VUMC Pauses Hand-Sewn Face Mask Donations

Editor's note: We are so grateful for all of the cloth mask donations that we have received.  Every day we see the generosity of this community manifested on the faces of staff, patients, and visitors who are wearing masks sewn by volunteers. 

Since we have an adequate supply at present, we are placing a momentary pause on accepting cloth mask donations as of January 5, 2021. We will re-evaluate on an ongoing basis and will post updates as appropriate.

As a reminder, all patients and visitors to Vanderbilt Health hospitals and clinics must wear masks.

A recommended sewing pattern, along with suggested cloth materials, can be found below. Note versions with and without elastic,

Instructions for Homemade Face Mask (with elastic)

Materials needed (with elastic)

  • Tight-weave cotton fabric (i.e. quilting cotton)
    • Fabric must be newly purchased.
    • Wash and dry fabric without fragrance or dyes prior to sewing.
  • Rope Elastic, beading cord elastic will work (you may also use 1/8” flat elastic if ¼” is unavailable.
  • Light-to-medium weight interfacing. Alternatively, one (1) extra fabric layer may be used.

One adult mask requires two (2) 9”x6” pieces tight-weave cotton and two (2) 7” pieces of 1/4 inch elastic, and one (1) piece of interfacing. Therefore, one yard of 44” wide fabric yields 12-15 masks. You need 7.5 yards of elastic for 25 masks (14 inches per mask).

You can make two sizes: Adult or Child. Adult-sized masks will be the greatest need.

  1. Put right sides of cotton fabric together (Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.)
    1. Cut 9x6 (Adult) or 7.5 x 5 (Child)
  2. Lay interfacing on top. Pin all layers together.
  3. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.
  4. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back.
  5. Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again, put an elastic with the edge out.
  6. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic.
  7. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  8. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction.
  9. Sew around the edge of the mask twice.

 

Instructions for Homemade Face Mask (no elastic needed)

Materials needed

  • Tight-weave cotton fabric (i.e. quilting cotton)
    • Fabric must be new.
    • Wash and dry fabric without fragrance or dyes prior to sewing.
  • Options for Ties
    • Bias Tape (either ½ or 7/8 as available)
      OR
    • Make ties from strips of fabric indicated above (cut strips 2 " wide by 16" long)
  • Light-to-medium weight interfacing. Alternatively, one (1) extra fabric layer may be used.

One adult mask requires two (2) 9”x6” pieces tight-weave cotton and four (4) 16” pieces of bias tape or fabric ties (64” total per mask), and one (1) piece of interfacing. Therefore, one yard of 44” wide fabric yields 12-15 masks. You need 21 1/3 yards of bias tape for 12 masks.

You can make two sizes: Adult or Child. Adult-sized masks will be the greatest need.

  1. Place right sides of cotton fabric together (Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.)
    1. Cut 9x6 (Adult) or 7.5 x 5 (Child)
  2. Lay interfacing on top. Pin all layers together.
  3. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew around the edges of the fabric leaving about 1.5” to 2” open.
  4. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  5. Pin three (3) ½” tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction.
  6. Make ties using Bias Tape or Fabric.
    1. Bias tape: stitch closed.
    2. Fabric: Fold in half, turn under 1/4 " on each long side, iron in place. Stitch long edges closed.
  7. Pin one (1) tie at each corner.
  8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice, catching the bias tape as you go.

 

Instructions for Homemade Face Mask with Window