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My sister-in-law put in a request for reusable fabric snack bags for her two young sons. I had been thinking about making them for a while, but had read that one should use food-safe fabric. Spoonflower carries a nice organic cotton knit (much like jersey) and an organic cotton sateen, so my first thought was to create two different cut-and-sew designs that would fit on a fat quarter for the exterior and interior.

Then I got lazy too busy and didn’t want to design a lining. Then I thought that maybe I was being too paranoid about whether fabrics were food-safe or not, plus I suspected the organic knit would be too soft for snack sacks. Not to mention it would be expensive to buy both exterior and interior fabrics off Spoonflower. So I figured that a simple design with no background colour on regular cotton would be fine, and for the interior I could find a solid organic cotton locally.

Easier said than done. The fabric stores around Queen West have great finds…but you have to find them. One woman in a shop told me that they had organic cotton “over there”, waving her hand toward a shelf packed and jumbled with bolts. “You have to look for it,” she said. None of them that I could see were labelled as organic, or labelled at all. I gave up quickly. The stores in the garment district are awesome, but judging from their prints  they buy up old and outdated stock. Organic is a pretty new trend.

Luckily I found two local sources online: Tonic Living, and a nice lady on Etsy who was selling yards from a bolt of lovely yellow Birch organic fabric. I ended up buying from both. They were both surprisingly inexpensive, but I guess solid non-designer colours would be pretty cheap.

Anyhow, these are my sketches for characters featured on the snack sacks:

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And this is a closeup of the printed fabric. I chose the most common dry snacks that might go into pouches like these. There’s a pretzel, Ritz cracker, goldfish cracker, Oreo, chocolate chip cookie, and saltine. I think the saltine is my favourite.

(The irony is that being a semi-crunchy mom, I will likely rarely buy these kinds of snacks for Gigantor when he gets older – he will get Annie’s organic bunnies and ShaSha snaps. 😛 )

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This is a fat quarter divided into 12 rectangles, meant to make six snack sacks. It’s currently on sale in my Spoonflower shop. Search for “snack sack tutorial” online and you’ll find lots of instructions. You’ll need another fabric for the lining, plus Velcro. I designed for a 1/4″ seam allowance.

I will post photos once I’ve finished sewing these up myself. Besides my sister-in-law’s kids, I have another nephew, my stepdaughter and her sister, various friends’ kids – and not to mention myself and Gigantor – who could use these too, so I’ve got a lot of sewing to do before Christmas. Happy snacking!

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