31 Days of Shut Up and Sew: Felt Tissue Pouch

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcome to...

Once again, I'm participating in Nester's crazy 31 Days of Change series, where I've challenged myself to blog about a single topic every day in the month of October.  Last year, I got off my bum and did some things.  This year, I've decided to, once and for all, get over my fears of screwing up, of ruining fabric, of pulling out stitches, and just sew.  I'm what you would call a beginner.  I got my machine last Christmas and have tried a couple of things on it, even going so far as to take a beginning sewing class at the local community college (which basically just taught me how to thread a machine like a pro), but I can hardly sew a straight line (although I am improving) and things go wonky more often than not.  But for this single month, I'm just going to sew.  I'm going to try different things.  Things I never thought a novice like me would be able to do.  Things I once thought only those people who studied by their moms' sides from the time they were little could do.  I'm going to try.  I might fail sometimes, or I might succeed beyond what I ever thought I would be able to achieve, but either way, I'll be glad that I just shut up and sewed.

So here's the plan:  Each weekday, I will have a new project to share with you.  Most will be tutorials I will attempt to follow from the pros out there in blogland, but some will be original things that I'm just going to try to figure out as I go.  Then every weekend, I will do round-ups of different tutorials from around the web that fit the previous week's theme.  

Oh, and to thank you all for sticking with me for all 31 days, there will be a little giveaway on the 31st!  I'll be giving away some of the things I make, so don't expect perfection out of them, but be assured that they were made with love specifically with you guys in mind!  I'm more concerned with learning how to sew than actually keeping the things I make, so I'm paying them forward to you, my lovely readers.  Yay!

So, welcome to Doo Dads (yes that's a technical term) week of Shut Up and Sew!  This week I'll be covering random knick knacks to keep in your purse or to use in your home.

The rest of the weekly themes are:
October 8 - 14:  Pillows
October 15 - 21:  Fashion
October 22 - 28:  Skirts
October 29 - 31:  Home Decor

I've made a handy icon over there -----> to help you remember the themes so you can check back if a particular week interests you more than the others.

I'm going to start with simple projects and work my way up to more difficult things toward the end of the month.  I'm so excited about the things I have planned for you lovelies!  I hope you'll stick around for all 31 days of this mayhem and maybe learn a thing or two along with me.  I'll try to keep the format the same, listing the supplies and the time required at the beginning and what I learned from the project at the end.  Oh, and of course I'll share all my triumphs as well as fails, because let's be honest here, it's the imperfections that really interest us.

Now, onto probably the most simple sewing project you'll ever lay your eyes on.

Who doesn't need a cute pouch for their travel tissues?  I know when I throw a pack in my purse in the plastic package they come in, by the time the pack is half empty, it's torn, the remaining tissues are falling out and they seem too unsanitary to actually use.  So, here we go, the easiest (and cheapest!) sewing tutorial eva.

I found the idea here on Growing Home, but the original tutorial comes from Martha herself.

1 piece of felt: 6 3/4" x 5 7/8"
(1 sheet will yield two tissue pouches.  You can use either wool felt or the cheapo stuff in the craft aisle - I used the cheap stuff)

10 minutes or less

Once you have your piece of felt cut out, you're ready to sew!  (Told you this was easy.)  You could easily make these without decorative stitching, but what's the fun in that?  So load some contrasting thread, choose a fun stitch, and sew along both 5 7/8" edges.

You should be left with a piece of felt that looks like this!

I just love decorative stitching.

Now, fold both of your decorative ends in toward the middle so they touch.

Unless you are superwoman and can cut perfect rectangles, there's a good chance that your ends won't line up perfectly.  That's okay, just line up one side and you can straighten the other with your handy scissors.  Then, making sure to switch your machine to a straight stitch, sew across both open ends...

...until you have this!

Now, if you want to get all fancy, you can pull out some decorative scissors and make the ends pretty.

Voila!  10 minutes and a the cost of a piece of bubble gum, and you have the perfect place to store your tissues.

I keep going on and on about how fast this project is, but it was so fast and fun that I whipped up a whole slew of them.

Seriously, they're adorable!

What I Learned
Sewing projects don't have to be complicated or require a lot of materials, or even fabric for that matter!  Oh, and decorative stitches are da bomb.  (Yes, I just said "da bomb."  Forgive me.)

So go raid your felt stash (you know you have one) and see what you can whip up!

Click here to see what everyone else is writing about this month!


  1. I'm glad I stumbled upon your link. Sounds like a cool series, and I look forward to learning some!

  2. I definitely need one of these! I have a major case of the allegeries and this would be perfect to keep in my purse! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Found you through the nester. Love these! How perfectly fun! And they have so many possibilities for variation, like getting some print bias tape in on the action, perhaps. Making notes for Christmas token gifts now..

  4. I love this idea, and this is an adorable project Jenna! Kudos to you for tackling something every day. Back in June, I wrote a post about my grandmother and sewing. I don't normally do this, but I think you might enjoy reading it so here is the link http://www.househoneys.com/a-life-not-forgotten/. There is also another one 'craft room makeover" that has a picture of a cool sewing machine I recently bought. It's new but has a vintage look.

    Have you heard of Craftsy? They have reasonably priced on line classes you might enjoy. I signed up for a serger class because I've had one for years and am scared of it! Lol.

    Good luck with your projects! They sound awesome!