prefer soft flat 0,5 cm / 0.2" elastics and tshirt yarn (cut 2,5 cm / 1" wide), and I add slip knots (see above) or pony beads for adjustability.
I'm using 0,5 cm / 0.2" width flat aluminum nose pieces with a length of at least 15-16 cm / 6"-6.5" (see above). If those are out, coffee ties should be a good option too. Floral or jewelry wire also bends well, stays in shape and survives accidental cooking :). If you use broader wire, make sure to adapt your nose piece tunnel seam to a suitable width!
What are the safest materials for fabrics and filters?
First of all, please keep in mind that cloth masks are not designed to protect the wearer, but to protect others. If you need reliable protection for yourself, please wear a certified mask – or at least use certified filter materials!
Cloth masks are not all the same though, and quality masks should (a) be gapless (gaps can reduce efficency by up to 60%!), and (b) be made of fabrics with a high filter efficiency. The pattern of my hybrid mask passed an OSHA fit test lately! However, this doesn't mean that it's safe in general, but only that the pattern, if it is worn correctly, fits gapless.
I always use different fabrics for inside and outside, so you can't confuse them. My first masks were made from two layers of cotton, because it is cookable, breathable and available. In general, it's recommended to use very high thread counts (400-600) and no knit, jersey or stretch, as they're not very dense and may even split droplets into aerosols.
Currently, I comply with the guidelines from WHO, CDC and others, who recommend material combinations such as (a) polyester, polycotton or silk as a moisture-repellent outer layer, (b) one or more layer of polypropylene, pellon, chiffon or silk as mechanical filter in the middle and (c) cotton as a moisture-absorbing inner layer. The filter efficiency of specific materials can be looked up in studies, f.e. by MakerMask, Smart Air Filters, Hao et al or Mask FAQ.
FMVIZ even offers an online tool that can calculate the filter eficiency of your chosen materials (3 layers)! Please beware that material efficiency tests are usually only valid for absolutely gapless fitting masks.
Through the filter opening, you can insert a disposable filter like Filti, Halyard, non-woven polypropylene (NWPP) or blue shop towels – or you can quickly staple those materials into an Instant Hybrid Mask and wear it underneath. In high risk situations, you can also wear the hybrid mask over a certified mask, as a sealing cover for a gapless fit!
Is there some sort of trick on how to insert your filters?
I cut my filter to 16 x 18 cm / 6,3" x 7" and insert it like casing a pillow, (a) pushing top corners of the filter into top corners of the mask, (b) holding them in place with safety pins in the outer top corners next to the wire, and (c) pulling fabric down and straightening the filter into the pleats! In my tutorial, I show detail pictures of the process.
The distribution of filter materials in all corners and pleats is simplified by Filter Frames.
Another solution are Filter Frames, i.e. the mask is cut larger and folded inwards at top, bottom and sides so that the precut filter material can be placed on the inside of the mask (instead of in between!). This makes is easier to cover the entire surface, and faster to distribute the filter material into all the corners and pleats! The inner frame of the mask holds the filter securely in place, all the way around. You can find instructions and pattern in a separate post! ➔
The stapleable Instant Hybrid Mask can be made from filter materials and used as an undermask.
If you think that's too much effort, you can sew in washable filters (f.e. layer/s of non-woven polypropylen, silk or chiffon), or staple an Instant Hybrid Mask (see picture above) and wear it underneath your Hybrid Cloth Mask. ➔
Can I sew the Hybrid Mask from Non-Woven Polypropylene?
Of course you can sew this mask from non-woven polypropylene! Please note that although spunbond is washable in the laundry, it should better not go in the dryer and even at very low temperatures, ironing can melt the material.
WHO and CDC recommend NWPP as a middle and / or outer layer for homemade masks. The material is not only highly water repellant, efficiently filtering and very breathable, but it also gives masks a nice structure and stand.
You can find out a lot more about polypropylene on makermask.org and in the Facebook Group NWPP4masks!
When sewing the Hybrid Mask from NWPP, you can replace the ironing with simple finger pressing or use a quilting clapper (replacable by any round-edged piece of natural wood; I use an old wooden spoon! :)) to neatly streak out seams and pleats to the sides, so they lay flatter. If you don't need the filter opening, you can close the bottom seam and topstitch the edge from the right side (like the top seam), to help the layers stay in place and make pleating easier.
Original Hybrid Mask made from non-woven polypropylen with cotton for the side channels
I'd also recommend to make the side channels not from polypropylene, but from woven fabric. Woven fabric is less fiddly to work with, and for the side channels, it scrunches much easier. This helps to give the mask a gapless fit!
Can I wear this mask on top of Respirators or surgical Masks?
We have potential risk persons in the family, so we've been wearing my Hybrid Masks as covers for our FFP2/KN95 or FFP3/N95 masks (see photo below) in higher risk situations. None of the many respirators we've tested so far fits well on any of us, and double masking with the Hybrid as a cover does not only seal dangerous gaps and reliably hold the masks in place, but also ensures that the respirator is better protected and therefor, stays fresh and clean longer.
If you completely open the pleats of the Hybrid Mask, fold it right in the middle and lay it over a vertically folded FFP2/KN95, you can see that they match each other surprisingly perfect – and it wasn't even planned that way! :)
As a cover for standard one-size FFP2/KN95 masks that fold in the vertical middle, height L and width M fit gapless and slip-free on most – f.e., in my family, the L/M cover masks fit best for the whole range from cloth mask size S to L. For height L, use the pattern printed out to 110% (or the special cover mask pattern I've added to the appendix of my most recent PDF versions!) – and after pleating, apply the side angle template in width M, printed out to 100%.
Preshaped cup masks are usually a little shorter and mostly fit well under the classic Hybrid Cloth Mask in size M.
FFP2/KN95 or FFP3/N95 masks that fold twice horizontally (also called fish type, e.g. the popular 3M Aura) often protrude further in front, which makes them longer overall. Therefore, on top of this particular type of mask, we're using the Hybrid Cloth Mask in length XL (pattern printed at 120%) and width M (template printed at 100%).
I've measured the length of our FFP2/KN95 or FFP3/N95 respirator masks here, and listed the matching top masks:
|Type of Respirator||Middle Length||Top Mask Cut Length||Top Mask Cut Width||Finished Format|
|Preshaped Cup /
Padded Basket Mask
|M = 100% = 20 cm
M = 100% = 7.9”
|M = 100% = 20 cm
M = 100% = 7.9”
|8,0 / 18 x 20 cm
3.2” / 7.1” x 7.9”
|Vertical 1 Fold /
Coffee Filter Mask
|L = 110% = 22 cm
L = 110% = 8.7”
|M = 100% = 20 cm
M = 100% = 7.9”
|8,8 / 20 x 20 cm
3.5” / 7.9” x 7.9”
|Horizontal 2 Folds /
Fish Type Mask
|XL = 120% = 24 cm
XL = 120% = 9.5”
|M = 100% = 20 cm
M = 100% = 7.9”
|9,6 / 22 x 20 cm
3.8” / 8.7” x 7.9”
On top of surgical masks, the Hybrid can be worn in individually fitted sizes with all the customizations desired. When the surgical mask is knotted tightly at the sides, it fits better in general – and it does not peek out on the sides.
