Costumecrazed Mask DIY Part 2: Filter pocket and metal nose piece

This tutorial begins with the basic mask found here:

(I’m going to apologize right now for some clunkiness in this post–I somehow lost the editor I was used to and this “upgrade” has all kinds of stuff hidden . . so I can’t find it, and it’s making life really, really difficult).

In the last tutorial we made the basic mask. Since then, a lot of specific mask patterns have been published and two of the desired features are 1) filter pocket and 2) metal nose piece. I have reservations about the filter, because any fabric mask is not going to fit well enough to have a tight seal and air will go in and out the sides. However, if we are going to think of the mask as protection for OTHER people, I guess it might help the spewing of small particles. I think the interest in DIY masks as protection for spreading disease while you are asymptomatic is going to increase.

This article has some interesting graphics on how a cough/sneeze spreads.

This image, from the above article, shows how people can spew virus. While not as effective as an N95 or a surgical/medical mask, a cloth mask does show a reduction in the larger droplets expelled for both exhalation & inhalation, and if they can be kept out of the upper respiratory tract it **may** help slow transmission. Added to social isolation, even a 25% reduction in transmission (as suggested in the article) could help flatten the curve.

So . . on to the changes.


This is pretty easy.

Make a pattern, about 4″ x 3″.

Press all the edges under 1/4″. Stitch along one long edge to make a narrow hem. Center the piece on the lining, shifted slightly toward to the top. Stitch the three sides to make a pocket.

Stitch the lining and outer right sides together, turn as done previously, and your pocket is in place.

That’s it. Your filter pocket is done. It should sit above the chin tuck.

Inside view of pocket, and with a filter* (I don’t know what the “best” filter is. I’ve seen people using cut up furnace filters, hepa vacuum bags, coffee filters, paper towels, etc. I saw one hospital was planning to use .3 micron filters, so this is a 1-3 micron filter paper I purchased from USA labs–which actually isn’t what I wanted, but it showed up in the google search and I wasn’t paying attention to the fine details. . . and when I ordered it, it was returnable, but now, as with so many Covid things, it isn’t. It would, however, serve as a stop for droplets and aeresolized “bits”, based on the above diagram, but not the tiniest of virus particles).

If this filter pocket does not work for your chosen filter–just alter the size, You want it to sit above your chin and so it covers your mouth. This filter pocket doesn’t really cover your nose. If you want a filter that covers your nose, I’d suggest looking for a different pattern.


Basically the nose piece is a bit of flexible wire that sits over the bridge of the nose so that the mask holds it’s shape. Suggestions I have seen include several loops of florist wire and plastic covered twist ties. I tried using twist ties and I wasn’t impressed. However, a quick google search and I found mask nose pieces on ebay. Interestingly, you can also buy the soft elastic ear pieces, unwoven mask lining fabric, and both sew in and adhesive backed nose pieces, among other things (watch shipping–this particular vendor has US based shipping).

You can add the metal piece inside the mask or outside. I’ll show both ways.


Stitch the mask together and turn (as described in part one). When you are ready to top stitch the top edge, stitch up to the flat nose part, then insert the metal piece of your choice, carefully stitch underneath it, and then resume top-stitching.

Next we’ll make some pleats on the side of the metal piece. Measure 2″ down from the metal piece, make a pleat facing AWAY from the nose. Stitch in place.

Completed pleats:

Finished mask:

How it looks:


Make the mask as originally described in Part 1, except run a row of top-stitching along the upper edge of the mask (which you might chose to do for the original mask any way). Make the nose pleats as described.

Take your metal nose piece (or DIY substitute) and wrap it in some double fold bias tape. Cut the piece about 1/4″ longer than the nose piece on either end. You will use this to anchor the nose piece to the mask.

Center the covered nose piece on the back of the mask. Using a small zig-zag, make a bar tack in the bias tape in the end **avoid hitting the bar with your needle**. Widen the zig-zag so that it will bridge the bar, and stitch the bar to the mask. One of my sewing machines happily stitched through all the layers, the other was was more persnickety, so I had to skip over the nose pleats. However, it stays in place nicely either way. Repeat the bar tack at the end of the nose piece.

How it looks:

One thought on “Costumecrazed Mask DIY Part 2: Filter pocket and metal nose piece

  1. Pingback: DIY Fabric Mask Cover–Covid 19 PPE helper | costumecrazed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.