WARMING HEARTS with charity sewing: SAWYER’S SEWING CENTER, VICTORIA, BC for Sandy Merriman House + 2013 BAGGIE CHALLENGE

A collection of the little zippered cosmetic bags that staff & customers at Sawyers Sewing center made for Sandy Merriman House (Christmas 2012)

A collection of some of the little zippered cosmetic bags that staff & customers at Sawyers Sewing center made for Sandy Merriman House (Christmas 2012)

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  & 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 COSMETIC or TOILETRY BAGGIES FOR A GOOD CAUSE IN 2013!!!  Watch this blog for more Challenge info:

  • How many can you make??? Bonus thank you gift for the person who sends in the highest # of cosmetic/toiletry baggies

  • How creative can you be? What about I post pics of all the cosmetic/toiletry baggies and have our blog viewers vote for their favourite one………you guessed it: popular vote winner will get a bonus thank you gift. ……..So please step up to the plate (or your Janome Sewing machine?!) and make baggies.

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!   AND TO BE ELIGIBLE  for the bonus gifts, your baggies will obviously have to be made on your JANOME SEWING MACHINE. More info to follow.

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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5 Responses to WARMING HEARTS with charity sewing: SAWYER’S SEWING CENTER, VICTORIA, BC for Sandy Merriman House + 2013 BAGGIE CHALLENGE

  1. Sonia Rockwell says:

    We also gather and make little toiletry packages for a Woman’s centre here in Abbotsford. It would be nice to give them in a nice little bag. If you would be kind enough to share your pattern it would be appreciated.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Sonia,
      Keep watching this blog – or better still sign up to receive a message in your email inbox every time we post an article – I plan on doing the bag instructions soon.


  2. Terry Carter says:

    I would also like instructions. Thanks Liz.


  3. cherylsewing says:

    Liz, what a great idea. It would be nice if you posted some little baggie ideas. We probably all have a few of our own but MORE is even better. There is always something new or a trick we may not have thought about.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


    • lizafrica says:

      Right you are! Others have said the same so I will do some posts with various ideas & options in the coming weeks & months.
      Will also post further info + deadlines etc.
      Keep reading this blog!!!


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