Morsbag Kits

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Krisaby Krisaby 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #4375
    Avatar
    Gudrun
    Participant

    My friend and I would like to do a morsbag sew-in at our local church fair where you can make and then take a morsbag. I read in your forums about prepared and ironed “kits” you give out. That sounds very interesting.
    My question is: What does a kit consist of? The cut fabric, ironed and pinned, handles already sewn? ? It seems a good idea to prepare some of the ironing because that way you could probably make do with just one ironing board…

    #4376
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    They are really good questions Gudrun! There are no hard and fast answers and you’ll probably get different opinions. 😀

    For us, the answer depends a bit on who will be sewing (I assume adults), whether they’ve sewn before and how fast you want the throughput to be.

    The kits you describe would give the maximum throughput, but the people making the bags wouldn’t know how to make a bag from scratch.

    I think in the past, Offcuts has started with uncut material, so the participants carry out the whole process. This is at the opposite extreme and is slow and needs a lot of helpers, but the “customers” do learn everything there is to know.

    #4377
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    Whoops, posted before I was ready!! Derr!

    I was going to add that if making kits for newbies, I usually cut out the bag body and handles, and iron in the folds, then fold them together, and that’s it!

    We don’t usually use pins, preferring the method where you measure from each edge of the bag with a handy object (postcards are just right) and add the handle in when you’ve almost sewn up to the point where the handle is inserted.

    There are many opinions on how to decide where the handles should go and I don’t want to reopen “pin-gate”!!

    So basically, the answer is, it’s up to you!! 😀

    Try it the way you describe and see how you get on. You should be able to get plenty of bags made and spread the word very effectively.

    Just to add, I would say that you wouldn’t need an iron at all if you do the way you describe. The bag doesn’t need ironing after it’s made – it’s only a bag, but other opinions are available!!

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by beattie beattie.
    #4378
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    How did I manage to post the first bit three times??

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by beattie beattie.
    #4381
    offcuts
    offcuts
    Participant

    I would suggest kits for your church group, Gudrun. You could iron them ready and fold them with the handles inside. People like to choose the colour they like, pattern etc. then you would just need scissors, labels, pins or wonderclips and sewing machines. We also give people kits to take home but we don’t put it on our tally until we are told it has been made.good luck and let us know how it goes. We love photos! 😀

    #4382
    Avatar
    Gudrun
    Participant

    Thank you for your ideas! Not ironing the bag was super advice: So far I had always ironed it before I put in the last 2 seams on the side. But yesterday I tried without and it went just fine.
    By the way: After bagging our library, the charity shop and a local shop that sells upcycled crafty items (lamps made of china coffee pots, etc.) I actually bagged a man in front of me in the supermarket! It was very exciting – but he seemed pleased – or maybe he just felt bullied by me?

    #4383
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    You’re doing a great job getting those bags out into your community, Gudrun! It’s exciting giving them away isn’t it? I’ve never actually bagged someone in a supermarket queue myself, though lots of other people have. I never have a nice clean, SPARE bag with me!

    Is your pod Wundertuete? I see you’ve already made 130 bags – that’s fantastic!! Is it just you sewing or do you have a group of people?

    Offcuts mentions Wonder Clips – and they are a much better alternative to pins for keeping handles in position while you sew, though they cost a lot more than pins do.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Clover-3155-10-Piece-Wonder-Clips/dp/B004ZKPWUO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1431590283&sr=8-2&keywords=wonder+clips

    There are some ideas for presenting your kits. I find that some people tend to rummage, unfold the kit and separate the body from the handle, and leave them all in a right old mess!

    Offcuts has tried presenting presewn handles and bag bodies separately so the “customer” can mix and match the pieces. That way someone who likes long handles can have them, and the handles and bag don’t have to match unless they want them to. She may have some photos.

    I like the idea that Chiara had – you fold the handle into the bag body, then roll or fold it and end up with a neat rectangular package, each one held together with a little strip of spare fabric. The packages can be put, neat side up, in a handy box (the sort lettuces or tomatoes are delivered to shops in are just right – more recycling!). The little tie of fabric stops most people from making too much mess!

    Turns this –

    Morsbags at The Festival of Quilts 006

    into this –

    kits

    lots of kits to choose from

    Sorry, I couldn’t find any photos of the kits in lettuce boxes, but you get the idea!

    #4385
    Avatar
    Gudrun
    Participant

    Dear Beattie, thanks for your ideas, I like the idea of neatly folded bundles! That way I can sew up any leftover bundles without further sorting. I never used wonder clips but wonder whether clothes pegs/hair clips would do the same job?

    Yes, I am “Wundertüte”, it’s a German term for lucky bag/grab bag. When I was a kid we would sometimes buy a sealed “Wundertüte” and inside was a little toy, a sweet and a picture. I sewed the bags on my own going through my stash of old sheets, duvet covers, table cloths I couldn’t use for quilts. I got addicted!