For single and double ply masks, sewing an 8" x 1" strip of batting such as Pellon into the inside of the very top part, right between top seam and nose wire seam, can help the nose piece to fit a bit softer and thereby, seal even better.
The Hybrid Cloth Mask can be used as a gaplessly sealing cover on top of respirators or surgical masks.
You can find out more about the function of all types of masks through (a) filter efficiency, (b) fit and (c) breathability, the problem of gaps and how to solve it, in a separate post about Mask Science. Furthermore, I've written another separate post about our Double Masking which aims to make the practice simpler, safer and more comfortable. ➔
Can I test Masks, Materials and Gapless Fit at Home?
In advance, always make sure to test breathability of materials and masks! If you are unsure, please ask your doctor.
Here’s how you can simply test and compare at home how effectively your material is filtering:
★ Light Test: If you hold your fabrics or your masks up to the light, you can see how densely woven the fabric is.
★ Spray Test: If you spray water through a mask – or layers of fabric – to a mirror, you can well see the permeability.
★ We don't recommend the popular Candle Test, as this only tests breathability of a mask, not the filter efficiency.
This is how you can simply test at home whether – and where exactly – your mask has gaps:
★ Glasses Test: If your glasses fog up with a mask, it tells you that the top of the mask is not completely gapless.
★ Mint Test: If you eat a peppermint (e.g. Tictac) and it stings your eyes, the top of the mask does not fit snug.
★ Puff Test: When you breathe hard, the mask should bulge. All draft or movement along the edges indicate gaps!
★ Hand Test: To feel a draft or movement, place your hands around the edge of the mask while exhaling vigorously.
★ Gill Test: Have someone look at the sides of the mask from behind while you exhale vigorously. Gills show gaps.
★ Smoke Test: If you inhale smoke and exhale it inside the mask, you can clearly see the path of the air flow.
In order to find out whether your mask reliably stays in place, it’s better to not only put it on briefly in advance, but rather try to speak, laugh and yawn in it – and after that, you can run the tests mentioned above once more!
My printed files are not true size. What can I do?
When I published the first PDF in English, I didn't consider different EU and US formats, so if your download was before April 23rd, you may have the wrong format! After I heard about this causing problems, I added a US file alongside the EU one. If this doesn't solve your problem, make sure that pages are printed at 100% – and measure whether 2 cm / 0,8" on the print correspond to a ruler. For some printers, it can help to activate frameless printing :)
If your print size is smaller than the pattern, print one side only, or in portions. The text should help with attaching!
Can I make this mask without a sewing machine, or simpler?
To sew this mask on a serger, you proceed as instructed until folding and pinning the pleats. Then, take the strips of fabric, fold top and bottom to 8 cm / 3,2” length and fold them in half so the right side is facing out. Lay the folded strips on your piece, with all cut edges facing the same direction. Then stitch the tunnel with one seam instead of the usual two! When you wear the mask, the tunnel folds out, so that you can't even see the overlocked edges :)
If you don't have a sewing machine, you can skip the inserts, cut only one rectangular piece (38 x 20 cm / 15" x 8") instead of two squares, sew the full upper seam and skip the wire tunnel. This only takes 40 cm / 16" of stitching!
It's also possible to sew on the ties directly, without tunnels. It doesn't fit as great, but can be a practical solution! To do this, either proceed as described and stitch on long ties in place of the strips in step (4), or instead of stitching the upper and lower seam from the wrong side in step (2), place an inwards facing tie in each corner of your fabrics, then stitch all sides except for the filter opening, turn to the right and fix the pleats with a simple side seam.
If you can't or don't want to sew, you might like to try my instructions for an Instant Hybrid Mask with the same amazing pattern, which can easily be stapled in less than a minute, from filter materials or fabrics of your choice!
Are there ways to manufacture this mask a little neater?
Of course you can manufacture the mask much neater – and f.e. overlock all the edges (I just tore the fabric and pre-frayed 2-3 threads; so far, it holds great! :)) and / or neatly sew down the open edges at the bottom, all around the filter insert. If you want to do that, I recommend 1 cm / 0,4" more seam allowance in the lower part (i.e. 20 x 21 cm / 8" x 8,4" instead of 20 x 20 cm / 8" x 8"). In step (2), first topstitch the two parts of the lower seam at 2 cm / 0,8" distance, then iron out the seam allowances. When you're done with that, fold the allowances in individually, iron them again and topstitch over the entire lengths on both sides. Close the upper seam last and continue according to instructions.
For a different look, you can attach another fabric (f.e. the same fabric you use for channels!) for the visible part of the reverse pleat, which is the top 2 cm / 0,8” (or 3 cm / 12” incl. allowance) of the outside of the mask, in advance.
Help, I'm completely confused! WHat am I doing wrong?
For everyone who might get confused when folding the pleats, I have drawn the folding scheme from a side view. I always start with quickly ironing the reverse pleat backwards and then work my way down, from the front side, mark by mark and pleat by pleat – and once you sew the 3rd or 4th mask, the procedure becomes really fast (seriously!)! :)
In the paper pattern, the top 1 cm / 0,4” and the bottom 1 cm / 0,4” are seam allowances. After your first two seams from the wrong side, you iron out the allowances in the fabric and turn your piece inside out, so the right side is visible. Repeat this process on your paper pattern and fold in those allowances, before using it for pleating!
For the pleats, it might also help to look for white areas in the paper pattern. Those white areas are visible in the finished mask! Grey areas are pleats facing down, and light grey areas are facing up, but covered by a pleat.
If you've accidentally closed the wire opening in the seam, you can carefully open 2-3 stitches later, with a seam ripper or scissors. This is not an elegant solution, but there is no pull on the seam, so it's unlikely that it will open much more.
If anything is still unclear, you will most likely find answers in the detailed picture tutorial in a separate post.
Why doesn't my mask fit like yours in the pictures?
First, you should check whether you have put on the mask correctly and if you have placed the reverse pleat on the bridge of your nose, folded up. Then, you might want to look whether the ties are set to correct length and the drawstring is pushed together, so the sides round nicely to the front. For a good fit, it also helps to iron the pleats!
Depending on face shape and preferences, the lower pleats can be worn differently: For me, the mask fits best when the pleats remain closed, so the bottom of the mask ends at the chin, but others prefer to open the pleats completely and wear the bottom under their chin, close to the neck. Both variants should fit snug around the edge of the chin!
Another relevant point to the fit is the way you tie your mask. The mask usually fits well when the straps are pulled straight back, above and below the ear, e.g. with simple ear loops or a head tie – and even better if the bottom tie is pulled up, e.g. by crossing the straps (see infographic on Mask Tying Techniques). If the bottom tie fits very low or if both ties are worn under the ear, the center of gravity of the mask shifts and you might want to try adjusting it!
