tissue pouch – step-by-step

I said I’d do a step-by-step article, to show those interested how to make a very quick & easy fabric tissue pouch cover.  One that looks like the following.

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I made mine using a 1/4” seam allowance (that’s the patchworker in me) if you plan on using a wider seam allowance, then you’ll need to adjust measurements in order for pouch to fit a standard packet of tissues.  Here’s what you’ll need.

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Two rectangles of lining fabric: 18cm x 9cm;  two rectangles of outer fabric, also 18 x 9cm; one piece of outer fabric approx 6cm x 9cm; one metal clasp and one pair of plastic poppers (you can also use velcro, sew-on poppers or a button & button hole if you prefer).

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Begin by placing your 4 larger rectangles one on top of the other to make a sandwich placing on the work surface (in order) print right side up, lining fabric right side down, lining fabric right side up, print right side down.

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Using a paper template with corners snipped off (as above) place the template on the 4 thicknesses of fabric and slice off angles.

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Separate the fabric so you have 2 matching pairs of print & lining and make sure the print is right side facing (right side of )lining.

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You’re going to sew a 1/4” seam ONLY along the top edges: angle, across the centre and second angle.  Do the same on both sets of fabric.

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You then turn that pointy end out, using your finger (or something not too pointy) to press out the tip as neatly as possible.  And press seams flat.   While the iron is hot, with the small rectangle of fabric, you make the “loop strap” by pressing in half  (keeping the 9cm length), then pressing in edges to the crease (see photo at the end of this post), and sewing 2 seams along the edges.

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For the assembly part . . . place your 2 pouch pieces one on top of the other (right sides together) so you can only see lining fabric on both sides.  Your loop and clasp will need to put in place at this point.  Slip the strip of fabric into the ring of clasp, fold in half.  Then place it inside the sandwich of your 2 pouch sides, with the clasp inside and the edges of strip just visible on the edge.

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You then sew around 3 sides of the pouch (not the opening), with a 1/4” seam.  I reinforced stitches at edges of the opening and across the loop fabric.  And forgot to take a photo of my seams.

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Once those seams are sewn, slice off the edges of loop to avoid excess bulk and turn your pouch the right way out.  I gave mine a quick press, at this stage, before adding the plastic popper.

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That way, I aligned the edges of opening, and used the point of my thread ripper to make a very small puncture hole.

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Simply sticking the point through both layers on both sides of the pouch – that way I am certain the poppers will line up.  You then insert the popper pieces like you would a pair of stud earrings and squeeze with the pliers.

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With the measurements given, and 1/4” seam this should give you a pouch that is a good fit for a standard packet of 10 paper tissues.  You could probably get away with fabric being slightly shorter length ways, but the 9cm for width is as snug as you can go.

Final photo of a quick sketch (to clarify any questions you might have).

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Not to scale, but to show you the basic shape you want for the body of the pouch.  And to show the crease lines you want to iron onto the small rectangle to make the loop strip.

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“Warning”–finish one a month #November

Earlier this month I showed you a sneak preview of a finished cross stitch & quilting project . . . showing only a full photo of the back.  I can now show you the front!

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This is an original design by Lindashee and the chart is now available to buy as a pdf download in her etsy shop LindasheesStitches

She has also designed a warning sign for cat lovers.  So dog-lovers and cat-lovers, hop over to have a look.

I stitched on 20 count aida, in 1 thread, because I wanted to keep the cross stitch panel small enough to have fun with contrasting fabrics and make a 16” cushion cover. But the design can be stitched on any type of aida/evenweave and is perfect for beginners because there are only full stitches and no backstitch.

When I first started the patchworking, to make my cushion cover, I originally made it like this.

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However the outer fabric kept making me go cross-eyed because of the white on black, so I ripped apart and added a softer grey instead.

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a tissue anyone?

When I get a bee in my bonnet, I simply don’t stop!  I showed you a batch of tissue pouches I made (for unbirthday gifts and thinking of small xmas gifts) . . . and I’ve been busy making a whole lot more.

