YES, IT'S TIME: Accepting holiday orders NOW
order today to have ready by the holidays
Our Favorite Free Face Mask Patterns

Our Favorite Free Face Mask Patterns

Need a mask? Many states have required the use of face masks when out in public spaces so we put together all the info we have in one convenient post!

There are different kinds of face masks and by now everyone knows what an N95 or surgical mask is. Due to the lack of availability, these are for healthcare workers only. 

For personal use, you can buy a mask from us HERE (we donate a mask for every mask purchased) or there are plenty of free mask ideas and patterns available. We complied a list below of our favorites depending on your motivation and skill level. 

First, here are the CDC guidelines about the use of masks/face coverings:

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

Side view of an individual wearing a cloth face covering, which conceals their mouth and nose areas and has a string looped behind the visible ear to hold the covering in place. The top of the covering is positioned just below the eyes and the bottom extends down to cover the chin. The visible side of the covering extends to cover approximately half of the individual’s cheek.

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Frontal view of an individual wearing a cloth face covering. Individual is using two fingers to point to either side of the top of the nose, indicating that the covering fits well in this area.

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?

A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?

Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing



Here are a few of our favorite patterns found online:

Fu Face Mask (from

Fu Face Mask pattern made by The Patchwork Bear

This pattern is the one I have been using because of the fit that contours to your face. The instructions are straightforward but you will need a sewing machine and basic sewing skills.

For hospital donations, I use size MEDIUM and bias tape for the straps.

For personal use, I use size MEDIUM and 6-1/2 inch elastic.

 Here is a link to the pattern, instructions and video: FU FACE MASK



SIMPLE SEWN MASK (from CDC website)

A close up of the two rectangular pieces of cloth needed to make a cloth face covering is shown. These pieces of cloth have been cut using a pair of scissors. Each piece of cloth measures ten inches in width and six inches in length.
1. Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
The top diagram shows the two rectangle cloth pieces stacked on top of each other, aligning on all sides. The rectangle, lying flat, is positioned so that the two ten inch sides are the top and the bottom of the rectangle, while the two six inch sides are the left and right side of the rectangle. The top diagram shows the two long edges of the cloth rectangle are folded over and stitched into place to create a one-fourth inch hem along the entire width of the top and bottom of the rectangle. The bottom diagram shows the two short edges of the cloth rectangle are folded over and stitched into place to create a one-half inch hem along the entire length of the right and left sides of the face covering.
2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
Two six inch pieces of elastic or string are threaded through the open one-half inch hems created on the left and right side of the rectangle. Then, the two ends of the elastic or string are tied together into a knot.
3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight.
Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
The diagram displays a completed face covering, in which the knots of the elastic strings are tucked inside the left and right hems of the mask and are no longer visible. The cloth is slightly gathered on its left and right sides, and additional stitching is added to the four corners of the gathered cloth rectangle, at the points where the cloth and the elastic or string overlap in these corners.
4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.



This no-sew t-shirt face covering is simple and easy and found on the CDC website

A front view of a T-shirt is shown. A straight, horizontal line is cut across the entire width of the T-shirt, parallel to the T-shirt’s waistline. Using a pair of scissors, the cut is made approximately seven to eight inches above the waistline. Both the front and back layer of the T-shirt are cut simultaneously.
The rectangle piece of cloth that has been cut from the bottom portion of the T-shirt is shown, lying flat. The rectangle is positioned so that the cut that was just made across the entire width of the shirt is the top side of the rectangle while the original waistline of the T-shirt is the bottom side of the rectangle. From the top right-hand corner of the rectangle, the scissors are moved down approximately one-half inch, along the right, hemmed side of the rectangle. From this point, a six to seven-inch, horizontal cut is made through both the front and back side of the cloth, parallel to the top of the rectangle. The scissors then turn ninety-degrees to cut downward, a vertical line that is parallel to the left side of the rectangle; this cut continues downward until it reaches approximately one-half inch above the bottom of the rectangle. The scissors then turn ninety-degrees again to create another six to seven-inch, horizontal cut that runs parallel to the bottom of the rectangle, back towards the right, hemmed side of the shirt, and cuts through the right, hemmed side of the rectangle. This newly cut out piece of cloth is laid to the side. To cut tie strings, the two remaining slivers of the right side of the rectangle are cut vertically along the hem.
The final piece of cloth is unfolded and worn by an individual. The middle of the cloth piece is positioned to cover the nose and mouth area. The four thin pieces of cloth act as tie strings to hold the cloth face covering in place. The strings around neck, then over top of head are tied into knots.  