    #4386
    sazzie
    sazzie
    Participant

    Hi Gudrun, you’re doing a great job so far, well done.

    As far as kits are concerned I think you’ve seen from the answers already that there is no right and wrong to do it. Whatever works best for you.
    I’ve always ironed the folds into the top of the bag first and the handles, but it does depend on how many people you have helping you and how many people you are expecting to make a bag. Offcuts way of cutting out the bag from scratch works very well if you have plenty of room and someone to help you.
    I usually suggest people pin/ wonder lip handles in place if they’re a beginner as it helps keep fingers away from the needle, but again that is personal preference.
    As others have said a good selection of colours / different patterns is usually a good idea, but obviously not always possible.
    The main thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy it, and let people learn at their own pace, there’s nothing more off putting than someone standing over you when you’re trying to learn something new.
    It’s also an unofficial morsbag tradition for people to ring a bell when they’ve completed a bag :-), it’s a good way of generating interest as people want to know what the bell is for.
    It’s also useful to have a few part made bags to hand so people can see each step, as lots of people are visual learners like me.

    #4387
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    You make several good points Sazzie!

    If you have room you could have a display of “how to make a morsbag” with part made bags pinned up. I have a set. Something like –
    cut out pieces
    handles sewn into strips
    handles sewn into bag facing down
    handles sewn up into position
    label added
    first side seams sewn
    second side seams sewn.

    I’d forgotten about the bell!! 😳 Well mentioned Sazzie. We don’t have a bell, but we DO have a gong – works just as well.

    Being cheapskates, we tried clothes pegs, but they’re too bulky to get the needle past them. We also tried paper clips and bulldog clips of various styles but they just didn’t work as well as Wonder Clips. If you have some hair clips or paper clips you could try them out and see what works. It might be back to pins if not.

    You can sew up unused bundles after your workshop session – or keep them for the next one if you want to. 😀 It’s great fun to hold one, you and your friend will probably be tired but happy at the end of it.

    It’s not relevant to your sewing workshop, but as you’re now an expert morsbag-maker yourself you might want to try the “fold & sew” method that Masterclock (he’s my husband) & I use. Basically, we don’t iron any kits that we sew ourselves. We just fold and sew! It takes a few seconds longer to sew the handles and the tops of the bags as they are not pre-ironed, but in my opinion you save hours of ironing kits – and I hate ironing. 😉
    (That’s why I save ironed kits for the next workshop)

    Many expert morsbaggers still iron the creases into their kits – it’s a matter of personal preference.

    It made me smile when you wrote that you’re addicted, Gudrun 😀 Welcome to the club!
    I remember “Lucky Bags” from when I was a child. We got a very small amount of pocket money and they were not good value for our 6d (2.5p these days) that we got every Saturday.

    I don’t think you’ll need to worry about running short of material for a while. We’ve found that when you give someone a bag and won’t take any money for it, they want to give you something back – and what could be better than giving you their unwanted curtains, duvet covers and so on. As a single duvet cover usually makes about 9 bags, you soon have plenty more fabric.

    #4388
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    It occurs to me that it would be a good idea for you to have some ready-made bags at your make-and-take session for people who pop in and can’t stay, or for someone who’s made themselves a bag to take another for a friend or relative. It’s also a good move in case you find yourselves with such a big queue of people waiting their turn that it becomes silly!

    Better to give someone a bag you made earlier than to expect them to wait an hour before they can sew. It has been known…. 😕

    If you’re lucky enough to be able to get some publicity – a reporter from your local paper or radio for example, it’s very nice (and effective!) to have a bag or two to give to them!

    #4389
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    Double post again!! How stupid of me…

    I’ll use it to remark that I’ve also morsbagged at some poorly attended “do’s” (e.g. a craft fair that almost no customers came to) and have been very glad that I had my sewing machine and kits and could spend the day usefully sewing morsbags instead of grumbling about the organiser’s poor publicity.

    #4392
    masterclock
    masterclock
    Participant

    I recall the time Beattie was bagging a poorly attended local environmental do. So she dressed up in a huge Morsbag to highjack bewildered passers-by off the street, and direct them in.
    I often wondered what they thought. It reminded me of something on Monty Python.
    Of course I was not a bagger then.

    #4393
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    Here we are outside the venue. When I found that no-one was coming to the “do” I went out onto the main street dressed in my stripes and directed people up to the hidden-away little hall. That was our (Aggie Baggies) first handout with hand-written labels as there was a postal strike. 😀

    Aggie Baggies giant morsbag

    https://morsbags.com/forum-archive/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=378

    #4395
    Krisaby
    Krisaby
    Participant

    All I can say is – Brilliant!

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