Here’s an easy way to make a face mask carrying pouch / storage bag.
It’s an ‘envelope’ design, so there are no zippers or poppers to install. Perfect for beginners.
The insides are super neat thanks to the ‘french seam’ finish. Your pouch will have no raw edges.
I also included small ties, so you can knot and tie your pouch onto anything. Hang it on your bag, belt, or jeans for easy access.
It’s big enough to fit 3 masks inside.
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Free sewing pattern: face mask carrying pouch (fits 3 masks)
The free sewing pattern is available in my resource library. It’s a printable pdf file (2 pages).
Otherwise, the cutting measurements are:
Pouch: 5 1/4″ or 13.3 cm (width) X 15 1/4″ or 38.9 cm (height).
The bottom notch is 6″ or 15.3 cm from the bottom. The top notch is 3 1/4″ or 8.3 cm from the top. The notches tell you where to fold the fabric.
Ties: 1 6/8″ or 4.5 cm (width) X 5 3/8″ or 13.5 cm (height).
Materials & tools needed
- Light/medium weight cotton fabric. No stretch.
- Matching thread. I used polyester ‘sew-all’ thread by Gutermann. It’s strong and lint-free.
- Basic sewing machine.
- “Universal” sewing machine needle in size 80/12. This is designed for non-stretch, light to medium weight fabrics.
- Measuring tape or ruler.
- Fabric marker. I like and use chalk pencils. They’re easy to sharpen.
- Fabric scissors. Or a rotary cutter and mat. I use the Fiskars brand.
- (Optional) small scissors for cutting threads close to the fabric.
- Sewing pins.
- An iron.
Sewing tutorial: face mask carrying pouch
Sewing words explained:
- Seam: a line of stitching that joins fabric together.
- Seam allowance: the area between the stitching line and the fabric edge.
- Notch: a small line or triangle on a sewing pattern. It marks something important.
- Selvage edges: the 2 sides of the fabric with finished edges. These don’t fray.
- Wrong side: the side of the fabric that you don’t want to see on the outside.
- Right side: the side of the fabric that you want to see on the outside.
- Hem: to neaten a raw edge.
If you’re not sure how to prepare fabric for sewing, I have a guide to help you.
1) Cut your fabric
Use the sewing pattern (download here) to cut 1 big rectangle and 2 small rectangles for the ties.
Mark the 2 notches with a fabric pen/chalk. Or cut a tiny slit.
The arrows on the pattern pieces should be parallel to the selvage edge.
Note: the pattern was updated after this photo was taken. The arrow on the ‘hanging ties’ piece is now in a different direction, so please follow that rather than copying the layout in the photo.
2) Hem the top & bottom edges
Working from the ‘wrong’ side, hem the top and bottom edges of the pouch: fold the edges by 1/4″ (0.6cm) and again by 1/4″ (0.6cm).
Iron the folds. Pin and sew them. Trim the excess threads.
This will hide the raw edges at the top and bottom.
Note: I taped a big ‘W’ to make the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric obvious.
3) Make the ties
Working from the ‘wrong’ side, fold the top edge of the ties. Iron it.
Note: the tape represents the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric.
Fold the ties in half. Iron it.
Fold the sides towards the middle.
Fold the ties in half. Iron it. Pin it.
Sew your ties along the top and side. Trim the excess threads.
The top and sides will now be closed shut.
4) Fold the pouch
Working from the ‘wrong’ side, fold the fabric at the notches. Start with the bottom, and then fold the top.
Here I’m folding the bottom fabric.
Here I’m folding the top of the fabric. Iron and pin the pouch.
5) Pin the ties in place
Pin the ties to one of the side seams, at the top.
The raw edge of the ties should be lined up with the raw edge of the side seam.
6) Sew the pouch with ‘french seams’
Sew the side seams. Use a 1/4″ (0.6cm) seam allowance.
Be careful when sewing the side with no ties. Don’t let the ties get caught in the stitching. The ties should only be stitched down on one side.
Tip: I kept the pins in when sewing the ties.
I used the hand wheel to sew over them, so I could make sure the machine did not hit the pins.
If your machine needle hits a pin, it may damage the machine and needles. So be careful here.
Trim the seam allowances down to 1/8″ (0.3cm).
Trim the excess threads.
Turn the pouch inside out.
Poke the corners out.
Iron the pouch flat.
Reach inside and make sure the ties are flat and straight.
Sew the side seams again. Use a 1/4″ (0.6cm) seam allowance.
Be careful that the ties don’t get sewn on both sides.
Your french seams are now done! Your pouch will have no raw edges inside.
Tip: when I was sewing the side with no ties, I reached inside the pouch and pushed them out of the way.
Here’s what the inside of your pouch will look like. No raw edges!
Trim any excess thread.
Turn the pouch inside out. Iron it.
This is what the end result looks like.
This post was originally published on 24 January 2021. It has since been updated.
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