How to make your own Surgical Mask

What follows is a series of TikTok videos my dear friend Lena Volkova demonstrated on her account. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a way to remove the cranky, white border around the videos to keep it in line with the esthetique with the site, its theme, and the official category of this post as Cosplay. Nonetheless, I feel this is important so f’d up CSS be damned! We need to stop SARS-CoV-2! So, without further à Deux, here is her A/B Reusable Mask Tutorial: A Mask with a Pocket for Filtration Media Such as a Surgical or N95 Mask.!

Pretreat the Fabric

This is part of a larger effort to help those out in need.

If you’re planning on helping out with making surgical face masks, you need to pretreat and disinfect your fabrics prior to sewing.

To pretreat fabrics:
    • Prepare a cold water bath to soak your fabric.
        ■ 100% cotton is preferable for masks.
    • You can add two tablespoons of salt for dye runoff.
        ■ This is optional.
    • Add one cup of distilled, white vinegar to your cold water bath.
        ■ Vinegar works both as a color stabilizer and disinfectant.
    • Add your fabric to the bath and let saturate thoroughly.
    • Set your timer and let it soak for thirty minutes.
    • Rinse with cold water and let air dry.


Sewing your own surgical masks. Part 1 — pretreating fabric. This is part of a larger effort to help out those in need. ##coronavirus ##helpers

♬ Hold On – Moguai,Cheat Codes

Of course, first you need to find some fabric you have lying around. Perhaps some old, cotton clothes or linen sheets you could sacrifice? Either way, this pretreatment step is important as it helps keep the color from bleeding while in use and of course disinfects.


The pattern for this A/B Mask style mask and instructions can be found on

    • Start by folding your fabric—you need to cut two of each fabric (inner and outer layer).
        ■ This is easy if the fabric is folded onto itself.
    • Using your pattern, measure out an additional one inch from the sides.
    • And three eighths around the rest of the mask.
    • Cut your fabric—this is your outer layer.
    • The inner layer is a half-inch shorter on the side than the outer layer.
        ■ Use your outer layer as a template to measure.
    • Cut out your inner layer fabric.
        ■ Set it aside.


Part 2 — A/B reusable mask turtorial: patterning. This mask has a pocket for filtration media such as a surgical or N95 mask ##coronavirus ##helper

♬ You – Petit Biscuit

For those wondering, the Face Mask Pattern can be found here.

Assembly, Part 1

    • Separate your fabrics, but keep the layers together as a pair.
    • Finish the raw edge that is curved.
        ■ This will face the inside pocket and needs to be secured.
    • Any overlocking or zigzag stitch will do.
        ■ You don’t need a serger.
    • With the right side facing inward, pin together and sew along the curved edge.
        ■ Use a quarter-inch seam allowance.
    • Do this for both inner and outer layers.
    • Open your fabric, then flatten the finished edges onto the fabric and sew the finished edges onto the fabric.
    • Align the inner and outer layers.
    • Fold the side edge of the inner layer onto itself twice—you’re rolling in the raw edge.
        ■ Pin in place.


Part 3 — A/B reusable mask turtorial: assembly. This mask has a pocket for filtration media such as a surgical or N95 mask ##coronavirus ##helper

♬ Classical – Piano Classics: Masters of Relaxing Solo Piano Music

I’ll be honest, I keep thinking about investing in a sewing machine. I know at Nova Labs, I could borrow one of their machines, but I’m nervous about doing seamwork in a public space. Plus, I need to find some decent patterns to so—like an A/B Surgical Mask!

Assembly, Part 2

    • Sew the roll into place along the inward edge of the roll.
    • With the right sides of the fabric facing together, align the layers and sew the top and bottom edges together.
    • Clip the curved edge of the fabric where both layers meet.
        ■ It should be approximately a quarter-inch inward.
    • Turn the mask inside out.
    • Roll the raw top and bottom edges inward onto itself to cover the raw edge.
        ■ Pin in place.
    • Do the same for the side edges.
        ■ There should be approximately a half-inch of fabric remaining on both sides.
    • Sew into place along the inner edge.


Part 4 — A/B reusable mask turtorial: assembly 2. This mask has a pocket for filtration media such as a surgical or N95 mask ##coronavirus ##helper

♬ Classical – Classical Chill Out

Remember to leave those sewing margins! You’re almost done.


    • Fold the side flap inward, under the inner layer pocket.
    • Sew in place—both sides.
    • Insert your filter medium—cloth, a surgical mask, or an N95 mask.
    • Make sure the nose wire aligns with the nose part of the mask.
    • If using elastic, take a sixteen-inch length of one sixteenth elastic cord.
        ■ There’s a tolerance of plus or minus one to two inches for sizing.
    • Feed it through the channels you made in the sides, and secure it with a double knot.
        ■ Hide the channels.
    • To wear: Hold the mask in one hand and slip the bottom elastic over your head, followed by the top.
    • Adjust accordingly to endure a proper fit.
    • To wash: hot water, like scrubs.
        ■ Can be autoclaved.
        ■ Remove media as appropriate.
        ■ Sanitize elastic as appropriate.


Part 5– Reusable A/B mask tutorial: finishing. Mask has a pouch for removable filters like surgical masks or N95 masks. ##coronavirus ##helpers

♬ Piano Piano – Piano Solo – Charlie Glass Piano Man

I never cease to be amazed as the skills and achievements of my friend Lena. I am so astonished I can call her my friend, but then she’s one of the nicest, funniest people you’re likely to meet.

Thank you Lena. Hopefully when SARS-CoV-2 abates, we can cosplay together again!