Project made from your scrap stash: gentle on your wallet. Soft padded mask lined with satin: gentle on the eyes. No slip headband to keep it in place: gentle to the hair. Blocking out the world while you travel: gentle to your soul. The pretty piping that curves around the entire edge of our sleep mask adds a special zing of style, but does also make this a slightly more intermediate project. You could leave out this step to make it faster and easier.
As we mentioned above, you can dive into your scrap stash for this project. Your pieces will need to be approximately 4½" high x 8½" wide.
Our Travel Accessories series is sponsored by Free Spirit Fabrics, as part of our Artist Trio Series introducing Anna Maria Horner's amazing Loulouthi fabric collection. You can find Loulouthi at Fat Quarter Shop, CityCraft, Fashionable Fabrics, and Fabric.com.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Scrap or 1/8 yard of 44-45" wide print fabric for the outside of the mask: we used Loulouthi Buoyancy in AH40-Butterberry
- Scrap or 1/8 yard of 44-45" wide satin fabric for the inside of the mask: we used charmeuse satin in light pink
- Scrap or 1/8 yard of lightweight poly batting
- One package of bias tape piping: we used Wrights Maxi Piping Bias Tape in Wine
- One elastic headband in a coordinating color: we use Scrünci's no-slip grip headband in berry
- All purpose thread to match the binding
- All purpose thread to match the satin
- See-through ruler
- Seam gauge
- Fabric marker, pen, or tailor's chalk for marking fabric
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Hand sewing needle
- Straight pins
- Download the Sleep Mask pattern
IMPORTANT: This pattern is one 8½" x 11" pattern sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line. Set aside.
- Using the pattern, cut ONE sleep mask shape from each of the following: the outside print fabric (Loulouthi in Butterberry in our sample), the inside satin fabric and the poly batting.
- Using the pattern dots as your guide, make two dots on the wrong side of the outside fabric piece. These are the two points where the headband will attach.
- Cut a length of piping approximately 22".
- Starting at the straightest point on the outside fabric mask (the top of the mask in the middle), pin the piping around the entire perimeter on the right side of the fabric, carefully following the curved edge. Match the raw edges of the piping to the raw edge of the fabric, which means the piping itself will be facing towards the center of the mask.
- You will need to clip both the piping and the fabric itself in order to ease the piping around the curves and keep the fabric flat. Don't be afraid to use lots of pins. You'll remove them as you sew.
- Leave a 1-2" tail at the end of the piping.
NOTE: If you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial on how to make and attach piping.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Attach your zipper foot.
- Start stitching about ¼-½" from the beginning edge of the piping. You need to leave this little bit loose at the beginning so you can wrap around it to create a clean finish (see the steps 6-8 below).
- Stitch the piping in place, staying as close to the piping cord as possible. Remember to remove those pins as you sew.
- Follow all around the perimeter, stopping and locking your stitch about 1-2" from your starting point.
- Using that 'free tail' you accounted for at the beginning, cut off any excess piping so you have about 1" to work with.
- With a seam ripper, peel back the fabric to expose the cording underneath.
- Trim the end of cording tail so it exactly meets the end of the sewn-down cording.
- Fold under the end of the loose fabric to create a clean edge. Lift up that little bit of the start of the piping you left loose at the beginning and wrap this folded end under and around, overlapping about ½". Pin in place.
- Stitch in place, matching your seam line. Press well.
- Cut apart your headband so it is one flat length. Stretch it slightly and measure your head. Add an 1" for a seam allowance. We found 16" in length was a good general measurement for most noggins.
- Pin the headband in place on the right side of the print fabric, matching the ends to the pattern dots you made earlier.
- Machine base each end in place is help secure prior to assembly.
- Layer your three pieces as follows: batting, satin right side up, print fabric (with piping and headband) right side down. Pin together through all three layers. Leave a 2-3" opening for turning
NOTE: I also pinned the headband to the middle of the print fabric to make sure it stayed out of the way of my final seam.
- Stitch the layers together with the print fabric on top. This way, you can follow in the piping's seam line. Backstitch over the headband ends for added security. Remember to leave the 2-3" opening for turning.
- Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching EXCEPT at the opening – leave the full seam allowance at the opening so it will be easier to stitch closed, and don't trim the headband ends – it's best to leave these as-is for a stronger stress point.
- Turn right side out through the opening. Use a long blunt-end tool, such as my favorite: a chopstick, to help round out the curves of the mask.
- Press well, folding in and pressing the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Pin this opening closed.
- Thread the hand sewing needle with thread to match the satin and slip stitch closed from the back (the satin side) just below the piping.
- Doze off.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson
Other machines suitable for this project include the Pfaff hobby 1142 and the Singer 6199 Brilliance.