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A total of 30 – yep, once I start sewing, I don’t seem to be able to stop lol.  Why stop at 30, I hear you wonder?  Quite simply because I bought in 3 x 10 more metal clasps for the occasion, and because 30 sounded like a nice round number.

These latest pouches have been made with a fund-raiser in mind on 13th December.  My youngest niece goes to a special centre for mentally handicapped children, and every year the centre holds a Christmas fête with stalls, selling items made by the children.  I offered to make the above to sell too.  Proceeds will go to the centre, to help subsidise certain things (outings, supplies etc) so I’m hoping my little tissue pouches will be a big hit.  Each one is different, even those where I’ve made doppelgangers using the same fabrics, as I’ve played around with different coloured poppers or different shaped openings.  There are a few with rather Christmas themed fabrics, but on the whole, I’ve tried to just use a variety of prints, since we need tissues all year round, not just at Christmas, right?

If you fancy giving this kind of project a go . . . I’ll be posting a step-by-step “how to” very soon.  They really are very easy to make . . . remember my 7 year old neighbour, Cléo, who comes for sewing lessons?  Well she made one too.

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They really are very easy.

“Getting Ready” #3 SAL update

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The cover photo, to remind you what Avis and I are stitching for the SAL at the moment – as you know, tackling things totally different ways this time.  A Design Works kit, with artwork by Ronald West of some very quirky characters in this lively café scene.

Last time I showed you this much – my start being top left.

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For this stage I’ve been working here and there . . . and things look like this

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Not quite as much progress as I’d hoped for, but I’m being side-tracked by some Christmas crafting and there are only so many crafting hours in the week . . . still, with a little bit of backstitch on the blackboard, we can at least order a coffee and large slice of cake to give us strength until next time!

Don’t forget to pop over to the following links to admire the very varied craftiness of other SAL members.  We are a very talented group of people, stitching world wide, and coming together every 3rd Sunday to show progress.

AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret, TimothyHeidi , Connie and Jackie.

Next update on 10th December.

happy un-birthdays in November

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Autumn is with us, wet & windy . . . Winter isn’t far off . . . and with it, all those germs and runny noses.  Which explains the idea behind recent sewing and a few un-birthday gifts that were sent to 3 ladies in France.  From left to right, these little pouches were sent to Monique, Lynn and Ghislaine . . . the idea: to pop a packet of standard size paper tissues inside.  Each pouch has a metal clip, so it can be clipped to a jeans belt-loop or to the house/car keys.

A very fun sewing session.  Having fun with my new plastic poppers, using different pretty fabrics, and also messing around trying different shapes of openings.

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And, of course, I didn’t stop there since I was on a roll . . .

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I made quite a few!  Thinking these will make lovely xmas gifts for my neighbours too.  I seem to have made a lot of pinkish ones with this batch, mainly because I pulled out quite a large piece of pink cotton to use as lining.  However I have already cut out some other fabrics (trying to use scraps where possible) in a more blue colourway, because not everyone likes pink.  More fun sewing sessions in store.

butterfly happy dancing

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I’m having a little happy dance, with the last backstitch on a lovely blue butterfly.  This is a design by Dimensions.  Stitched exactly as the model suggests, with “Welcome” in the corner.  I’ve already pulled out some (possible) fabric for the proper finish.  Planning on making this into a small wall-hanging for my sister’s Christmas pressie.  So that will be added to my Christmas sewing pile but I will give myself a few days to think about how to do it.

The other day, I was all excited because the postman brought a parcel, containing a book I’d had on pre-order.

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It’s packed full of the most colourful monsters, all more friendly than scarey but I’m going to have to be very strict with myself!  No new crochet projects until I’ve finished the current WIPs (which have been waiting for months!).  But that didn’t stop me from nipping into our local discount store for a few (more like 12) colourful balls of yarn.

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Hihi, I actually bought 3 x 50g of each colour because several of the monsters in the book look quite big.  I already have white & black in the same brand, so as soon as I finish my current crochet projects, I’ll be dithering about what monster to make first, and in what colour.

90 years on . . .

