Face Masks & Co. Sewing

Pleated face mask with filter pocket and wire at bridge

This pleated mask could be interesting for you if you’re looking for a mask that’s not only pleated but also has a filter pocket and a pocket for a wire at bridge. The wire can be taken out before washing. Moreover, I made the tunnels for the tie in such a wat that your sewing machine doesn’t need to deal with a huge amount of layers.

What usually bothers me at the pleated masks is that when you make the folds and then the tunnels, when you stitch the tunnels you often have to stitch through 8 layers of fabric. And I wanted to avoid this.

Upon request I added a filter pocket and a small pocket for the wire at the bridge. The wire can be taken out before washing. The pleated mask with a filter pocket is comfortable although once the heat of the summer comes I prefer less layers.

The pleated mask covers a large area and the filter lowers the possibility of infection.

Supplies for the pleated mask with filter

  • about 0,5 m/20 in of 100% cotton fabric
  • 100% cotton thread
  • 1 m/1y of flat elastic or tie 1 cm thick (or different of you adjust the tunnels)
  • wire, in this case I am using a 6mm/0,24 flat wire
  • safety pin
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • pins

How to make the pleated mask with filter

Cutting fabric

Wash the fabric to pre-shrink it, iron well and cut the following pieces:

  1. square of 25 x 25 cm / 9,8 x 9,8 in
  2. rectangle of 25 x 17 cm / 9,8 x 6,7 in
  3. square of 14 x 14 cm / 5,5 x 5,5 in
  4. rectangle of 12 x 4 cm / 4,7 x 1,6 in (or adjust the size according to your wire)

Filter pocket

Fold one edge of the smaller square about 0,5 cm and stitch – this will be the upper edge of the filter pocket. Place the larger rectangle short side up and place the pocket on it like in the photo. The pocket should cover your mouth and nose, I place it more or less in the center of the rectangle.

Stitch 3 sides of the pocket to the rectangle, leave the top open.

Wire pocket

Now take the smaller rectangle, fold one short edge 0,5 and stitch. This side will stay open for the wire.

Place the large square right side up and place the small rectangle about 2 cm under the upper edge and aligned with the center. Stitch three sides of the small rectangle, remember to leave one short side open.


Then place the large square wrong side up and place the large rectangle with the pocket on it right side up, align the centers.

First, fold the top and bottom edge in about 0,5 cm, then fold it again to cover the edges of the rectangle about 0,5 cm. Stitch both edges.


Turn the mask outside up and make the pleats. You can see here how to pleat a mask from up to down and here how to pleat from the center. Stitch the edges to keep the mask pleated.

Turn the mask inside up and first fold the short (pleated) edges 0,5 cm and then fold them again to overlap the edges of the layer with the filter pocket. Stitch.

The pleated mask with a filter pocket is done.


As a wire I used a plastic-covered flat wire used to close the bag with tea.

You can cut the wire but if you leave it a bit longer it will be easier to take out.

The pocket was pleated together with the whole mask but you can open it to insert filter.


Use the safety pin to pull the elastic/tie through the tunnels and you’re done.




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