Free Marfy Mask Tutorial

Marfy’s Free Mask Pattern Download

Marfy put out a free mask pattern last week, as since you all know N95 masks are all but impossible to find in the age of coronavirus. Marfy is an Italian pattern company and English is not their native language, so the included instructions are a little rough. (Plus Marfy is the one pattern company I know of that does not provide any instructions with their patterns as a rule.) I wrote these instructions for a friend that wants to make masks but has zero sewing experience, and they suggested that I publish it to the web.

Materials

The fabric I used was a striped Italian 100% cotton shirting purchased many years ago from Fabric Mart. You want a tightly woven 100% cotton. An old cotton broadcloth dress shirt is perfect.

The elastic is 1/4″ braided elastic I pulled out of my stash.

The trickiest part of materials was figuring out what to use for the piece of metal that goes over the nose. You want something that is flexible yet will hold its shape. For my first mask I just ripped off the metal of an old N95 mask. For my subsequent versions I used a piece of flashing my dad gave me. It is available at most hardware/home improvement stores (which are considered essential and thus still open in my state). What is nice about flashing is that it is much stronger than pipe cleaners and more flexible than wire clothes hangers (some of the other options I’ve seen other people use). It is also very cheap. I cut it using Fiskars Titanium scissors.

Notes

  • I found that I needed to take in the mask at the top of the dark. I have a more petite nose and as drafted the dart in the front was too long and pointy.
  • I found the elastic looped around the ear really uncomfortable. I ended up switching out the ear loops for two pieces of long elastic in the N95 mask style.
  • The advantage of this pattern is that the shaping goes from just under your eyes to below your chin. The seal is very good – the fabric rises and falls when I breathe. From what I’ve seen in public, the ones that are like folded rectangular pieces of fabric don’t stay in place that well (I see them slipping below people’s noses a lot) and even though I tend to be fussy with my clothes, once I had this one it stayed in place really, really well.
  • This pattern goes together VERY quickly…took me 15-20 minutes from cutting out the pieces to closing up the casing.

Instructions

Here’s the pattern piece provided by Marfy. Notice where I added 3/8″ seam allowances.

Fold your fabric in half and cut out out two of the pattern piece shown above.

Pick up one of the pieces and sew the edges marked “Seam”, right sides together. Repeat for the other piece.

Cut into the fold at the center front as close to the stitching as possible.

Press the seam allowances apart as far as you can.

Turn to the right side and press seam again.

Pin the masks, right sides together, along the bottom edge. Sew the bottom edges together.

Cut two 12″ lengths of the elastic. Open up the mask and pin the elastic to the mask where indicated on the pattern.

Fold over the other side of the mask so right sides are together, and pin in place at the side seam where the elastic is pinned.

Sew the mask pieces together at the side seams.

Sew the masks at the upper edge, from the side seam to where the casing is marked on the pattern.

Turn the mask inside out. Roll the edges with your fingers to make sure it is fully turned inside out and press.

Fold the raw edges of the upper edge to the inside 3/8″ and press.

Make a casing for the piece of metal that goes over the nose by stitching 1/2″ away from the folded edges.

Cut a piece of flashing 1/4″ by 3.5″. (I found it helpful to use a Sharpie marker pen to trace onto the metal.) Round off the edges with your scissors.

Insert the flashing into the casing.

Carefully sew the upper edge of the casing 1/8″ away from the folded edge. Make sure the flashing stays close to the bottom edge of the casing so you don’t accidentally hit it with your needle!

You’re done!

48 thoughts on “Free Marfy Mask Tutorial

  1. Thank you so much for this. It is very much appreciated. I’m in Sooke, BC on Vancouver Island. We need masks here, too. Please take care and be safe. 🌺 🌼 ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for this! I have been making pleated masks, and I have had a difficult time sewing one for under 20 to 30 minutes each, and that is with chain-sewing – doing each step for 6 masks. So this gives me hope. I have a question. Did you find that the printout was true to size? Again, thank you for all you do. Alex

    >

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      1. Thanks, it does. I ended up tweaking the sizing a little for my own personal (large-headed and short-nosed) self. If I make this style to donate, maybe I will use the original size – perhaps they built it to cover an N95 mask. Although with that pointy snout, I was thinking it might be fun to embroider a doggy nose on the front.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It would be fun to embroider, but be sure to incude an extra unpunctured layer in between. Every time the needle pierces, it opens a large “pore” for passgae of “undesirables”. 🙂 from a biologist…

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  3. Thanks for this; like others I’ve made a few pleated ones and I’ve gotten pretty decent at it but all the trim/casing, and pleats do take time and are fiddly.

