My close family has grown by 4 almost overnight! 2 new brothers and 2 new nieces! How? Exchange students! My mom & sister both are hosting 2 exchange students this year. [Note! Since writing this post one of my other sisters started hosting an exchange student as well! So we now have 5 in the family!]
My mom asked if I could make her 2 boys, Tony & Niki, some toiletry bags- and that sparked one serious crafting frenzy! Of course, I couldn’t just make generic pouches- I had to make customized pouches… for all four of them! The boys (Niki and Tony) liked soccer & football- so I set out to make some sport themes boxy bags! The girls I knew less about- so I went with a simpler open wide pouch and some cute fabrics & details. The pouches & some details are below!
For Niki’s pouch, I used English paper piecing to make a “mock” soccer ball pattern (you can’t use pentagons or else it will curve! So I used all hexagons which still looks like soccer ball pattern). I made 1 long panel and cut it in half to use as the middle panel. I surrounded it with black canvas (because English paper piecing takes some serious time!!). I used the Boxy Bag tutorial from Pink Stitches to construct the boxy bag and lined the bag with vinyl so it can be easily cleaned. Once it was done, I cut out his name from heat applied vinyl with my Cricut and applied it along the soccer detail. I love how this one came out!
For Tony’s pouch- I had to ask around for some help on how to incorporate football without looking cheesy. My step-brother suggested I make the whole case the football and use white zipper as the middle of the lacing! Genius! I made the cross laces & white end stripe details from white canvas & interfacing. I sewed them right sides together, turned them right side out, and then top-stitched them onto the brown. I used the same tutorial as Niki’s pouch and this one is also lined with vinyl and included the heat set vinyl name on the side in a football jersey font!
For the girl’s pouches, I made the open wide pouches using the tutorial from Noodlehead. I added little personalized name labels using the heat set vinyl again. May is more girly- so I went with a floral pattern for her pouch. For Patty, I picked a more geometric fabric. Both were lined with vinyl as well so they can be used for makeup & toiletries.
Overall, these were a surprising amount of work (I only had about 2 weeks to get them all done!) but I am so happy with how they turned out! And the kids seemed to really appreciate them! I absolutely love making things for people as it pushes me to try new things! This is also why I am addicted to craft swaps- which you will be seeing a lot of here over the next few months since I am signed up for 2 right now!
Until next time!