Make a Malleable, Shape-Holding Pinch Strip

And Add It To Your Finished Cloth Face Mask

I sewed a 3-layer t-shirt fabric face mask with t-shirt fabric ties roughly per web instructions, but it leaked very badly around the nose. If you have the same problem with your cloth mask, here is a method for fixing it.

  1. Cut a 3¼ inch length from the tubular bottom hem of a t-shirt and trim it to the overcast stitch line per the photo at left below.
  2. Per the photo at right below, use top and bottom rows of zig-zag stitching to attach the tube to the top front of the mask (leaving the ends of the tube open).


  1. Tightly roll-fold (top of left photo below) a 4 inch by 18 inch long strip of heavy-duty aluminum foil until you have a nice stiff 4 inch by ⅜ inch rod.
  2. Crimp (bottom of left photo below) the rod lengthwise down to about 3/16 inches wide. Trim one end to a rounded point, and insert it into the front of the mask (right photo below),
  3. If you have used enough foil and folded/crimped tightly enough, your strip will bend to, and hold a tight, durable seal between the mask and your nose. The strip can be removed for mask washing.


Gordon Graham April 1, 2020