tutorial: fabric tissue case in 10 easy steps!

by Valerie on July 22, 2009

in crafting,sewing,tutorials

I made the tissue cases for the first time for the Richmond show this year, and at every show since then, people have gone wild for them. So many people told me that they’ve been looking for something like this but can’t find it anywhere! I thought that need, combined with the fact that they are easy peasy to make, made them a great candidate for my first tutorial. This is my first time, so please be gentle. :) I do desperately want feedback, though. Please give it a try and let me know if anything is unclear. I would love to see your finished tissue cases if you give this tutorial a try!

My goal when I sat down to draft this pattern was to make it as easy as possible to make – no lining, no interfacing, no closures – but still make it attractive. I decided self-lining was the way to go, with nicely squared-off corners. Let me know what you think! All you need for this project is less than a quarter yard of quilting fabric, thread, a hot iron, and your sewing machine.

1. Cut a rectangle of quilting cotton measuring 14 and 3/8″ wide by 5 and 3/4″ tall.

2. Stitch the short ends right sides together, using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

3. Press your seam allowance open, without flattening or ironing over the folded sides. Now you have a tube of fabric 6 & 3/4″ wide and 5 & 3/4″ tall.

4. Turn your tube inside out, so the right side of the fabric is facing out (note in the picture the red thread, indicating where the seam is).

5. To mark the center of your tube, hold the top edge of the seam in one hand (below left), and stretch the tube flat, pinching the opposite end of the top edge in your other hand (below right). Now match the seam with the mark you just pinched. Now your seam is in the exact center of your tube. Why does it need to be centered? This hides the seam on the inside of your tissue case. It just looks nicer.

6. Iron your tube flat, making sure the left and right folded edges are very flat. These folded edges will form the opening in your tissue case to insert/remove tissues.

Now you have a flat, 2 sided rectangle with the seam in the exact center. This is the inside center of your tissue case. Consider this the “wrong side” from now on.

7. Turn your rectangle over so that the seam faces away from you. Fold the ironed edges toward you and overlap them approximately 3/8″. It doesn’t have to be exact, they just need to overlap a bit, but not more than a half inch. Measure it if you like, but you can probably eyeball it just fine.

Center the overlapped edges on the seam. Again, this doesn’t need to be exactly right; this step will simply match up the outside center (the overlapped edges) with the inside center (the seam). If you get it wrong nobody will ever know! :)

Then pin the overlapped edges in place. Time to sew again!

8. Now to finish the squared edges: starting 3/8″ from the folded edge (if eyeballing it makes you feel twitchy, use a sewing gauge or ruler to measure & mark it exactly), stitch 3/8″ from the raw edge, stopping 3/8″ away from the opposite folded edge. Repeat on the other side.

9. Now to make the corners pretty! Remove the pins. Slip your finger into the corner to open the side seam, and fold the raw edge to one side, keeping the seam open.

When you remove your hand, turn the tissue case over so the side seam faces away from you, and the fabric will form a triangle with a little flag. Line up the top edge of that little flag with your machine foot and stitch down two or three times – again, approximately a 3/8″ seam allowance.

10. Repeat for the other three corners, making sure to fold the raw edges in the same direction (below left: the correct way; below right: the wrong way). After sewing all four corners, trim off the seam allowance.

Once all four corners are sewn and trimmed, turn your tissue case right side out et voila!

You are ready to insert your travel size tissues, or just take a bunch of tissues from your regular box and fold them up to slip inside your brand-new case. Either way, now your tissues won’t get all gross and grungy from floating around unprotected in the bottom of your purse. Hooray!

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so, what do you think? leave a comment & let me know.

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