Monday, 18 January 2016

Library Bags for Operation Backpack

Children in Australia will soon be heading back to school after their five week Summer holiday break. For parents this means purchasing school supplies ready for the new school year. Unfortunately for some, this can be an onerous task, due to financial hardships, and that's where Operation Backpack comes in. 


An initiative of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Operation Backpack is run jointly with various shopping centres. Although the scheme has been running for nearly ten years, I have only just read about it in my local newspaper, and so this is my first year taking part.


Any new school supplies can be donated - pens, pencils, rulers, glue, pencil cases, folders, lunch boxes, school bags, drink bottles, backpacks. While shopping for their own children's school supplies, parents are encouraged to add extra to the shopping trolley. One item multiplied by many, adds up.


Instead of popping into the shops and buying some items, I thought I'd make a few library bags. Although I didn't specifically see library bags mentioned, as a former teacher, I know they will be on the list for parents to organise.


I cut out twenty three bags, but only ended up sewing ten. I'll sew the others up, bit by bit, and they'll be ready to donate next year. Twenty three sounds a lot, but seriously, it hasn't made a dent in my stash.


Sewing doesn't get any easier than this, and so, for me, it's a good project to undertake when I'm tired or don't feel like concentrating.


You may recognise some of the fabrics:-
But most are fabrics that have been sitting in my stash just waiting for the right project.
The instructions and dimensions for making these library bags are all included in my Library Bag Tutorial.


I dropped these bags off to my local shopping centre this morning. Today was the cut off, so the rest will wait till next year.


... a very satisfying project.

My favourite is the one with the lighthouse. What about you?

... Pam

14 comments:

  1. I like this next to last floral one. Twenty does sound like a lot, but I like a mindless sewing project sometimes, too. Nice job!

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  2. 10 bags is a great contribution to the program, considering you only recently found out about it! Pat yourself on the back - 10 kids will have fun bags, and you used up a nice chunk of stash :D I'm sure you'll get more than 13 more done over the next year, too, knowing you!

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  3. Sounds like a win-win project all round Pam! You get to liberate some of your stash and the children get some fun bags for their books, an ideal combination :)

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  4. Oh those fabrics and combinations make such beautiful bags! I don't know that our schools do anything like this, but I think they should. I shall have to check with a few of the school teachers. I, too, have enough fabric in the stash to outfit...well, way more classrooms than I'd care to admit.

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  5. What a great program! The kids are going to love their bags!

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  6. What a noble cause! You managed ten cool looking bags. I believe the kids they reach to, will love each one of them! Bravo!

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  7. Yep - thumbs up from me for the lighthouse too! But such fun fabrics all around... I'm not usually one for clowns, but that one is my second pick. Kudos on you for doing this!

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  8. I am really liking the train bag, so colourful!!
    This is a wonderful thing to do, Pam.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila. I love that train fabric, too. I bought quite a lot of it, as it's often hard to find good boy fabric.

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  9. Oh my I love them all, what a great idea. Here in Florida we have an event called stuff the bus where in August school buses are parked in a few shopping centers where donations of school supplies are collected stuffed into the bus. I would love to make some of these wonderful Library bags for next year.

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    1. Thanks, Deb! Stuff the Bus - what a fabulous event! Love to see pics of Library bags you make next year.

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  10. You are so good at finding charitable making opportunities and doing the making too. I like the pretty blue with flowers one best.

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  11. Hi Pam, what a lovely gift form your heart. We too have stuff the bus (with school supplies) in the fall every year.
    I have sewn and donated cloth bags and many other items to our local library to sell. The money they earn helps fund some of their special programs. The items don't sell for much.
    Some items I've made and donated: pencil toppers and embroidered bookmarks for each season. Several of the kids collected each one starting their collection.
    One summer the reading program theme was dinosaurs, so I embroidered T-Shirts for the staff,text: Dino-brianian {leaving off the letters Li} with silhouettes of dinosaurs. All projects benefit the wonderful public local library - maybe others will do the same - isn't it wonderful how much we can 'gift' with sewing talents! Thanks Bev for your inspiration

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    1. What a lovely idea to make bookmarks, and obviously appreciated with the kids starting collections. And the dino-shirts sound fabulous. Public libraries are a wonderful resource!!! Thanks for taking the time to add to the discussion, Debi.

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