Many people have been looking for masks with a pocket to add a simple filter -paper coffee filters, HEPA vacuum bags, etc. For vacuum bags, \be careful which ones you use. Choose the ones made with polypropylene not fiberglass. Quick tip: reusable grocery bags are made of polypropylene so you can cut them up to use as your filter! Here is a free pattern to make a mask with a filter pocket.



We have been donating masks and just started selling masks to offset the costs to donate and ship them. If you are making extra masks, several organizations have stepped up as information hubs to see where and what is needed in your area. 

DEACONESS Healthcare was one of the first I saw that set up a link by state with the ability to request and donate masks. Visit Deaconess HERE

MASKS NOW COALITION is a facebook page that is coordinating the donation and requests for masks. Visit their page HERE

Be well and safe everyone!


April 18, 2020 — Jennifer Cura
The Patchwork Bear Responds To Urgent Need for Isolation Gowns at Hospitals

The Patchwork Bear Responds To Urgent Need for Isolation Gowns at Hospitals

Who wants to hear a story? (It's long but has a happy ending)

Late last Monday, I received a call from a friend and local ER doctor, Dr. Garrett Sutter. Like hospitals around the country, his ER staff was running out of gowns to treat Covid19 patients, and asked for help creating makeshift isolation gowns.

After expressing the urgency of the situation, Dr. Sutter dropped off a disposable gown for me to understand what they needed. Together with my family, we brainstormed how to make this. Friends dropped off rolls of building paper (Tyvek) we thought we could use. At 10pm that night, I dropped off two samples: one made from Tyvek and one from lightweight muslin fabric.

From making these two samples, we knew that Tyvek was too noisy and not flexible enough; muslin too thin. We thought garbage bags would be a good option but didn’t want the plastic waste. Heavyweight fabric was the best option: expensive but durable enough to be sterilized and reused over and over again. After that, the design came together quickly and I sewed a single makeshift gown sample.

Dr. Sutter took the samples the next morning to the hospital and consulted with admin, doctors, and ICU nurses. After their input & recommendations, we revised our pattern. With an approved pattern in hand, they now wanted hundreds of gowns made as soon as possible. What?

I have a small sewing studio for The Patchwork Bear, but we aren’t able to produce hundreds of gowns- we make memory bears! It was a challenge to find a cut/sew manufacturer that wasn’t closed due to the coronavirus pandemic– until I found Switlik Survival Products. As a military contractor, they were deemed essential and more importantly, OPEN! They agreed to help sew the gowns with us. Yay!

Now all we needed were the fabric & materials, in stock and available for immediate delivery. Large fabric companies were quoting 6-8 weeks before we could get the fabric. That would be too late.

After more phone calls and a bit of luck, I found a few small NJ businesses who could supply our materials– and deliver them quickly.

I'm so excited to share that thanks to all these local businesses, today– just 7 days after the ER staff tried on our first sample gown, we will be able to deliver the first batch of isolation gowns to the hospital and expect to produce hundreds more that are needed in the coming weeks!

Thanks for taking the time to read my little story. Please support small businesses- we need you now more than ever. xo- Jen Cura, The Patchwork Bear

Jennifer Cura, founder of The Patchwork Bear making isolation gowns

April 08, 2020 — Jennifer Cura

Calling all crafters, fabric hoarders and anyone with a sewing machine: Sew facemasks for your community

facemasks by The Patchwork Bear

For all crafters, fabric hoarders and anyone with a sewing machine: Many hospitals are in need of facemasks.

Due to the shortage of surgical and N95 respirator masks, hospitals and clinics are asking for donations of handmade facemasks. These don’t replace the N95 ones but can be used throughout the hospital by non ER staffers or over N95 masks to extend their use. 

If your local hospital is not accepting or in need of facemasks, consider making a few and donating them to your local EMS, post office or grocery store. While they may not be the best option in filtering out coronavirus, they are still helpful. Get the whole family involved for a productive project and time well spent. We spent the morning making a few and I even got my husband to cut patterns and my kids to make the straps! sewing facemasks The Patchwork Bear facemask cutting patterns

Here's a great link to a simple pattern with instructions ando tutorial:

Feel free to reach out or comment if you have any questions about making these. Stay well everyone!

xo- JC

March 24, 2020 — Jennifer Cura

Happy Spring! (yes, it's spring) Easy Tips to Make Spring Cleaning Manageable

the patchwork bear

Happy Spring! 

