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Travel Accessories: Satin Lined Sleep Mask

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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

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  • 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

Getting Started

  1. 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.
  2. Cut out the pattern along the solid line. Set aside.
  3. 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.
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  4. 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.
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  5. Cut a length of piping approximately 22".
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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  8. Leave a 1-2" tail at the end of the piping.
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    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

  1. Attach your zipper foot.
  2. 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).
  3. Stitch the piping in place, staying as close to the piping cord as possible. Remember to remove those pins as you sew.
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  4. Follow all around the perimeter, stopping and locking your stitch about 1-2" from your starting point.
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  5. Using that 'free tail' you accounted for at the beginning, cut off any excess piping so you have about 1" to work with.
  6. With a seam ripper, peel back the fabric to expose the cording underneath.
  7. Trim the end of cording tail so it exactly meets the end of the sewn-down cording.
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  8. 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.
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  9. Stitch in place, matching your seam line. Press well.
  10. 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.
  11. Pin the headband in place on the right side of the print fabric, matching the ends to the pattern dots you made earlier.
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  12. Machine base each end in place is help secure prior to assembly.
  13. 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
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    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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Press well, folding in and pressing the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  18. Pin this opening closed.
  19. 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.
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  20. Doze off.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas   
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson



Comments (18)

bluejeanmamma said:
bluejeanmamma's picture

after reading this article http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/organic-filler... on your site this morning, I am in the process of making a mask using the flaxseed to help treat dry eye. I have already sewn the mask section (without the pipping-not interested in having that on mine), using scraps of flannel and a bit of elastic that I already had, but will have to wait to finish the project until I get to the store and buy some flaxseed. I am really eager to try it out.

Thank you for both the article and the sleeping mask project.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ bluejeanmamma - You are so welcome! We're glad you found all the pieces to the puzzle in one spot. Let us know how it turns out!

bluejeanmamma said:
bluejeanmamma's picture

It turned out great! I had to tweak it a bit (second try was the charm) because I wanted to warm the mask in the microwave and also be able to clean it. I realized that I needed to make an inner mask to do that, so I made a mask insert out of white cotton following the pattern provided and filled it with rice. (I haven't been able to locate the flaxseed yet.)  then I made an outer mask from flannel. I allowed an extra seam width around the outside of the pattern piece to give me room to slip the rice bag inside the finished mask. I left an opening at the top and sewed a velcro type fastener at the top to close the mask. this allows me to slip the rice bag out, pop it into the microwave to warm, then slip it back inside the mask and place it over my eyes. I have larger rice bags that I could use on my eyes but they are very heavy. this size really feels great resting on my face. I love how it came out and have already enjoyed using it. Thanks

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ bluejeanmamma - that's sounds lovely - and very relaxing :-)

Jody Haynes said:
Jody Haynes's picture

I can see the picture of me sleeping on my comfy mattress with this lovely mask. LOL

Mel Maj said:
Mel Maj's picture

Thankyou for sharing this great eye mask, how to attach the piping on a curve looks so easy :)

ree ree said:
ree ree's picture


i just wondered what the comment from prichome (listed 1st on the comment section above) meant when she said the sleep masks are great for when people at hosp. use these for maps when they are pooped. ?? what a sweet thing to do for the patients. does she mean naps??????????? thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

prichome said:
Just downloaded the pattern will be making several of these. I do sewing for the cancer survivors office at our hospital.. From personal experience, I know these would be very nice for those maps when you are pooped. Thanks
Isond said:
Isond's picture
Just made a bunch of sleep maskes inspired by this but made with lovely Henry Glass-flannel at the front and back. Thank you for inspiring posts!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ mwlipari - what a great story. Glad you persevered!! Enjoy smilies/grin.gif
mwlipari said:
mwlipari's picture
I just made two of these. The first one was a comedy of errors and ended up in the trash. I did not want to use piping so I decided to skip that step and just top stitch the finished mask. That was fine. I did not have low loft batting so I decided to use high loft batting. I then proceeded to attach the head band on the wrong side of the fabric and forgot to trim up the extra before I flipped it. I had used pale pink terry cloth for the back and hot pink polka dot flannel for the front. The resulting mess looks suspiciously like a Kotex sanitary pad. I threw it in the trash can!!! Soooo, I started over and replaced the high loft batting with Thinsulate batting and attached the head band correctly and trimmed the excess material. In the end I ended up with a comfortable and pretty mask and a very good laugh. Thanks so much for the website.
nancy k. said:
nancy k.'s picture
Yeah! Been looking for a sleep mask pattern - THANK YOU!
Congrats on being featured on One Pretty Thing, I am an
avid reader.
Beth T. said:
Beth T.'s picture
Thanks for the downloadable pattern. One of my nieces is working the night shift in the ICU and is having a hard time adjusting to daytime sleeping. Maybe this will help. Thanks, Brent, for the suggestion about using bias binding; that's more my speed.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi micheleip -- Good thought on the gel, but I would suggest changing out the fabric - I wouldn't put cotton and satin into the freezer. Perhaps consider PUL, outdoor fabric or a laminate instead. Anna Maria's Loulouthi does feature four lovely laminates. Not as soothing as the satin, but more durable for chilling. You might also check out our tutorial on soothing eye pillows made with herbs:

Tina said:
Tina's picture
Wow! Nice idea! Could be perfect for my daughter who is leaving for college next month! Thank you!
Brent said:
Brent's picture
This is a great project, I'll be making one of these for sure smilies/smiley.gif

Another option for a less-intimidating-piping would be to stitch on some bias binding cut from a piece already in your stash. Bias so it can be easily stitched around the curves of the mask, perhaps a 1.5" piece the length of the diameter of the mask.
micheleip said:
micheleip's picture
Nice project-can you sew one of those gel masks into it and keep it in the freezer?