    I’ve been using plastic bag ties for some of my nose pieces, and read a suggestion to try pipe cleaners, too.

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    1. Yeah, I was turned off by doing all the pleats as well. I also didn’t like how they don’t seem to create a good seal around a lot of people’s faces.

      It seemed to me that plastic bag ties, pipe cleaners, etc would lost their shape really quickly if the mask got bumped at all, and wire clothes hangers seemed far too rigid. But I totally understand these suggestions, as people are stuck at home and with online deliveries being so delayed, they’re forced to use what is on hand.

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  4. If you embroider your masks or sew noses etc on make sure you do it on the top layer otherwise you will have little puncture holes right where your nose is.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this. Will try out the pattern now. I read a post on another site that suggested cutting a strip of metal from an aluminum (pop) can and then sanding the sharp edges with fine sandpaper. I will go that route since I have no flashing on hand. Thanks so much!

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  6. PS I really love your suggestion on the elastic. The nose was a little big on me, too…and also on my husband (who doesn’t have a petite nose), so I made a change on the pattern and now am ready to make for my family. I agree, this fits so much better than the pleated one (which I also tried). Leaving the nose as is, it fits perfectly over an N95 and is comfortable worn over it (so my nurse-daughter and her friends can get more than 1 shift out of their N95 masks.). I posted mine on Instagram and credited your blog for these great instructions and helpful hacks, but didn’t “see” you over there to tag. Thanks again!

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    1. I see the pleated ones falling off of so many peoples faces in public! That’s why I’m so picky about the wire material used for this – part of a good secure fit is using a metal that’s flexible enough to be shaped around the bridge of your nose while being strong enough to hold the shape. I also saw that having it come under your chin, like the way this one is drafted, is important too. When you combine the two it makes a mask that really doesn’t move around at ALL.

      Hope your daughter and her friends stay safe!

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  7. Best.fitting.mask! And it’s so fast and simple. Crazy times, aren’t they? I hope you are happy and well, Anne.
    I miss your posts.

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  8. Thank you very much for this, very helpful. Just one question. If we have 3/8″ seam allowances all round, how can we ‘Make a casing for the piece of metal that goes over the nose by stitching 1/2″ away from the folded edges.”? 1/2″ is MORE than 3/8″. Looks like we should leave more SA where the nose piece is going. Can you clarify this please.

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    1. Look at the photos – the seam allowances are fully enclosed when you stitch the casing closed after putting in the 1/4” metal, and the metal sits on top and not in between turned in seam allowances. Doesn’t matter if they are only 1/4” or 3/8” (you can make them any width you want really), regardless they’re going to be enclosed when you topstitch everything closed along the edge. I think Marfy has you stitching roughly 3/8” away. I went with 1/2” instead of 3/8” because when you’re a total beginner (like the person I originally wrote these instructions for) or even someone more experienced that’s working very quickly the additional 1/8” gives you more wiggle room for error so you don’t accidentally hit the metal with your needle. You don’t need the seam allowances to extend all the way to the stitching, you just need them large enough to be enclosed when you stitch everything shut. The goal is to make a little pouch for the metal to hang out.

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  9. Thanks for this pattern. I am making some for a friend. The flashing we had is too firm for me to bend it easily into a shape, so my son in law used a sheet of aluminum for the nose wire. Was the flashing you used a thinner more malleable one?

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    1. Are you sure what you had was actually flashing and not something else? It isn’t quite as malleable as the original metal used on regular N95 masks, but flashing is thin and meant to be shaped. I had no trouble bending it.

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  10. Great tutorial! I’ve made two adjustments – a separate piece of fabric sewn for the wire casing, so that the wire can be removed for washing. I’m using the bendy things from resealable bags (coffee and cookie bags) and casings along the side so I can thread a length of ribbon or a long shoe lace. The tie holds up well to frequent washing and gives a customizable fit. I’m using muslin for the backing and quilting fabric from my stash – all 100% cotton. Also, drafted a larger size for the menfolk.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi — I modified the mask to fit my boyfriend’s big head/jowly neck (heh) by adding to the bottom, extending the sides, and then connecting the two in a smooth curve. I also curved the “dart” up and in a lot, because he has a big nose and it was super pointy. Hope that helps! I think the Marfy pattern itself is on the small side, because I have a small head and the first “muslin” I made fit me pretty well, other than the pointy bit.

