Simple quilted eye mask

I have been meaning to make some eye masks for a while. I have had the elastic, fabric and binding sitting in a bag on my sewing table for months. I thought I would make some as Christmas gifts, but we can see that plan was an epic fail now that it is already January.

Quilting Jetgirl’s recent post about the eye mask she made spurred me into action and caused me to make a few modifications to my original plan. At Yvonne’s suggestion, I made the side that sits against the eyes a soft flannelette and added an extra layer of a dark fabric to help keep out any light.

Eye mask tutorial by Granny Maud's Girl

I used normal dressmaker’s bias binding, but you can make your own binding from scraps of fabric.

To make your own, you need:

  • the following cut into 5 x 8½ inch pieces
    • a pretty fabric for the top (front)
    • quilt wadding (two pieces)
    • a dark fabric for blockout
    • a soft fabric like flannelette for the bottom
  • 90 centimetres (1 yard) elastic
  • 60 centimetres (2 feet) bias binding

The measurements for the quilted panel are generous to allow for shrinkage while quilting.

The dark fabric can be anything in your scrap basket. It does not matter. It will not show. I used an ugly brown.

I went hunting locally for pretty elastic, but, sadly, I had no luck. Ricrac elastic was as fancy as I could get. If anyone knows of a supplier of frilly, pretty or lacy elastic, please let me know.

I used red, checked bias binding that I bought. You can make your own binding from fabric scraps, but it must be cut on the bias to fit around the curves. Because of the curves, I suggest a narrow binding that is only single thickness. I think a satin binding would be nice.

Making a mask is really simple:

  1. Mark any lines you need to guide your quilting on the pretty fabric. I marked two lines perpendicular to one another and used those as the starting point of my cross-hatch quilting. Later lines were sewn parallel to these guides.
  2. Make up a quilt sandwich by layering the five fabrics from bottom to top as follows: flannelette, quilt wadding, dark fabric, quilt wadding, pretty fabric. Make sure the right sides of the flannelette and the pretty fabric both face out.
  3. Quilt the layers together.
  4. Cut out the paper template and trace around it on your quilted panel. Mark the guides for the elastic.
  5. Cut out the quilted panel on the marked line.
  6. Fold the elastic in half and machine baste the folded end on one side of the mask, between the markings and close to the raw edge, on the flannelette side. Wrap the mask and loose elastic around your head to gauge where to attach the other ends. Baste those in place. Check the size again before cutting off any excess elastic.
  7. Pin the binding in a loop around the mask on the top (front) side. Join the two ends of the loop before machine sewing it in place along the fold line. With bias binding, you can ease in any fullness. I found I could not machine sew right into the nose area and had to sew a small section there by hand. I also found joining the binding into a loop a bit fiddly, and I ended up sewing it by hand with a tiny running stitch instead of having it squirm its way out from under my sewing machine’s foot. As you sew the binding down, be careful to keep the elastic loop from getting caught in the stitching where it should not be.
  8. Hand sew the binding down on the bottom, tucking in the elastic ends as you sew, and you are done!

Maybe I should make some more shower caps to complete the look!

If you use this free template and tutorial to make your own mask, please let me know by sharing a photo on the Granny Maud’s Girl stuff Flickr group or on Instagram (@grannymaudsgirl). I would love to see your version.


22 thoughts on “Simple quilted eye mask

  1. I am so glad my post inspired you to make these – your method is much more straight forward than the pattern I followed, plus yours are quilted (bonus)! I laughed out loud about making the shower caps… but I am definitely off to follow that link next. 🙂

  2. They would make such a good present! And if I had any trouble at all sleeping, I’d make myself a pair – waking up is my problem these days! Once upon I time I had a pattern for an eye mask that had a fancy tenty shape for your nose, but I don’t think it made much difference to how well it worked and it made the thing much more complicated to make. Yours is much nicer. Perhaps I’ll make myself one with a pair of open eyes appliqued on the outside to fool the Husband into thinking I’m awake….

    • I have an airline one with a fancy tenty thing for your nose. I agree that it makes little difference.
      I would like to vary future ones with embroidery, but I am happy with my test run. Now I know the plan works, I can experiment further later.

  3. You’re not late for Christmas! You’re 11 months early 🙂 my husband sometimes uses an eye mask; maybe whenever he loses it (and for good, not just lost under the bed) I’ll be nice and make one for him in husband-approved fabric.

    • I still have some leftover waterproof plastic from the shower cap I made for my mum. I really should use it up. I find synthetics and really light cottons, like voile, work best on the caps as quilting cottons take too long to dry. Maybe I should make more – when I have finished some of my other WIPs!

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