The Great British Sewing Bee Live

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by beattie beattie 6 years, 6 months ago.

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    You may have read about it on Facebook, but I thought I’d write about it on the forum too.

    Claire has negotiated for morsbags to have a lovely big space to help members of the public make themselves a free bag (and hopefully, have a positive sewing experience and a little while to consider plastic bags and the seas…) at this high-profile four day show.

    Sewing Bee - Patrick and Esme

    Fortunately, we had quite a lot of notice, because they wanted 1500 morsbags to use as “goodie bags” for people attending some of the talks/ workshops. Okay, we can do this if we all work at it!!

    The first lots of bags were made and delivered,

    Sewing Bee - Bude Baggers delivery

    labelled and shipped to London to be filled with goodies.

    Sewing Bee - bags ready to go to London

    More bags kept on flooding in –

    Sewing Bee - Morsbags delivery

    together with other supplies needed to run the show for four days – kits that have been ironed and are ready to sew, fabric to be cut up,

    Sewing bee - Offcuts pod preparing

    scissors to do the cutting

    and, best of all, Janome supplied us with six brand new, computerised sewing machines – WOW!

    Sewing Bee - New Janome

    So now we’re all sorted, almost! The volunteers have been time-tabled, the supplies are being assembled, Claire is working on the displays for the back wall of our stand. The set-up team is ready for next Wednesday, 5,4,3,2,1….


    Hooray – a great first day. Will let Beattie do the full write up but here are a few pics from our stand….

    GBSB Day 1


    OK, that didn’t work….. Will have a tinker with the photos again and try later! Watch this space


    My friend Claire and I met you all yesterday at Sewing Bee Live (21/09)and managed to squeeze in a quick make before closing. We were so inspired by the project that we purchased 20 labels each and spent the train journey home making plans to set up a Pod. (We bumped in to another couple of ladies on the train and shared Morsbags info with them too.)
    This morning we set up our Pod and posted a message on our local sewing group page- there’s lots of interest in the idea and we’ve created a Morsbags challenge! We have another member heading to Sewing Bee today with instructions to come and find you and buy us 100 more labels.

    I think we have the Morsbag ‘bug’.


    What lovely news! Thanks for sharing it with us, Dillyshambles!
    We had an even busier day today. Thanks for getting stuck in and starting your pod so promptly.😁

    butterfly bags
    butterfly bags

    It sounds like the Sewing Bee event has been brilliant! So good to hear that people are catching the morsbag bug.
    Welcome to the wonderful world of morsbags Dillyshambles.


    I think you’ll be happy to hear I’ve just finished cutting my first 10 bags. My friend Claire and I have a challenge to make 100 each. (We’re quite competitive. Lol.)


    Way to go Dillyshambles and Claire. Enjoy making your bags x


    Tea boy and I had a great time helping on the morsbag stand on 22nd. We were very tired at the end of the day. I can only imagine how Clair, Joe, Beattie and Frank must be feeling, being there for the whole show. It was lovely to meet you all and of course all the lovely people who came to make bags.

    butterfly bags
    butterfly bags

    Dillyshambles, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition! You wait until you see your pod moving up the pod charts. It’s always good nudging your way onto the next page!


    Just wanted to say thank you once again to Claire, Joe, Beattie and Frank plus all the other volunteers (and baby Elfie of course) for all their hard work at the GBSB. I volunteered on the first and last days and thoroughly enjoyed it, meeting hundreds of sewing enthusiasts from all over the UK who showed a real interest in morsbags, with many buying labels and taking kits to start making bags themselves – including Dillyshambles, welcome!

    From the coachload of ladies who’d journeyed from Norwich to a stitcher from Wells who wants to encourage her local shops to go plastic bag free; from the visitor who’d travelled all the way from Cumbria to the sewing shop owner who is going to host morsbag making workshops; from someone who had made morsbags in the past and bought labels to start doing so again to a lady from Nottingham who is now planning a visit to morsbags Leicestershire HQ one Thursday…. Thanks to everybody who visited our stand and said “what an excellent idea”! The reaction was the best I’ve experienced at any event I’ve attended with morsbags.

    The new Janomes were fabulous – especially the little thread snipping gizmo and the fancy stitches like the scalloped edge! Great fun to use.

    PS: I took loads of photos but can’t seem to upload them here – they are on the morsbags Facebook pages though and are set to ‘Public’ so you should be able to see them!