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  11. Awesome as always, Anne! I’m going to try memory wire for the nose piece. I worry that the other wires suggested will cut through the fabric pretty fast.

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    1. When I cut out the flashing I take a moment to rub down the edges with a bit of sandpaper after rounding off the edges. No sharp edges at all when I’m done. It is fairly flexible (unlike a bra underwire, for example) and the folded over seam allowances inside the casing give some extra protection too. I’ve machine washed mine a few times and dried it in the dryer, and no issues so far.

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  12. thanks so much for the new mask pattern link and tutorial. A FASTER pattern and sewing method is a huge help – ALL my family and co-workers want them and I can’t keep up with the demand. This is WONDERFUL!!!

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    1. I just made ten of them for someone today…they go quickly, but talk about a tedious project…! This is the only pattern I’ve tried so I really can’t say how it compares to the other ones out there, but the feedback I’m getting is that its one of the better patterns.

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  13. My husband was THRILLED to go to the hardware store for flashing; the rolls were more than we wanted but using the specs from the product Anne links to (above), the hardware guy found something in the “crafts” aisle called “Create with Metal Quality Metal Sheets”. It can be cut with scissors like the ones Anne links to, and the difference it makes in fit is HUGE. Also, if you mail these, you can put 2 in a regular envelope and the postage would be 85 cents (in the US). If you mail 1 in a regular envelope, it’s 70 cents (in case you don’t want to go out to the post office). I have been sewing a long time but was nervous about breaking a needle when sewing in the metal piece, so I pinned it down (placing the pins parallel to the metal strip) to hold it at the bottom of the casing. I used 2 super thin pins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet he was! 🙂 Before I made this mask I asked The Godfather of Everything Home Improvement (aka my dad) what I could use. He was the one that came up with the flashing (and of course he already had some on hand that I could use, along with some sandpaper for smoothing off the edges). I figured that if it is durable enough to be on a roof for 20-30 years, it will be fine during a routine machine wash/tumble dry ;).

      Thanks so much for including the mail specs – very helpful information!

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  14. THANK YOU for this! I made the mask for my boyfriend, who is the one leaving the house for groceries and such, and although I had to make 2 “muslins” to get the mask to fit him (he has a huge head and is pretty jowly, heh), but it fits him really well now. We didn’t have anything on hand to use for the nose piece so I skipped it for now, but might add it later. Be well!

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  15. Thank you for this. I have tried 5 different patterns but this one is the best fitting in my opinion. I really appreciate this. I also wanted to say I miss seeing all your makes. Thanks again!

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  16. Hi Ann, Thank you for such an in depth article & tutorial on this mask. I have just downloaded and printed off the pattern from the Marfy website. I am working on a MacBookPro and it printed at 87%. Was this the size you used or should it be at 100%? As a point of reference, on the 87% printout, the CF (on fold) length top edge (by casing) to the CF seam is scant 2 3/8″ and the side (elastic) length is 1 11/16″. The same points of measure on the 100% printout are (CF), 2 11/16″ and side, scant 2″. I have just measured the pattern as it printed, no consideration for seam allowances etc. I’m thinking that by adjusting the printing size% is an easy way to size up/down for those needing alternate sizings. Thanks again for all your detailed notes and suggestions. I’m on Vancouver Island (west coast of Canada) and this will be very useful for me. Elaine

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      1. Thank you so much – I’ll print at 100% and go from there. (It seemed odd it would default at 87% which had me post my question.) I’m fortunate to have some metal pieces like you used at the nose bridge that the neighbour of a friend cut for me – and I have elastic too so I am good to go1

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  17. Hi! I’m back to report that the Marfy mask design continues to be the favoured mask of the various designs I’ve auditioned and trialed with family and friends. After experimenting with different tie materials, the favoured one is slices from nylon stockings! The rings can be opened up and threaded through the side channels, then tied off for rings around the ears version. Far more comfortable than hair elastics!

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