I’m pretty sensitive to light when I sleep, so I prefer to have something covering my eyes if I’m trying to sleep while it’s light out. Lately I’ve been waking up earlier than I’d like because of the early sunrises, so I decided to make a sleeping mask to help myself. This process involved some trial and error, so I’ll share what worked and what didn’t.
I recommend making your own pattern for this project, so you can get the best possible fit. I found the basic shape of this mask online, and recreated it with three basic measurements: I measured how wide I wanted it to be, and how long it needed to be over my nose and over my eyes.
After adding seam allowances to all the measurements, I cut my pattern out of a used cardboard box. I waited before cutting my elastic, because I wanted to see how wide the cloth part of the mask would be first. I recommend doing this. I also recommend making the outside edges long enough for two elastic straps, I found that having only one ¼” elastic strap did not hold the mask tight enough against my face.
The next step was cutting out my pattern and then cutting it down the line in the middle because I wanted a seam in the middle. If you want to do this, make sure to add seam allowances for re-attaching the two sides. Sew the halves along the midline where you just cut. Cut off the excess. You should now have front and back pieces.
Pin the front and back pieces with right sides together and sew all along the top and bottom edges, leaving a 2” gap on the top so you can flip it inside out. Flip it right sides out to see how long the elastic needs to be. Add 1” to your elastic length.
Flip it back, and put the elastic pieces inside with ⅜” length hanging out each side. Sew down the sides, securing the elastic in place. Now flip it right sides out and topstitch all along the edges, closing the 2” gap and securing the elastic a second time.
My first attempt was good, but not perfect. Here’s a picture of my second attempt where I made some notable improvements. For one, I used more generous measurements (because it’s better to have a mask that’s too big than one that doesn’t fit your face appropriately). I also used a stiffer cotton fabric because I found that tshirt fabric curled at the ends too much. I also used two elastic straps instead of one, because I found that just one (especially since it was ¼”) did not hold the mask tight enough against my face. I’m really happy with the end product, and I’ve already been using it a lot. Hopefully you can have some success with this too!