While we are all (hopefully) practicing social distancing, it's the perfect opportunity for some spring cleaning.  If you are like me, you are thinking about getting organized- between Netflix, kids and laundry. Here are some tips to go from thinking about it to actually getting it done:

Easy tips to make spring cleaning manageable

1. START SMALL. The thought of organizing my kitchen cabinets or dresser is overwhelming so I started with JUST ONE DRAWER or cabinet a day. It worked! Just one each day is enough. We are all home for at least the next two weeks so that's 14 drawers or cabinets! One junk drawer, one sock drawer, one section of the closet... That's it. Then go back to Netflix. So far I only have one drawer done but it's a start.

2. SET A TIME LIMIT. Similar to starting small, limit your time. Since you are only taking on small projects, don't take too much time so you don't get bored and not finish. BUT be sure to finish and not leave it everywhere when time is up. Then back to the couch.

3. SORT, SORT, SORT. Dump everything out and separate them into 4 piles: trash, save, donate AND the "maybe" pile. This is the pile most professional organizers don't realize we need. It's always my biggest pile. Once you have all 4 piles separated, toss the trash. Put away the "Save" and bag the "Donate". Now have a heart-to-heart with your "Maybe" pile and toss out half of it. You didn't really don't need to save that earring with no pair, the markers with no ink.  

4. SCHEDULE A DONATION PICKUP. Even if you haven't started yet, schedule a pickup for next week. Then you can have a nice batch of your "Donate" piles to leave out. We have a local charity that picks up or check out PICK UP PLEASE  to see if they service your area. 

5. ABOUT THAT "MAYBE" PILE... What about the clothes in your "Maybe" pile that you don't wear but can't toss or donate? Or the ones in the "Save" pile that are too sentimental to give up. Why not turn them into something new? The Patchwork Bear turns favorite clothes into keepsake memory bears, pillows, bags and for those with a big pile of clothes...memory quilts. Upcycled and sentimental. Good for the environment and good for you.

For the rest of March, you can get a FREE MEMORY BIRD at The Patchwork Bear with your purchase of $50 or more with code SPRING2020 at checkout. Take a look at all the things we can turn your clothes into HERE

 Happy organizing! Be well, stay healthy and let's all take care of each other.

COVID-19 Update from The Patchwork Bear: Updated policies and requests

COVID-19 Update from The Patchwork Bear: Updated policies and requests

Due to the current situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to implement a few changes to normal procedures when working with your orders. Our priority is the safety & welfare of ourselves, our families and our customers.

  • First, we are still taking online orders. Being stuck at home is the perfect time to clear out your closets and set aside clothes for us to make into keepsakes for you BUT it is uncertain how long the virus can last on clothing. Suggestions are anything between a few hours to a few days, so for the foreseeable future the following steps will be in place:
  • We will not be accepting in-studio appointments for clothing drop off or order consultations.
  • Please try to wash & dry your clothes in the hottest temperature setting or sanitize them before sending them off to us. (Lysol makes a laundry additive that safely sanitizes colored clothes even in cold water)
  • Write your ORDER NUMBER clearly on the outside of the shipping box. As an added precaution, we will not be opening packages for at least 3-4 days from when we receive them. Be assured that all packages will be received, signed for and stored safely indoors until we open them. We will continue to update you via email when packages arrive safely.
  • If you are displaying cold/flu symptoms or are in self-quarantine when packaging your clothes to send to us, please let us know.

Be assured our sewing and work spaces are sanitized regularly and in between separate orders. At this time, we are still working on your orders but expect delays due to our personal, local and state limitations. Thankfully to date, no one in the studio has tested positive for COVID-19 or experienced any symptoms but to allow for the care of our families, our little team is even smaller.

Things have been changing so quickly and we will keep you updated through our Facebook and Instagram pages. As always, we THANK YOU for your support and we will get through this together!

Stay safe and healthy everyone.

xo- Jen Cura and all of us at The Patchwork Bear

March 16, 2020 — Jennifer Cura

The Patchwork Bear collaborates Send Hunger Packing Princeton to address food insecurity in our community

The Patchwork Bear collaborates Send Hunger Packing Princeton to address food insecurity in our community
March 14, 2020 — Jennifer Cura

Meet the Maker: Jennifer Cura, founder The Patchwork Bear

Meet the Maker: Jennifer Cura, founder of The Patchwork Bear
March 08, 2020 — The Patchwork Bear .

Mondays at The Patchwork Bear

Mondays at The Patchwork Bear
March 02, 2020 — Jennifer Cura

"You can't buy happiness but you can buy local, and that's kind of the same"

You can't buy happiness but you can buy local, and that's kind of the same
December 16, 2019 — Jennifer Cura

How many clothes can you use in one Memory Bear?

How many clothes can you use in one Memory Bear?
November 25, 2019 — Jennifer Cura