Some of the baggies that were filled with toiletries for Sandy Merriman House, Victoria. BC

Some of the baggies that were filled with toiletries for Sandy Merriman House, Victoria. BC

For the past 8 or 9 years, Judy, who is a long standing & loyal customer of Sawyers Sewing Center in Victoria, BC collects together little bags & an assortment of toiletries (like the shampoos etc we get on our travels at hotels) . She packs them up & delivers to the Sandy Merriman House Women’s Shelter in Victoria before Christmas.  They were intended to be given as Christmas gifts to the ladies who use the shelter.

Generally each gift bag contains a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, one or more hotel sized shampoos, several bars of hand soap, cream rinse, a ball point pen, hand wipes, zip bags, band aides and safety pins. Many bags also include other cosmetic items such as lipstick or mascara, hand lotion, combs, perfume, nail files, sewing kit, mouthwash, etc, depending upon what was available or what has been donated.

Judy is so pleased with the generosity of her friends, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances for the contributions of little bags and/or the “condiments” to put into the bags.  The beautifully handmade bags were very much appreciated by both the volunteer ladies as well as the ladies finding shelter at Sandy Merriman house.

Pat Dykes + staff and customers at Sawyer’s Sewing Center in Victoria were responsible for most of the sewing of the creative little bags – Well done Monday ladies!  The bags this industrious group produced were so cheerful t & were just the PERFECT size to fit a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste along with the many other additions. FYI: Sawyer’s Sewing Center is a dealer for both Janome and Elna sewing machines.

So, if you are traveling or receive cosmetic company bonus packs (like Clinque or Lancôme) and have some travel size cosmetics and/or cosmetic bags to spare, please think of the ladies at the Sandy Merriman House Women’s Shelter.  Feel free to give them to me (Liz Thompson) whenever & wherever I may be on my travels this year through Western Canada at shows & at your local Dealer’s store. I will very gladly add your contributions to the box I have – & then in Oct/Nov, I send the box to Sawyers Sewing Center so that Judy & her team can pack all the little baggies in time for Christmas.

Here’s a thought: What do you do with those little test stitch-outs from your embroidery machine? Or those scraps of fabric & batting that are too small for a quilt?? What about making up little zippered baggies for this charity project? If you would like instructions for making baggies like this, send me a comment and I will do a blog post with detailed instructions – actually super quick & easy. Not lying when I tell you that I can make one from start to finish in around 15 minutes!!   I would love to feature the various baggies we can come up with on this blog later in the year before I send them over to Vancouver Island.

Now there’s a challenge I am putting out to you all: let’s make baggies in 2013!!!!

If you do decide to make some baggies, please remember that it should be able to fit a toothbrush, soap, little shampoo’s etc so do make it wide wide/long enough for a toothbrush!   Just like these pics:


About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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