If the mask still doesn't fit, maybe some little error has crept in ... Is your reverse pleat 2 cm / 0,8” deep? Are your pleats pointing down? If you can definitely rule out all mistakes, you might just want to try a different size!
What does the Hybrid Cloth Mask look like on real people?
I prefer to hide behind the camera :), but in the post introducing my amazing sewing partners, you can see some great photos of the hybrid mask on very different people. In addition, my hybrid mask has its own hashtag – #luckhausmask – on social media, and on Instagram, for example, many fabulous makers are now showing their beautiful masks!
With the hashtag #luckhausmask on Instagram, you will find numerous impressively great Hybrid Cloth Masks sewn according to these instructions! Some also post theirs with the hashtags #hybridmask (hijacked) or #irisluckhaus.
Is there a PDF insert I could use for donating my masks?
For my own donations, I simply enclose the first page of the instruction PDF; it contains pretty much everything you need to know about masks, usage and care. A more sophisticated insert for non-sewing mask recipients will follow :)
With donations, I recommend either folding them in the middle, so that the reverse pleat is visibly looking out on top of the mask, and / or explaining – verbally or with a little note inside the mask, under the pleat – that the reverse pleat is supposed to be folded up and worn on the nose. With children, you can playfully practice to "flip up the flap"!
My sewing partner Reusable Mask Co Australia has made a video that helps really well explaining the reverse pleat.
Will you publish a Video Tutorial and more Pictures?
I've just published an extremely detailed picture tutorial in a separate post, and a video will follow at some point as well (if I have 2-3 quiet days – and ideas how to shoot that without any cutting and a camera holder!)... let's see how and when this works! Meanwhile, I've seen quite a lot of video-preferring total beginners make absolutely beautiful masks with my pictorial instructions – so even if you're a visual learner, I'd highly recommend to just give it a try! ➔
Can I possibly purchase the Hybrid Cloth mask from you?
For the moment, I sew for friends and family only, because I consider it more important to publish instructions and pattern of my Hybrid Mask, in order help others to help those in need – and besides my daily work, there's no time to do much more than answering all questions and continously updating German and English post and instructions.
In the meantime, I've been lucky to find some fabulous sewing partners from all over the world, who sew on a highly professional level, offer beautiful fabrics and very different styles! In August 2021, the following are available:
★ United States: Christina King from Ithaca, New York, is selling as TinaBK on Etsy and also present on Instagram ➔
★ United States: Debbie Baskerville from Ithaca, New York, sells as Hidden Bliss Studio on Etsy, Facebook, Instagram➔
★ United States: Kiri Schultz from Seattle, Washington, is selling as NagaKiriStudio on Etsy and also on Instagram ➔
★ United States: Emily Anne Parrish from New York, New York, sells as Mask Produced on Etsy and on Instagram ➔
★ Great Britain: Orsolya Barcza from Dunstable, UK, is selling as OLLE Sewing on Etsy, Facebook and Instagram ➔
★ Germany: Wollsuse from Fröndenberg / Ruhr, NRW, is selling in her textile studio and on her Website (via mail) ➔
★ Switzerland: Andrea Haydon from Thalwil, Canton Zurich, sells in her own online shop called Schnurpfitante ➔
★ Australia: Sarah Chan from the Gold Coast, Queensland, on Reusable Masks Co, Etsy, Facebook and Instagram ➔
★ Australia: SAMOOK at Slow Handmade Collective, Ulladulla, New South Wales, also on Facebook and Instagram ➔
In a separate post, I am introducing my sewing partners and their unique approach to mask making in detail! ➔
To others who would also like to use any part of my work – the mask design, the pattern and / or the instructions – commercially, I'd be happy to grant the necessary usage rights for a fair fee, and I'm always thrilled to have the option to forward all enquiries from those who would like to buy my mask to someone who actually has the time to sew it!
But no matter how this journey might continue: Instructions and patterns are always free for anyone who just wants to non-commercially sew some masks for themselves, for gifts or donations, and this will definitely remain so.
Is there an overview of all your Mask Patterns and Projects?
Yes, there is! When the multitude of posts started to get confusing, I created a Mask Hub Page, where I enter all the posts that are useful for mask making – and if you want to bookmark, I'd recommend to just bookmark this page :)
I update those questions and hacks annotations continously (last: Jan 13th, 2022)! If you have questions yourself, please feel free comment below (or via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) – or simply send me an email!
Download of Instructions and Pattern as a printable PDF
Here you can download a printable PDF with introduction, instructions and pattern for my Hybrid Cloth Mask [V8 | Jan 12th 2022, 7 PM] on 8 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 (email@example.com)!
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, Bruni, Margot, Rose, Tanni, Eli, Ilia, Chrissi, Henning and Ekke for amazing support from near and far, practical ideas, face measurements, advance reading, trying out and trying on! I am also extremely grateful to the hardworking volunteer seamstresses of several awesome mask groups on Facebook for their clever questions and sparkling enthusiasm for my pattern. Furthermore, I'd like to thank all those who sew, wear and give away this mask (or any other mask!) for their efforts to protect others: To me, you are all heroes!
Take good care of yourself and stay well! ❤
If you'd like to find out more about all my mask projects, you're welcome to visit my new Mask Hub Page! ➔
Interesting pattern I am anxious to try it, thank you.
You‘re welcome, Linda! I wish you all the best for sewing, and that your mask fits perfectly! :)
I absolutely love this design and the way it fits and works. I just wish I understood more of it so I could make some for my clinic. I am too much of an amateur to figure this out right now. Any additional pictures or video would be amazing so I could figure this out and make some of these for at work. Thank you so much!
Thank you for your kind comment, dear Casy! I feel honoured that a medical worker is considering my design :) – Pictures and video are coming, it just takes some advance preparation… In the meantime, there are pictures on Maskezeigen.de. I’ve seen some video-preferring total beginners make beautiful masks with my illustrated instructions, so I’d recommend to just give it a try! The “Tipps + Tricks” section should cover most questions. If you don’t want to miss updates, you may follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube! ❤
If you’re still sewing and haven’t stumbled over this elsewhere, you might like to know that I’ve recently published a detailed step by step picture tutorial! – I hope this helps!
Need a video.Am a beginner sewing person. I have already broken one needle on my machine, sewed my fingers! But I wear glasses & have yet to find a mask that didn’t leave my glasses fogged. There’s lots of things I can do, but sewing doesn’t seem to by my forte.
