Many moons ago, when I was around the age of Miss 9, a friend and I used to swap little goodie bags. We would sew up a pouch, and fill it will stickers and lollies and pencils and all the little plastic knick knacks that kids love to collect. There was no set time or reason, just as a little “because” gift, and gosh it was such a fun thing to both give and receive.
Over the years I’ve had fun making up similar care packages, for friends quarantined at home with kids, or as part of swaps such as the creative exchange a few years back. I was reminded of these goodie bags when I saw a swap pop up on Instagram, based around a similar concept of creating a bag and then stuffing it full of treats and things that the recipient might like. It was a rather involved swap, and I’d missed the deadline anyway, so I suggested a simpler version for a mini swap, and because the other half of my crafty shenanigans cartel is highly suggestible, we were off on and racing.
Our rules were very basic – the pouch could be whatever we wanted, up to 4″x6″ in size, and stuffed with any goodies we thought the other would like, but we could spend no more than $15 (stash inclusions were at our discretion). It was a bundle of fun having a poke through my pinterest boards, finding a cute pattern, and pulling fabric from my stash. I went with a pleated bottom pouch with a peekaboo window, and picked out some of my favourite stash fabrics – a navy & teal Alison Glass fabric, a co-ordinating teal diamond voile, and a cute Kate Spain charm square to make the feature window.
The pattern was for a 5.5″ x 8.5″ pouch, but was easy enough to downsize. I also halved the interfacing, applying it only to the outer and leaving it off the lining as it was so small it didn’t require the same level of structure, and I probably could have even gone a softer interfacing as it was still quite stiff in the pleats.
I had lots of plans for what to include inside it. A few bits and pieces I had in my stash, and then I planned to pick up a few bits and pieces while I was at the coast to round it out. Of course, by the time I got to the coast for our homeschool excursion, the world had exploded into a hot mess, and I was avoiding the shops as much as possible (after, of course, some emergency stockpile shopping), so I had to skip most of the extras I wanted to include. There was one little piece I was going to make an exception for, but sadly the op shop I was depending on to source the materials no longer exists.
In the pouch I included:
A ball of mini yarn
A diffuser bracelet
A roller blend with my “ravenclaw” blend
A scrabble tile monogram needle minder
Two magentic bookmarks
A small cut out from a vintage Jetson’s board game for junk journalling
I think my favourite part of the whole thing was plotting and planning all the fun things to include – things that I knew she would like or use, cute stuff just for funsies, things that represent our shared crafty adventures. I am disappointed I wasn’t able to stuff the pouch full to the brim, but then that just gives me an excuse to make a post-covid survival celebration parcel, doesn’t it?
It’s all about finding our isolation groove in our new normal today. The planning system I started before all this is working beautifully, so I intend to tweak the sheets I’m using so they can serve double duty as a plan and a record. The kids handwork projects are starting to take over the cabin (hashtag tiny living problems) so there’s some project bags on the agenda for this afternoon. I can smell fresh bread due to come out of the oven, along with bikkies Miss 9 made for afternoon tea. The clouds are rolling in ahead of tonight’s predicted rain, so I’m going to make the most of the cooler afternoon and get some weeding done. Mr Barefoot is doing his best hunter-gatherer impression in the Bunnings seedling section, so my job is to make sure we have space to plant some new veggies this afternoon and into the weekend. My blackwork remains stubbornly behind, and my book unread, so I’m planning to try and sneak some time for that as well. There’s whispers of board game time, though I’m informed Pandemic is very much not an option for this afternoon – a bit to close to reality! Maybe Catan? Games and sewing and reading and delicious snacks. Isolation life isn’t entirely terrible…for today anyway.