a picture on Facebook about adding material and other goodies to the sewing kits we got last year to put in the 10-14 year old girl boxes I'm packing. There was a lot of interest as to how much fabric to put in, so I thought I'd write a post to report on how much I put in, plus some general thoughts on fabric in shoeboxes.
So, how much fabric should one put in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child?
Well...I'm afraid there's not a cut and dry answer for that! :) Any scrap of fabric will help a child in their practice of seaming and hemming. So even an eight inch square can be useful. It all depends on how much you have available/can afford, how strongly it's laid on ones heart, how much room is left in the box you're packing, etc. Also how think it is will affect how much room it takes up, I choose to stick with basic cotton fabric as while you may not be able to fit as much in as a thin silky fabric, it's easier to sew with for beginners. One very good question I got was what could be made with a fat quarter, I didn't really know, so I asked my Mom, below are some things we came up with
With a "Fat Quarter"
- Mend/patch clothes
- Add a ruffle to a dress or skirt that may have been outgrown to make it longer
- Add a collar to a dress
- Add Pockets to Clothing
- Make a head band/covering
- Drawstring Bags (My mom designed three small size ones that fit in one fat quarter; you can see the instructions here: How to Sew: Small Drawstring Bags)
- Pencil Case
- Doll Clothing
- "Half" Apron
- Stuffed Animals
- Hot Pads
- Tie Belt
- Napkin or Placemat
- Dresser Scarf type item to decorate their home.
With a half yard
- Any of the above.
- Full Apron
With a yard
- Any of the above.
- Pillow Case Dress up to size 9/10 (can go to size 12 with narrow hem -- see instructions here if interested: How To Sew A Pillowcase Dress from Fabric)
- Skirt (if you are interested in sewing skirts for your own boxes check out this Skirt Sizing Chart)
With 2 yards
- Any of the above.
- A-Line Dress
To my sewing readers out there...what am I missing?
This is an example of what I added to my sewing kits this year:
This is what each kit ended up with-buttons in little holes between inside cases and the seam binding lace out of it's package and folding in the little case with the thread & needles-no room taken up, to leave as much room to fold/squeeze the fabric into. I decided to go with however much fabric I could fit into the cases of the sewing kits, as my boxes are already going to be near bursting! For the above kits that was 1/2-3/4 of a yard, and needed rubber-bands for the most part to be sure they stayed shut. I did have one small kit that I just put in a pack of sample fabric squares, because I loved playing with them as a child, and they could still be used as patches or to piece a small quilt.
I chose to decide the amount based on what fit in the kit as personally, I try to put a mix of things in, so whatever situation the girl finds herself in and needs/is interested in is covered, at least in part...but that also means I can't always include as much of everything as I'd like. Below is my packing/check list, if anyone's interested:
Girl 10-14 Wish list:
MAIN (try very hard to get)
- Comb or bush
- Hair bands/head bands/etc
- School/art Supplies
- Lined (any pad/journal/book)
- Plain (small pad)
- Stationery/Envelopes set (more info on that here)
- Pencils (3-10)
- Blue (1-2)
- Black (1-2)
- Colored (1)
- Colored pencils (or markers/crayons if much cheaper)
- Pencil case/bag (here's a pattern for one)
- Tote Bag (here's a pattern for one)
- Gloves (work or warm)
- Sewing kit
- Stuffed animal
- Ball (mini rubber)
- Active/noisy/social toy/game (Cards, checkers, jump rope, puzzle, dominoes etc.)
- Quite/calm/solitary toy (slinky, rubik's cube, plastic puzzle with sliding pieces)
OPTIONAL (as available/there is space):
- Decorative/mechanical/fun pencil
- Pretty handkerchief
- Bonus Items (small top, yo-yo, etc or cup, just something we come up with)
- Whistles (small plastic ones are great)
Happy Packing, Sarah