Broken needles and sewn fingers happen to all of us, Diana! It just means that you’re sewing with your heart’s blood :) – I’ve had the same foggy glasses problem with all other masks types, and this was one of the reasons I decided to just design my own – and for me, this one even works without a wire! Pictures and video are coming, it just takes some advance preparation… In the meantime, I’ve seen some total beginners make beautiful masks with my illustrated instructions, so I’d recommend to just give it a try! The “Tipps + Tricks” section should cover most questions. If you don’t want to miss updates, you may follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube! ❤
I’ve recently published a detailed step by step picture tutorial! I hope this helps :)
Thank you for being so dedicated and sharing precise instructions! I am anxious to try this also. It is close to what I am making. I like your nose fit on the pattern and the ability to remove the nose wire. With the shortage of elastic, I am using 1″x 7.5″ strips of t-shirt knit that rolls and works so well!
Thank you for your appreciation, Debbie! I like jersey noodles too, and all those discoveries you make along the way… did you know that strips of nylon stockings also make pretty good elastics?!? I’m wondering if your current mask is what I called the “pouch mask” in my test, because then the fit of my hybrid may be a pleasant surprise :) – All the best for trying! ❤
Do you have a video of you doing this? As a visual learner, it would help me get going. Thank you for considering.
The video is coming, Sherri, it just take some advance preparation… In the meantime, I’ve seen some video-preferring total beginners make beautiful masks with my pictorial instructions, so I’d recommend to just give it a try! The “Tipps + Tricks” section should cover most questions. If you don’t want to miss updates, you may follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube! ❤
If you’re still sewing and haven’t stumbled over this elsewhere, you might like to know that I’ve recently published a detailed step by step picture tutorial! – I hope this helps!
Such a wonderful design! Would you kindly make the pattern pdf (above) in true size to print off? My computer skills are apparently lacking to enlarge. So very excited to sew this!
Thank you for your appreciation, Karen! After a kind remark from a seamstress who ran into problems with printing the original EU Din A4 PDF (true size, 3 pages) on a US printer, I added the US letter PDF (true size, 4 pages with pattern/template on seperate pages) last night. I wonder if you maybe downloaded the EU version of the PDF, or if you tried to print the JPGs? ❤
My mom and dad wear both glasses AND hearing aids. I think this will be a great option for them. Thanks for sharing this pattern with us.
You’re very welcome, dear Monica! Thank you for your kind appreciation. A friend of mine also wears both glasses and hearing aids, and the version with a headband seems to work really well for her! I only wear glasses, but the way they fogged up and moved around with the other shapes I tried were part of the reason why I decided to try making my pattern – and for me, it works like a charm! I hope it suits the needs of your parents too! ❤
This is a lovely idea! Hope you can make a video soon. I am still making mask on my serger, but I would love this option for people with glasses! I donate all my mask!
Thank you very much, dear Sandra! Video is coming, I just need a quiet day to figure it out and shoot it – and as quiet days are extremely rare right now, I’m thinking about at least making a more detailed photo tutorial inbetween :). You can easily make most of this mask on a serger, except for that last seam (closing the drawstring tunnel)… if you don’t care too much about the looks, you could possibly work with two strips of fabric instead of one (so, four in total), attach them to the pleated piece from both sides, then fold them over and stitch them together… ? ❤
Yes iris that does make sense. Right now I am sewing these for speed, as a mask is required if we are in public, so mass production is preferred. However, the seamstress in me is screaming for neatness and attention to detail Hope you get some quiet time soon!
Thank you, Sandra! I can relate to your inner seamstress screaming for neatness, it’s the same for me with both sewing and instructions (it can be hard at times to tame my perfectionism :)), but I think it’s also good to see what you’re capable of, when doing things differently, especially during times like these. The great thing about speed-sewing masks for donations is that after donation, you don’t see them (and what you might consider flaws) much anymore – and I assume that the lucky recipients will consider your masks perfect, just the way they are! ❤
Hej Sandra! It took a while, but I’ve finally had an idea for how to (possibly) make this mask look neat on a serger! If you proceed as instructed, until the point where you layer that strip on the sides of the pleated mask, then lay the strip double (cutting edge on cutting edge), so the right side is facing up and the overlapping fabric folded inwards, then stitch/overlock the sides, I assume that drawstring tunnel will sit really neatly once it is dressed up and pulled from the sides, so the serger seams actually become invisible! Does that make any sense to you? :)
This looks like a great pattern but I’m having trouble printing it to the correct scale is there anyway that you can email me a PDF of this pattern?
Thank you, Bridget! – Have you see that there’s a PDF for download, at the end of the article (underneath the picture with all three pages :)), which is true size for EU Din A4 and US Letter? ❤
Got it!!! thank you
Awesome! You’re welcome :)
thank you Iris!!!!!
You’re very welcome, Mira! Thank you for your kind appreciation! ❤
would love to see a video tutorial, with a sewing machine and or a serger I have both. Want to try but do much better with a video. Love this pattern will definitely have to try.
I’d love to do a video, but this takes a good plan and 1-3 quiet days – which I don’t have right now, so I’ve made a step by step picture tutorial! – I hope this helps! If anything is unclear, please ask :)
Where is the patter to download and print? I am in the US. Thank you.
Hello Ann! Just scroll the post and you’ll find the downloadable PDF (in 2 versions, for EU and US paper sizes) at the bottom, right under the picture which shows all three pages! :)
A big thank you for this brilliant pattern Iris. I’m a beginner sewer and have experimented with lots of different patterns and finally struck gold with yours. I really appreciate all the effort you have gone to in documenting it, especially the clever printed pattern format.
I have written up what I have learned making face masks so far on my blog and have featured your pattern there.
Thank you so much for your appreciation, dear Janine, for featuring my mask in your lovely blog – and for those kind words (»German engineering at its finest«?! – Woo-hoo! :)) which totally brightened my day! ❤
I love this pattern. Thank you so much. It stays put when we talk!
I have been using Filti as an insert but am wondering whether it would be as safe to make the mask with three layers, using silk in the middle, and two different kinds of cotton. It is a bit of a chore to insert the Filti. The fabric testing seems to indicate that silk is good. https://pubs.acs.org/…
And thank you so much for the pattern. Literally a life-saver.
Thank you so much for your kind appreciation, dear Jill!
As you might have read, I’ve had similar problems with other masks (and at first, I wondered if there’s sth wrong with my face or the way it moves… :)). Filti sounds great, but unfortunately it seems never heard of in Germany, and I wasn’t able to find ath similar, so I make do with paper towels. I agree that inserting is a chore, but at least it gets faster with time!
I’ve read about the negative (and thereby virus-repellant?) charge of silk, chiffon and polyester and I’ve just sewn some two-layer tests with an outer shell made from poly / silk. I’m curious how they’ll hold up! I’m also working on instructions for a disposable no-sew mask, which will enable us to freely combine and tests fabrics and can also be worn inside a nice cloth mask.
Did you see that the WHO now recommends three different layers: water-absorbent cotton on the inside, polypropylen as a mechanical middle filter and water-repellant polyester on the outside? I don’t have prolypropylen, but combining the features of different fabrics seems to make sense!
