• Sewing Masks for Maine

Tutorial One - Ties as Binding

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Photo Heavy Tutorial

Amelia Poole, a coordinator from Hancock County, shared this wonderful photo tutorial with us. Read on to see how she constructs Tutorial One, where ties are used as binding to enclose the raw edges.

Please help us protect our volunteers and the people receiving these masks.

Before sewing, please:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly, repeat after doing anything that takes you away from your machine.

  • Wipe down your machine and your iron with rubbing alcohol or other disinfectant before beginning.

  • Sew a practice mask for yourself, and use this while sewing the masks to donate.

  • Never try a mask you intend to donate on your own face, your child’s face, or a pet. These need to remain as sanitary as possible.

  • As you complete masks, it’s preferable to keep them grouped in a sealed ziplock bag (but any receptacle will do.)

  • Before drop off, please label them with the size you sewed and include your name.

Supplies Needed:

100% cotton non-stretch fabric:

  • Two pieces of the same fabric print OR

  • One piece of light fabric and one piece of dark fabric (to help healthcare workers know which is the inside of the mask- this is not required.)

  • Fabric must be 100% cotton content, quilting cotton is ideal.

  • Wash and dry your fabric twice on hot/high to prevent shrinkage in the finished masks.

Scissors or a cutting mat and cutter Thread

Mask Sizes

Cut fabric according to size options below.

Medium (this size will fit over PPE masks worn by heath care professionals)

  • 2 - 7” x 10” pieces (or 1 piece each in dark and light)

  • 2 - 1.5” x 44” strips: This is the standard width of quilting cotton, preserve the selvedges (finished side edges)


  • 2 - 6” x 9” pieces (or 1 piece each in dark and light)

  • 2 - 1.5” x 44” strips: This is the standard width of quilting cotton, preserve the selvedges (finished side edges)

Sewing the Mask

Step 1:

Cut your fabric according to the size you are making.

Step 2:

Match your fabric right sides together. Pin if desired. Stitch a seam on each short side.

Step 3:

Iron the seams to the side.

Step 4:

Turn inside out and iron the side seams.

Step 5:

Make three (3) upward-facing pleats on the front (dark) side of the mask.

The pleated piece should be no less than 3”.

Step 6:

Stitch the down the pleats.

Step 7:

Prepare Ties:

  • Fold and press each 1.5” x 44” strip in half, wrong sides together to make a folded strip that is approximately ¾”.

  • Open the fold and press the sides of the strip into the middle.

  • Re-fold the strip along the center line and press.

  • Do not stitch.

Read about the "pin trick" here that can speed up this process.

Step 8:

Mark the center of one raw of the pleated piece.

Step 9:

Find the center of one of the ties. Open the folded tie slightly. Pin the center of the tie to the center of the pleated piece, right sides together.

Step 10:

Pin tie to the pleated piece.

Step 11:

Stitch the tie to the pleated piece.

Step 12:

  • Turn the piece over.

  • Your folded and pressed tie should just fold back up so you can stitch it to cover the raw edge.

  • Start stitching at the end of the tie and stitch approximately ⅛” from the folded edges.

Stitch across the panel to secure the tie and cover the raw edges. Keep stitching until you have reached the other end of the tie.

Repeat steps 8 - 12 with the other tie. Trim threads when you have finished sewing.

You're done! Great job :)

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We have created this website to pool resources and give guidance to people in Maine to sew masks for use in healthcare settings. To be clear, these masks do not protect from COVID-19, and are not considered valid PPE. We are responding to direct requests from healthcare facilities in Maine following the amended "last resort" guidance from the federal CDC.