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With COVID-19 upon us, life has gotten a bit complicated over here. My husband works at a hospital, which has been a scary reality for us, and I’ve decided to stay home full-time from my doctor job to keep my girls who are no longer able to be in school or preschool.
As Texans in a big metroplex, we’ve also been under a mask ordinance for weeks now. Despite the mandatory masking rules, my husband and I do firmly believe in the importance of masking up so we can do our part in preventing further spread. If it turns out masks are completely ineffective, I would rather say we did everything we could rather than have regrets!
While it is easy for us to make this sacrifice and mask (we occasionally masked at work before all this started), it’s VERY difficult for my daughters to selflessly put on masks. They’re constantly touching them, pulling them off their noses, and fussing about their discomforts. Which, of course, is why we stay at home as often as possible!
One solution I had to cultivate a little more acceptance for the mask is to sew a doll face mask for my older daughter’s doll. My daughter thinks it’s awesome that her doll, too, wears a face mask. One small step in getting her used to what looks like might be the new normal for a while!
So, in this easy sewing project, I’ll walk you through how to sew a doll face mask if you are also looking to mask up a doll!
Considerations & Sizing For This Doll Face Mask
For this doll face mask pattern, I’ve chosen to do two little pleats down the front because it looks more like the surgical masks my husband and I wear. It also spreads out well over the nose and chin when tied on the head and gives more flexibility in sizing.
I’m using Sienna, an Our Generation doll, as the model for this doll face mask. She is an 18″ doll very similar in size and dimensions to American Girl dolls. Because some 18″ doll heads are slightly different in size, make sure that the face mask size is going to be a good fit before you take time sewing on the bias tape. The finished size is roughly 4 3/4″ x 1 3/4.” Again, the height is very forgiving, though, because the pleats will spread vertically up to an inch to cover larger dolls’ faces.
Poor Sienna doesn’t have ears that are prominent enough to hold a face mask on with elastic, which is why I’m sewing a tie-behind the head doll mask. If your doll has bigger ears, then you could use elastic if you prefer! (Learn more about the different elastic types if you’re not sure what will be best!)
And lastly, this is a single-ply mask. I’m all about fabric conservation! If your fabric is thin or you want a thicker mask, you can make it two-ply.
- Sewing machine (or needle and thread if hand stitching); I used my Brother SE1900
- One piece of woven fabric, cut to 5 3/4″ x 2 3/4,” prewashed and ironed (read my guide to choosing doll clothes fabric!)
- Two 28″ pieces of 1/4″ double-fold bias tape (read more below if you’re confused here)
- Iron and ironing board
- Wonder clips or pins
- Basic sewing tools such as sewing scissors, etc
About Bias Tape + Make Your Own Option
You can purchase bias tape that’s prefolded, although it’s easy enough to make your own from your fabric stash. I use this bias tape maker I picked up from Amazon to make my own pink bias tape.
If you make your own bias tape, to make 1/4″ double-fold bias tape, start out with approximately a 1″ wide strip of fabric. Use the 1/2″ bias tape maker to make 1/2″ single-fold bias tape. Then, fold this in half to make the 1/4″ double-fold bias tape.
How to Sew a Doll Face Mask – Tutorial
First, take your piece of woven fabric and make two small pleats. To do this, I measured up 3/4″ from one side of the fabric and then folded down wrong sides together and pressed. Then, I folded back up leaving a 1/4″ pleat. Make sure you’re pressing to get them nice and creased.
After this, I made the second pleat. I folded the right sides of the fabric together in half and pressed. Then, I folded back leaving a 1/4″ pleat and pressed again.
On each side, I folded the raw fabric edges in 1/4″ and pressed. Then, I folded around 1/4″ again, thus fully encasing the raw edges. I pressed and then clipped them with Wonder Clips.
With your sewing machine, sew a scant 1/4″ seam from the edge. Make sure you’re stitching right along the edge of the folded fabric. When you’re sewing, also make sure your face mask pleats are going in the right direction so they don’t get stuck turned down while they’re passing under the presser foot.
Now, it’s time to attach the bias tape. First, find the midpoint of the mask and the midpoint of the bias tape. Wrap the bias tape around the raw edge of the fabric on the top of the mask, lining up the centers. Clip or pin in place.
Next, stitch close to the opening of the bias tape from one end all the way to the other end. Pay attention as you’re sewing over where the bias tape wraps with the mask that it’s in place and straight.
I like to use my That Purple Thang to help feed the bias tape under the presser foot to keep me from accidentally hurting my fingers.
Repeat the last two steps for the other side of the mask, attaching that bias tape to the other side of the face mask.
Press one last time if needed. Here’s what it should look like on the back of the face mask.
Here is Sienna rocking her new doll face mask!
And here she is posing in her Fancy Nancy outfit, which was our closest matching outfit!
I hope you enjoyed this doll face mask tutorial! Stay safe out there, guys!