If I’d sew three layers (which I haven’t done yet, but will try soon! :)), I’d add the middle layer to the thinner side and then treat them as one. It’s not a great difference with the hybrid pattern though, as the only place where you have to consider layers is when you turn the piece inside out!
I think I’ll write a paragraph about all this when I next update the article, but this might take another couple of days.
Take care and stay safe! ❤
Thanks for the info about the new WHO recommendations which I am now trying to understand. It’s so frustrating. I’d love to just be told what to use. For example, here’s a comment I found about the new WHO info: “The filtration efficiencies they report on table 3 are also dramatically different than https://pubs.acs.org/… WHO has cotton values up to 26%, but the article I linked gives values up to 82%. That might be due to looking at different materials, it’s clear that t-shirt fabric is not optimal and the WHO does not give values for high thread count cotton fabrics. But if their assumptions about mask construction are based on those low values. The pressure drop reported in the two is also wildly divergent.” It’s from this: https://arstechnica.com/…
I have a social science background and an struggling! At least I have your pattern to use, whenever the perfect guidance for fabric comes along. Thanks!
I’m struggling with the new information too, and I’ve already seen extremely different % for the same, but mostly unspecified fabrics in studies before… I try to handle this with common sense: (a) a well-cleaned and gap-free mask is most certainly safer than no mask at all, (b) homemade masks are mainly for protecting others and not for protecting oneself, so the best thing to do is to make as many people as possible wear them (this is pretty much the reason why I’m publishing my patterns!), and (c) collect as much information as available at the time (because learning always goes on, for all of us, and I don’t think the one perfect guidance will ever exist!). F.e., water-absorbent cotton for the inside and water-repellant polyester or silk for the outside (or as a sewn-in middle layer) make sense to me. High thread counts make sense to me. Using polypropylene (or at least some other non-woven material) as a physical barrier for the filter layer makes sense to me. Overall, I guess the only thing we can do about all this is either buy certified masks (at least if we really need to be safe!), or just use whatever we’ve got (like, cotton + poly or silk) and hope for the best… :)
Great advice! So glad I found you and your mask pattern. Thank you from Northern California.
Thank you so much for your appreciation! I’m sorry I couldn’t give you that perfect material guidance we all long for, but at least you have wonderful things such as Filti available over there… Take good care of yourself and stay well!
I just wanted to say a BIG thank you for publishing your pattern. I’m in the US and had been searching and searching for something that would work well for our family of full-time glasses-wearers. Your original pattern is lovely and well-constructed!
I made some modifications to work with our personal preferences (even more room inside for air) and a lady who tried my modifications on the Craft Passion Facebook encouraged me to share them with you. This might help anyone who is very sensitive to feeling suffocated by a mask close to the nose/mouth and creates an even larger air pocket in front of the nose for breathing.
1) I cut the outside fabric wider (25 cm) and longer (22 cm) and cut the lining fabric shorter: 25 cm wide by 20 cm long; I made the nose wire channel wider (1.5 cm) in order to accommodate a coffee bag tie (a double wire encased in plastic used to seal foil coffee bags), and also made the entrance for the nose wire channel farther from the edge of the fabric (4.5 cm) so that the entry point is wider for easier wire insertion; 2) I hem the bottom edge of both lining and outside fabric so that the raw edge is encased (2 folds, 0.5 cm hem); 3) I made the backwards nose pleat wider (3-4 cm) and for the remaining 2 forwards pleats, I fold them “by feel” without measuring, just making sure I get 2 little pleats in; 4) I leave the entire bottom width of the mask open for easier pocket insertion but I fold the extra 2 cm of outside fabric in as a backwards 1-ply pleat – it both secures the filter pocket and for large faces it can be flipped out for a bit of extra room to cup the chin; 5) I exaggerate the trapezoid so that the sides taper in more steeply towards the chin – when combined with the longer width at the nose (top) of the mask, this helped to give a larger air pocket to breathe, which also helps with glasses fogging – For the side casings, I line them up as you instruct, but I angle them inwards toward the chin so that the bottom (chin) of the mask measures 16-17 cm from seam to seam. I try to keep the finished side casings 8-9 cm in in length (sometimes I have to fiddle with and compress the pleats to get within this range but keeping the side casings from being too long helps with gaping at the sides), and finally 7) I flip the nose piece up and tack it in place.
The longer nose pleat and tacking it in place pushes the fabric of the mask out and away from the nose, by using the bridge of the nose as a “keystone”, while still letting the sides of the mask sit firmly on the face. I make sure I follow the nose wire seam for tacking so I don’t block the channel and just sew 1.5cm on either side to secure in place. I’ve found that this is flexible enough in size to fit my petite face and DH’s large round head and the tacked nose piece makes this possible…on DH’s face the side casings simply lie farther away from his ears but still form a tight seal with good round space inside the mask to breathe. For my kids I made the fabric dimensions 2-3 cm smaller. I like to insert a stiffer filter material, as that helps the mask to hold its rounded shape. Bonus is that this also fit nicely over an N95 if you use the larger of the range of dimensions I mention. Of course the drawback is that the mask does not really store flat with these modifications.
Your instructions are very clear after I studied them closely (kudos on an excellent English version!). I love that your design requires very simple cutting (straight lines!) but that you still get a contoured shape. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
Thank you so much for your kind appreciation and for introducing your modifications to me, dear Jamie! How exciting :) – I’ve already made some altered patterns for seamstresses who wanted to (a) accomodate bigger noses and (b) longer beards and who prefer to (c) wear the mask pleatless (drawn down all the way, which makes the chin gap), and I’ve been thinking about dedicating a special post to those altered hybrids… The only interesting problem I haven’t fully solved yet is (d) a more spacious version, because I prefer when thing fit nice and tight (which is more or less the reason why this pattern exists! :)). I also figured out that the longer nose fold gives more space :), and I’m working on chubbying up my trapezoid sides, but I’d love to see pictures of your version! Could you either send me the link to your post (isn’t Craft Passion dedicated to another pattern?) or send me an email, please? :)
Thought this would be of interest from Harvard Business Review:https://hbr.org/2020/06/we-need-better-masks
Also, the Craft Passion Facebook group may have started out on the one pattern but now includes discussions of all types of masks and sewing issues. It’s a generally supportive forum for people just try to help in this horrible time.
My 680 threadcount sheet just arrived for my inner layer. Chiffon is on order. Now to figure out the rest!
Thank you so much for that article, dear Jill! I adore that idea of stopping the pandemic with the right masks – and while I assume I have a design which, if worn correctly (= gapless), is as safe as a cloth mask could possibly be (I’d love to know how it scores in an official fit test!), I’m a still quite lost at the fabric front, because it doesn’t look like good filter material (such as Filti) is available in Germany (or even Europe?) – and the German mask making groups mostly fell asleep when reasonably priced masks started to appear in stores around April / May, so the whole filter discussion never really happened. We’re stuck in cotton age! I really like the Craft Passion group, and it’s great to see how much is still happening there! The only other group I know which is still so active and interesting is Open Source Medical Supplies, which made a huge impact on the evolution of making my instructions more approachable. Anyways, I hope your enjoy your fabrics and that your masks-in-the-making will keep you perfectly safe!
