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Washington State University

Mask Construction Guidelines

Based on a study conducted at Washington State University College of Nursing in collaboration with Arbor Health Morton Hospital. This study was funded by the Washington State University – Vancouver Office of Research. The primary investigators were Drs. Roschelle Fritz and Marian Wilson, and Shawn Brow, CRNA.

Download Mask Construction Guidelines (PDF)

  1. Cut mask Face, Cheek, and Pocket out of cotton fabric.
  2. Sew Face fronts and Pocket fronts together with ¼” seam. Cut pie notches in both. Press notched seams of Face to one side and press Pocket notched seams to opposite side. (Seam allowances will go opposite ways when you pin right sides together).
  3. Fold wider Cheek ends in ¼” and stitch 1/8” hem.
  4. Pin Pocket to Face section matching seams. Note: Pocket face curve is slightly shorter than Face curve to eliminate extra fabric when turned. Line up bottom of each piece. Pin top of Pocket to top of Face matching notches.
  5. Place Cheek sections on each side, lining up all edges. Re-pin where necessary.
  6. Stitch ¼” around whole mask. Clip corners.
  7. Turn Cheek ends right side out and push out corners.
  8. Push Cheek side through pocket and turn all right side out. Press.
  9. Sew ¼” nose bridge channel from end to end on Pocket.
  10. Fold each Cheek end in ½” and stitch, reinforcing each end.
  11. Insert ties and toggle.

Pattern Information

Enclosed is a 3 size pattern for your construction.

  • To determine the proper size mask for the most accurate fit, please follow the Measurement Guide provided.
  • Pattern size is determined by the center seam which travels the bridge of the nose and
    tucks under the chin. Pattern sizes are:
    Small = 4 ¾”
    Medium = 5 ¾”
    Large = 6 ½”
  • A ¼” measurement variance is allotted for each pattern size. Patterns may be shortened on the face and cheek end if necessary.
  • Trace pattern on pattern tracing fabric, light-weight interfacing, or sturdy tissue paper.
  • Cut two of each pattern piece and filter, if applicable.
  • Follow Construction Directions provided.

Measurement Guide

Measure the bridge of your nose starting at a level just below the lower eyelashes, moving down, over the tip of the nose to ½” below the jaw line underneath the chin. See picture below.

Woman demonstrating Mask Measurement Guide

Measure face width from where the jaw hinges in front of the mid-ear, across the tip of the nose to the other ear. When the mask is complete, this should provide good face coverage and fit. See pictures below.

Compare your measurements to the pattern dimensions. Choose correct or larger size to create.

Woman demonstrating mask measurements


THORNdeBROW Mask 2020

About our mask
Studies support the wearing of face masks in helping control the transmission of viral spread in our communities. By wearing this mask, you are offering a kind, compassionate gesture toward the health and wellness of all beings.

Our mask was designed in part as a prototype for a WSU Nursing research study, with the health care worker in mind during times of critical shortage. However, it is an appropriate choice for all persons who are medically able, to wear a mask as part of a personal protection hygiene plan.

Sewing and Design
Our lead seamstress, Georgette Thornton, is a regional team leader with Days for Girls International, a non-profit supporting the empowerment of girls and women worldwide through sustainable menstrual care and health education. Our lead designer, Shawn Brow, MAE, CRNA, has worked as a nurse anesthetist in Spokane for 33 years, and as well sees clients privately as a Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). Georgette and Shawn recommend a small donation to Day for Girls International for each pattern downloaded – mark your donation ‘In memory of [Healthcare Workers Mask Pattern]’ at

Inspired by various styles of medical masks currently on the market, and after multiple redesigns, our mask affords asuperior fit, 4 filtering layers, and an easy experience donning and doffing. Materials consist of organic, 300 thread count cotton and a removable filter made from a 3M Filtrete 1500 furnace filter*.

Care of your mask
We recommend machine washing your mask after wearing, in a mesh bag with detergent and hot water. Before washing, untie one of the knotted ends, and unthread tie from toggle and mask. Remove the inner pocket filter, and discard*. Place mask and ties in the laundry bag for washing. Air drying the mask over a tennis ball, is preferred, and will aid in reshaping the mask as it dries.

Thank you for your commitment in helping keep our communities safe, and your donation in support of Days for Girls International.

Shawn Brow, MAE, CRNA, C-IAYT
*Cloth masks are intended to assist with respiratory etiquette only and should not be considered personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical purposes.

The inside pocket of this mask contains a polypropylene filter material, specifically 2 layers of 3M Filtrete™ 1500 (MERV12). Regarding use of this material, 3M states “Our filters are designed to be used in HVAC systems, and the filter media has not been tested to be used as a face mask for respiratory protection. Altering any of our 3M Filtrete™ Air Filters is not recommended or supported by 3M or the Filtrete™ Brand.” Use of this product is entirely at the user’s own risk. No guarantee, or warranty of fitness of this product for any particular purpose or use accompanies the product.

There is no current research evaluating the reusability of the filter material. It is therefore recommended that the filter material be carefully removed from the filter pocket of the mask and discarded in a suitable waste receptacle after use. The fabric outer mask may be reused after suitable laundering and insertion of fresh filter using material desired by wearer.

Printing Mask on Home Printer
When printing the mask pattern (template) change the ‘page sizing and handling’ to “Actual Size” or “Zero Margins”. Failure to do this will result in the printer auto-scaling the size of the pattern, which will result in a poor fit. Once printed, your pattern should match the measurements indicated below.