    Thanks for your posts everyone and apologies for taking so long to add my twopennyworth. We’ve been recovering from the unaccustomed effort! I forgot to take any photos, except for a few on Sunday, so I hope nobody minds that I’ve taken some from peoples’ posts on facebook and uploaded them to flickr.

    Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

    Most of the kit we needed for the show was transported by James the very kind friend of morsbags who has a campervan. The rest was put in our car boot and Claire (with morsbaby), Frank and I arrived at ExCel on Wednesday afternoon. We set up our stall as best we could and retired to our various accommodations to meet again on Thursday morning, ready to finish off decorating and preparing.

    F and I had a simple quarter of an hour walk from our hotel, Claire and Joe had a more complicated traverse from their hired house-with-no-chairs-or-lightbulbs. We had a pleasantly busy day – the show wasn’t packed,

    Busy on Thursday

    but we had enough customers to keep us turning over and by the end of the day we’d made 65 bags. Sarah had the presence of mind to take a photo of the last customers of the day.

    Happy customers Thursday

    Friday dawned and we met up as before, being joined today by Mike and Wendy of Macs Bags and son Bernie, who was over from Germany – all of whom we’d worked with before. We also had the pleasure of the company of Em who’d travelled from Market Harborough and Chris who’d cycled about half an hour across London to reach us.

    Friday relatively quiet


    Happy customer on Friday

    Friday queue

    Friday - Bernie and Mike

    Friday's crew

    A couple of interesting observations – we made 91 bags with 9 volunteers on the stand, of whom five were men and four were women. Who says sewing’s for girls?

    To be continued…..


    Saturday and Sunday

    On Saturday we were joined by Marie who had travelled from Buckinghamshire, and Helen and Kate, who I think both came (separately) from London, so there were seven of us running the stand. Joe is the one missing from this photo, being behind the camera.

    Saturday's crew

    Plus Baby Morsman as before, making her contribution of course.

    World's youngest morsbaby - Elfie

    Luckily someone remembered to take a photo of some finished bags – thank you!

    Happy bag-makers Saturday

    Marie brought a few wheelchair bags (the handles go fore-and-aft instead of side-to-side, in case you were wondering) and also some wheelchair bag kits, all nicely labelled so we wouldn’t get confused.

    We made 68 bags on Saturday, not a bad haul for the day!

    Sunday was the last day of the show and the “core four” (Claire, Joe, Frank and me) were joined for the day by Helen again (she must have enjoyed it!), Nicky (a friend of Chris who came on Friday – he obviously didn’t put her off too much). Sarah came down from Leicester again for the afternoon and Rosie managed to get a lift from a friend who was coming to the show, presumably to buy and network.

    I hope this will gladden Marie’s heart – the first customer of the day was in a wheelchair and chose one of the special kits she’d made up.

    image3 Sunday

    image4 Sunday

    Our stand was within earshot of the catwalk where a variety of dresses made up from Vogue patterns were modelled twice a day to catchy tunes that got into our heads for the rest of the day. On Thursday, a couple of the models visited us and one, Charlotte, decided to make a morsbag. She picked a kit and got started, but unfortunately, was a bit short of time and had to go and re-do her make-up before the bag was finished, so I gave it to her to look after and invited her back another time. On Friday the stand was manic, with long queues and when Charlotte returned we were too busy to fit her in. Saturday passed without her looking in, but on Sunday she came back with a friend and was able to finish her sewing.

    Charlotte with rollers in, Sunday

    image1 Sunday

    Her friend, Laura, was able to make a bag too.

    image2 Sunday

    Joe talking

    Joe talking the talk

    Nicky with a very patient queue

    Nicky & patient queue Sunday

    Pol, Joe and Elfie

    Sunday afternoon

    All there Sunday

    On Sunday we made 70 bags, making a total of 294 over the four days of the show.

    I will draw a veil over the breakdown process, let’s just say that it was over with, eventually!

    What made the whole effort worthwhile was meeting so many people who “got it”. They like sewing, have fabric some of which they’re not quite sure what to do with, and got the whole “Random Acts of Kindness” ethos of morsbags – as well as saving whales, turtles, sea birds and all sorts of other wildlife.

    If you joined after meeting us at ExCel and the Great British Sewing Bee, welcome!


    The day AFTER the Great British Sewing Bee we were walking along the Embankment near Lambeth Bridge when I saw this red phone box.

    image5 Sunday

    Pod works phone box

    I have no idea what was in it, all four sides had blinds drawn down and there was a fancy lock on the door….

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