Where can I leave you a donation? Such a great pattern…thank you!
You’re welcome, and I thank you so much for your kind appreciation! Donations are more than welcome. The link is at the end of the post, or firstname.lastname@example.org on PayPal :)
I found the donation link!
Oh, now I noticed your name, I just meant to send you an email! Thank you so much, dear Marsha, I appreciate your kind donation greatly – and you really brightened my day! ❤
Thank you for sharing this, Iris! I have been making shaped masks for family members but have had to resize them and add all kinds of darts and pleats and tucks to make them contour to each individual face, which has been taking forever!!! Your pattern is so much faster to make, and much easier to achieve a perfect fit. Very well done! I really appreciated your pictorial instructions as well. With love from Canada…
Thank you so much for your kind appreciation, dear Lindsey! As you’ve probably read, I’ve been through the shaped masks phase as well – which didn’t last long, because they kept dropping down my nose or pushing up my eyes and I didn’t find a way to stop them (except for avoiding all facial movements, which isn’t a solution either!)! If any of these masks plus a simple tweak or two had at least halfways worked for me, my hybrid mask probably wouldn’t exist :)
Thanks so much for sharing your innovative pattern! I have a few tips on clean finishing the mask that sewers might find helpful:
1. To make it easier to insert the filter, (a) Stitch with right sides together the top and bottom openings, then turn mask so that the right sides face outward; (b) Press Pleat A backward as depicted in step 4 of the instructions, but press Pleats B and C of the front and back/lining separately (fold the back/lining pleats in the opposite direction of the front pleats) so that the front and back pleats lay one on top of the other; (c) Baste pleats in place and then attach the side strips.
2. To make sure the edges of openings for the nose wire and the filter are flush with the edge of the stitched seams (a) Stitch the seam to the beginning of the opening, back tack, then increase the stitch length to 4–4.5 mm and stitch to the end of the opening. Set the stitch length back to 2–2.5 mm, back tack, then stitch the remainder of the seam; (b) Press seam open; (c) Topstitch either side of the opening 1/8″ in; (d) Carefully snip the first and last of the machine-basted stitches; (e) Turn mask right side out and press the seam; (e) When the mask is complete, carefully remove the machine-basted stitches with a seam ripper and tweezers, then insert the nose wire and filter.
3. To enclose the side seam allowances of the mask, (a) Change the seam allowances on the top, bottom, and 1 side of the side strip pattern piece from 3/8″ to 1/2″ BEFORE cutting the strips out. Mark the cut strips’ seam allowances lightly with chalk or a fabric marking pen. (b) Press top and bottom seam allowances and the side with the 1/2″ seam allowance, towards the wrong side; (c) Angle and stitch the side of the strip with the original 3/8″ seam allowance to mask side WITHOUT folding in the top and bottom seam allowances. Trim excess; (d) Clean finish the unattached side of the side strip (i.e. the side with the 1/2″ seam allowance) by making single fold mitered corners (for instructions see, https://youtu.be/OmHo5uJN_1U); (d) Fold the top and bottom seam allowances of the side strip OVER the top and bottom of the mask’s angled side seam allowance (see step c) and hand tack them in place; (e) Optional: top stitch the top and bottom edges of the side strip 1/8″ in, then fold the clean-finished side to the back/lining of the mask, stitch in the ditch to secure.
@Mary McLave – I get frustrated trying to get the filter into the mask and getting it to fit evenly, etc. I’m very interested in trying what you suggest. I can’t quite grasp how your method helps; any more detail you can offer?
Other than dealing with the filter insert, which is the case with all pleated masks in particular, this is my favorite pattern after making several different ones. Thank you, Iris!
Thank you for your kind appreciation for my pattern, dear Peggy!
In the process of trying out different patterns, I became unexpectedly fond of pleats, because they allow so much better breathing and talking, while the mask stays well in place! To make a pattern that fits both the closed mouth and the mouth, I don‘t see any alternatives. The only problem with pleats is, as you say, the filter insertion :)
I think what Mary means here is folding the pleats separately on the outside and on the inside layer of the mask, so the center is easier to reach into. I considered the option too when I first started, but then realized that (a) you‘ll need to cut your filter to a special shape before inserting it, (b) for a good fit, the pleats should move along with the jaw freely, which they don’t when you insert a flat filter, and (c) the pleats keep the filter in place.
Did you try the safety pin method I‘m showing in the tutorial? It helps a lot, and getting used to insertion helps too; it‘s a little easier every day. Other things your could possibly try are:
(1) Use the chin pattern and leave the whole bottom open, so you can reach inside or even turn the mask inside out, while the upwards pleat should keep your filter from slipping out.
(2) Just skip the insertion altogether, take your filter material/s, staple (or sew) a simple instant mask with the same shape and wear this underneath your pretty mask! You only need slightly more material and you can easily just make a bunch of them, so they‘re always ready to go!
I hope this helps? <3
Thank you very much for your kind and detailed suggestions, dear Mary! When I first published my pattern, masks were desperately needed, so I concentrated on making them as easy and fast as possible, but I‘ve been planning on adding more elaborate detail solutions ever since.
I‘ve just explained to Peggy that I actually considered (1) separating the pleats right from the start, and why I decided not to. I‘ve also tried (2) sewing and snipping the openings earlyon, but found that simply ironing was much faster and just as neat. For (3) cleaner sides, I have a process that seems quite similar to yours but can hardly be explained to novices without pictures, so I decided to go with the most simple and explainable way here :)
Even though I decided against these detail solutions, they may be helpful to some sewers – and I enjoy to see how different others work, and in how many ways my pattern can be sewn! <3
Thank you, Iris, for your kind and generous offer of your pattern and continued advice. I agree with you that pleats have many advantages. I am making some of your masks with one layer of Filti and one layer of cotton either against the face for comfort or on the outside to keep the filter cleaner and looked nicer. However, they lose a lot of effectiveness once washed so I need some with insertable filters as well.
You offer good suggestions. I’ve started to use the chin pattern which helps the bottom. I have also used safety pins in the top corners, which helps, but it’s hard to keep the filter up at the top center and at the sides. (I made a mask of Filti with a layer of very lightweight cotton on the outside so I could actually see what was going on; it was helpful.) I have since used two-sided hemming tape to tack the filter in. That seems to work well for me but I can’t imagine most people having that tape or be willing to deal with it.
I’ll have to take a look at the instant mask. That’s another great option.
I can’t grasp your reasons for not doing the pleats separately (which I haven’t tried yet) but I admire your engineering skills so I’d like to understand. a) Why would you need to cut the filter to a special shape? b) I’m using a flat filter any way I do it; are you saying with the separate pleats they wouldn’t move as freely? c) Do you think with the pleats done together, they better keep the filter in place?