Please bear with me a few minutes, while I give some background explanation about this post, before actually getting to the point.

Last month, as regular readers will know, we added two new laying hens to the coop

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and I was searching for names for the gals, preferably beginning with the letter M or names that could become a Miss (something).  I was looking for “old” names since I think hens look like quaint little old ladies with frilly petticoats.  As you also know, these two gals were named Mauricette and Miss Plumpton but that was after coming up with a long list of possible names.  The white Sussex became Miss Plumpton because (after googling) I learned there is a small village in East Sussex called Plumpton . . . so that seemed so appropriate for a lovely plump Sussex hen.  Mauricette however was almost named Millicent (after the flapper girl Millie Dillmount from the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie”).  Husband preferred Mauricette though which has more of a French ring to it – and therefore more appropriate for a French Blue.

Anyway . . . while discussing possible hen names with Avis (yep poor Avis got dragged into the naming process) . . . Avis suggested Milly Molly Mandy lol.  And one thing leading to another . . . I was soon on amazon (more out of curiosity than anything else) to see if the MMM books were still in print.  And what was my surprise to see that they are!  90 years after the publication of the first Milly Molly Mandy adventures (in 1928) by Joyce Lankester Brisley, Milly Molly Mandy is still alive and well, and in Puffin paperbacks!

You know what’s coming next, don’t you?

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Of course!  How could I resist?  I bought myself a copy of The Adventures of Milly Molly Mandy which is a reprint of FOUR of the MMM collections.  Including: Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories, More of Milly-Molly-Mandy, Further Doings of Milly-Molly-Mandy and Milly-Molly-Mandy Again.  A total of 45 different stories.

This has been my bed-time reading for the last week.  Snuggled up under my quilt, with a mug of hot chocolate and a cat, I’ve been re-living the adventures of MMM and thoroughly enjoying myself.  Stories will probably annoy some people as they have lost nothing of their innocence and events so obviously take place in an era when children were allowed to play outside unsupervised, go exploring, use their imagination, show initiative and just enjoy being children.   It was in a day & age before any of the technologies that young children take for granted today. In a day and age where Father grew vegetables: Mother cooked and washed; Grandpa sold the vegetables at market; Grandma knitted; Uncle kept cows and chickens; and Aunty sewed and did the sweeping and dusting.  A situation which would shock many people today, with the sexist stereotypes, but that’s just how things were 90 years ago with all family members pitching in and doing what they knew how.

Possibly, on the surface, much too out-dated for today’s youngsters to be able to relate to the goings on in the stories, but for me (a 1964 baby) the stories brought back so many memories since these books were amongst those I grew up on.  MMM isn’t just a little girl in a pink & white striped frock who does girly things.  She is always out and about with Little-friend Susan or Billy Blunt, climbing trees, fishing, learning to ride a bike, camping out,  discovering the joys of letter-writing, gardening, rescuing baby hedgehogs.

What’s also so lovely (in my opinion) is that Puffin haven’t tried to modernise the stories in any way.  They have kept the original black & white artwork (which I think is also by Joyce Lankester Brisley) . . . a few examples here

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My very favourite story in this collection is: “Milly-Molly-Mandy Spends a Penny”.  If there’s one story that sums up the values my parents passed on to me, and I hope I passed on to my children, it’s this one!

In a nutshell: MMM find a penny (which in 1928 must have been worth quite a bit).  She asks all family members (Father, Mother,  Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle, Aunty) for suggestions as to what to do with her new fortune.  Grandpa says: put it in the bank.  Grandma says: buy a skein of wool and learn to knit.  Father says:  buy some seeds and grow mustard & cress.  Mother says: buy a patty-pan and make a cake.  Uncle says: save until you have 3 pennies and buy a baby duckling.  Aunty says: get some sweets.

Milly-Molly-Mandy thinks long and hard . . . and by spending her penny very wisely, she is, in fact, able to make that one penny go a very very long way, enabling her to grow mustard & cress; learn to knit; bake a cake; buy some sweets; save a penny, and finally buy a baby duckling!