Again, thank you so much.
You‘re welcome, dear Peggy! Thank you for appreciating :)
Have you tried using tiny safety pins and keeping them in their corners while wearing? If your material isn‘t to slippery and the lengths of mask and filter match well, safety pins should make sure that the filter stays in place all the way, including nose part, as there is a pull from the sides to keep it straightened. Other options for these corners would be stapling or 2-3 hand stitches.
I don‘t know how Filti behaves exactly (unfortunately, it‘s unavailable in Europe!), but I’ve read that it looses most of its filter efficiency when washed, so I wouldn’t use it as fabric.
As a seamstress, I‘m usually hurried, which means that all extra work has to be worth the effort :). I don‘t see much use in separating pleats, but you never know – different people like different things, and maybe this works as well for you as it did for Mary? If you‘re interested, just try it!
(a) When both layers are pleated at once (as instructed) and you want your filter to fill the whole inside, it should be cut like a trapezoid. When both layers are pleated separately and you don‘t distribute your filter into the pleats, the middle length of the inside is much longer than the side lengths. F.e., if you use size M, your filter will need a length of about 17.5 cm in the middle and 8.5 cm on the sides, and some sort of curve connecting those measurements. The pleats are supposed to support movements of mouth and jaw, but a filter without pleats can‘t do that.
(b) If your filter is pre-cut and you can‘t distribute it into the pleats anyway, I guess separating pleats may be worth trying, even though the mask fits better when pleats can move freely!
(c) If you have a filter fabric that‘s not slippery and can be cut to measure, you can also try to pre-pleat it slightly before insertion, which might make insertion easier. If distributed well, all the way into the corners and pleats, the layers indeed support each other and hold up nicely.
Please let me know how this works for you! Filter insertion is a strange form of art :)
Thank you for your reply, Iris. I’ll certainly think about all that you said. There is no need to post this; I just wanted to acknowledge your thoughts and your kind response. I’ll let you know if I have an “aha!” moment!
It’s me again with some private comment. I reread your latest comments to me and now I understand what you meant and it make perfect sense. Sometimes, that’s what it takes. Thank you for patience in explaining.
From the beginning, I wondered if it didn’t make sense to pre-pleat the insertable filter. I may try that sometime.
The Filti material is pretty great in terms of efficiency with results of 85% in filtration per tests done by TSI, but yes, the tests also show it loses about 40% of that with washing. ( https://www.maskfaq.com/test-results. ) For masks I may with one layer of Filti and one layer of cotton, I tell recipients that it might be OK to wash once and still be better than many masks, but it’s a throwaway after that. It’s similar to an N95 in that respect; it cannot be washed. I have enough Filti, and don’t wear masks that often or for long, so I’m OK with that.
Kind regards, and you take care, Peggy
Does „private“ mean I‘m not supposed to publish your comment, dear Peggy? I think it could actually be helpful for others reading this thread! If you‘d like to write it again for public, I‘ll copypaste my comment to a new reply (without this paragraph), so it’s the right order, okay?
I haven’t been really happy with filter insertion either, so I think it‘s an interesting question, and those often lead me to think in different directions and come up with better detail solutions :). Unfortunately, we don’t have Filti in Germany, but I have some NWPP (bag) material I’d like to use as a filter but dislike to sew in as it melts when ironed (even lukewarm and covered – and I don’t really want to skip the hot ironing, as it helps fight germs!), so using the NWPP as an insert might work better… Right now, I wonder if a detailed pattern (including pleats) could help. I‘ll probably try this in the upcoming days and if the results are worth the effort of cutting and pleating a filter to shape, I‘ll add a filter pattern to the PDF!
All my best wishes, take care and stay safe! <3
Iris: Your pattern is the best one for face masks! Today, I came up with a way to insert the ear loops and the cord lock that is so much faster and easier than using a safety pin. I explain the technique at the bottom of this post: http://bennettplanet.com/posts/400
Thank you, Steven, for your kind appreciation of my pattern, and for your idea! I’ve just been thinking about bending a long piece of wire for insertion, but as my ear straps are usually rather thick in comparison, I’m afraid I’ll have to continue using a method that doesn’t double them. But I’m sure others that use thinner elastics will be very happy with the method too! Plus, your masks look really great and I adore that fabric! Happy birthday to your sister :)
Steven – I saw your post about inserting cord into the teeny cord locks. I was wondering why you inserted them through the small hole rather than the larger hole first (I always insert through the larger hole, I think that’s the way some instructions showed). Also, a tip: knot your doubled thread, insert your needle through the cords near their tips and pull the needle through the space between the doubled thread so that it closes around the ends of both cords. Then pull through the cord lock (I use upholstery thread or other sturdier thread that I can grab and yank without much fear of it breaking). Loosen the thread, cut the knot off and remove the thread, and you’re done. :-)
I haven’t posted this yet (there’s a long lost of revisions piling up right now…), but I started using very thin copper wire (about 24 cm long, folded double to 12 cm) for the insertion of ties to the side channels and into pony beads (those are awesome with 2.5 cm jersey or nylon ties!), and it works just like a charm! It’s much faster and more direct than safety pins or needled threads, and also makes it much easier to work around dead ends in the side channels. I haven‘t tried cord locks yet, but I imagine the method is great with those too! <3
Iris, your pattern is wonderful…thank you so much! I can finally wear a mask and still breathe, talk, and see out of my glasses. I will be making your design for all my family and friends.
Thank you so much for your appreciation, dear Ruth, and also for your kind and generous donation! It always makes me so happy to hear that my pattern works reall well for others who had the same problems as me with other designs! <3
I love your design Iris,. I tried other designs before discovering yours, yours is just the best fit, & in my experience it fits all face shapes well. I’ve made over 100 of your masks for family & friends, & then their families & friends. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you so much for your appreciation, Mags! I‘m still astonished too how my little hack seems to work really well for very different face shapes; I think this has to do with the pulling which happens in different places, and as there are different kinds of pulling (unlike patterns where top and bottom are the same), they play so well together that they seem to be able to adapt! <3
Just want to thank you again for this fantastic mask design. I realized that the first ones I made were with the EU pattern.. Just made a couple of new ones. Love them!!
That‘s awesome, thank you very much for your kind appreciation! As far as I can tell by requests, you‘re lucky the EU file worked for printing out :)
Iris, you are a genius! I am so thrilled to have found your incredible mask! I must have purchased 20 masks that were supposed to not fog up my glasses when I exhale, but yours are truly the only ones that have worked for me! I’m so impressed, I will be ordering more! All my old, “fogging” masks will be washed and donated to folks who still need one, but perhaps don’t have to worry about the fogging issue. So you have helped a LOT of people by creating the world’s best mask!
God bless you!
Thank you so much, dear Elizabeth! I‘m happy to hear that my little hack works so well for you too, especially after you’ve searched for so long, and I love the idea of washing and donating the masks you don’t use! Someone without glasses might actually be very happy with them. All my best wishes for you, take care and stay safe! <3
[…] No nose wire. The pattern is by Iris Luckhaus. She has a number of variations of what she calls the Hybrid face mask. The first version can be found here: the ones that I have been sewing are called the Hybrid Nose2 […]
I just can not understand the nose part for some reason but Love how it fits. Maybe later I will have time to think it thru. Thanks for your creative hard work.
Thank you very much for your kind appreciation, Dianne! If you already made the mask and it fits right, it looks like you did understand that the nose part is just a very simple reverse pleat (which fits in just the right places with the help of some pulling via side channels and trapezoid form), didn’t you? :)
I came across your website and mask pattern today and promptly printed the instructions and got sewing! You instructions were easy to follow and the mask is comfortable to wear. I had been internet searching for the best mask pattern and from your test/comparison of different mask styles it looks like I wasn’t the only one! I also appreciate how the comparison of styles led to your great design. I will be making many more of these now for family and friends! Nerise – Sydney, Australia
Thank you so much for your appreciation, Nerise! When I first started, I just meant to sew a couple of masks, tried all the patterns I could find (about 20-30 back then, plus a whole box of minor tweaks), only to find out that none of them worked for me… On the bright side, I‘ve experienced all the problems one could possibly have with a mask :), could clearly tell which details worked and which didn’t, rediscovered my old love for patternmaking – and at some point, things just fell into place. I‘m glad you enjoy my little hack too, and I wish you happy sewing! <3
I love the simplicity of the design, straight cuts etc, but I just made one for my 8yr old at the 18cm size and its far too small. It fits fine over the nose and mouth but its not wide enough and I’d have to use a lot of elastic. So I measured his face from cheek to cheek and need to make them so the finished size is 23cm wide.
I‘m sorry the measurements didn’t work out for your son, Evie! I‘ve seen the sizes on hundreds (maybe thousands) of people now… 22-24 cm width fits most men, 20 cm fits most women, 18 cm fits most school kids and 16 cm fits most younger children well. On all the 8 year olds I‘ve seen, the 18 cm were a bit on the large side, so I wondered:
(1) Are you sure your ruler is correct? Could you possibly have used the cm/inch ruler from the PDF but printed it at 90%, or something like that? :)
(2) Compared to his classmates, does your son possibly have a rather big head?
(3) There might have been a misunderstanding on how the mask is supposed to fit. It shouldn‘t reach all the way to the ears, because in order to avoid gaps, the drawstring tunnels need some space, to round smoothly. For example, when I make masks for myself and some female friends, I am using the M pattern with 20 cm width, then cut around 20 cm of elastics per ear, which I insert and knot to 16-18 cm. For most people, the ratio here seems to be around 1 (mask width) : 0.6 – 1.2 (elastics length).
But after all, the only thing that counts is that you have a comfortable, gapless mask, no matter if it‘s exactly as described! :)
I hope this helps? If not, please feel free to send me some pictures <3
Thank you for sharing this well put together tutorial
I wear glasses and I been trying different patterns I can’t wait to try it.
I learn a lot from your tutorial it is full of great information I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to put it together and share it with everyone.
Thank you very much
Thank you very much for your appreciation, dear Evangelina! I wish you happy sewing and a perfect fit! :)
I’m an Early Childhood Education teacher who has been looking for a mask design to fit my needs. I wanted a mask that fits snug enough and doesn’t move around on my face, that doesn’t fog up my glasses, and looks stylish on my face (some look boxy and odd). Iris, I found all this and more form your design. I am happily sewing new masks for myself and fellow teachers at my school. Thank you again for your simplisticly detailed design and instructions. You truly thought of everything. I am a new found fan of you & your designs! Sincerely, Stacey McG
Thank you very much for your kind appreciation, Stacey! I‘ve been teaching as well for a while (fashion illustration at university) and many of my friends are teachers too, so I‘m well aware of the challenges of teaching with a mask – and particularly happy that my little hack seems to work so well there. After testing 20-30 different patterns (and a whole box of minor tweaks…) and getting none of them to fit right on me, I was quite determined to find a solution where every little detail has a reason and works together as a whole! :) I wish you happy sewing, and all the best for you, your collegues and your students <3
Thank you for this thoughtful pattern. I made masks months ago, but after wearing them often, am finding that they all come up into my eyes so I’m tugging on them far too frequently. I look forward to making up your pattern. Thanks so much for your generosity. Very best wishes to you.
Thank you very much for your kind appreciation, dear Rebecca! Other patterns sliding down my nose or up into my eyes were one of the main reasons I’ve started making my own pattern in the first place, and I hope the hybrid solves the problem for you as well. I wish you good luck, and happy sewing! <3
What a great site. Pretty overwhelming in a good way.. Do you by chance have a video tutorial on your hybrid mask (mask above)? Thank you
Thank you, dear Michele! I actually intend to make a video since I published my pattern last spring, but I’ll need 2-3 quiet days to do so, and unfortunately, I haven’t had that kind of time yet. I’ve made a highly detailed step-by-step photo tutorial (https://www.irisluckhaus.de/en/2020/diy-cloth-mask-tutorial/) though (because that was possible inbetween other projects, in small portions :)), which should help you to understand all the details! I hope that helps? <3
[…] extensive article on sewing a hybrid cloth mask to wear over N95 […]
[…] face mask designed by ENGINEER. Simple Mask by Dora Cary. Mask Maker, Mask Maker, Make Me a Mask! Sewing a Hybrid Cloth Mask – Iris Luckhaus. Amarillo Globe News, Sunday, May 3, 2020, pages from 5 to 5. Easy No-Sew Shop Towel Mask – Please […]
[…] Custom 1 source: Sophie Passmore 3D/Boxy NWPP Mask. (Size: As shown in the video). Custom 2 source: Iris Luckhaus’ Hybrid Cloth Mask. (Size: Width XS and height […]
[…] Custom 1 source: Sophie Passmore 3D/Boxy NWPP Mask. (Size: As shown in the video). Custom 2 source: Iris Luckhaus’ Hybrid Cloth Mask. (Size: Width XS and height […]
[…] knew going into this that I was going to make the Iris Luckhaus masks as my family loves each of the masks I’ve made with that pattern. Before starting; however, I […]
[…] leftover from the previous year. If you’re curious about this mask pattern you can find it here although I previous shared it when I reviewed the three mask patterns I’ve sewn and shared it […]
[…] her wand along with the costume. As the girls wear masks to school I decided to make Ada a new Iris Luckhaus mask to go with her costume but I didn’t have any pink woven fabric. Rather than buying […]
[…] https://www.irisluckhaus.de/en/2020/diy-cloth-mask/ […]
[…] to work on and so I needed to plan ahead with this challenge to accept it. I started making four Iris Luckhaus face masks the previous week and was thus able to finish them and accept the challenge this […]
[…] Guide and pattern; https://www.irisluckhaus.de/en/2020/diy-cloth-mask/ […]