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Beattie, here in Germany vintage and retro fabrics are fashionable, too.Mine tend to be actual “treasures from the past”, aprons or pillow cases. The bundles in the wire basket are kits ready to sew. I followed your advice and prepared them, handles pinned in place, all secured with a bit of ribbon. This deters many though not all from unfolding everything and making a huge mess.
Unfortunately I haven’t mastered the art of uploading photos yet. But my friend has now put a post about our last bag making workshop online. If you click here, you can see my handy display of the “morsbags metamorphosis”:
Pack einen Stoffbeutel ein!
I prepared it once and never do a workshop without it because it proved to be so useful!
last weekend I had my fifth morsbag making event and can tell you about some experiences.
Children: I have actually sewn with 4-year-olds – they are very sweet and I just couldn’t turn them away. But, oh boy, did I have to look out for my fingers or they’d have sewn them straight onto the bag. After 2 such experiences I decided that all children must be accompanied by an adult who actually sits next to them and watches what the kids are doing.
In my experience children can sew quite well from the age of 10. But possibly I was just lucky to have kids there who knew what they were doing!
Showing morsbags : I used Beatties “security” systemof sliding bags over a bit of rope and fastening them with pegs. That worked rather well! Thank you!
After the actual sewing I handed out photocopied instructions on how to make morsbags for future morsbags projects. The German pod “Duisbags” made up German ones which are absolutely wonderful.
But what noone can prepare you for are the pitfalls such as “funny” people. One lady came up to us with a bag she had in her possession (not a morsbag). It was too long for her liking and she wanted it altered to suit her needs. I had to become very assertive and told her that we’d make morsbags first and IF there was time and someone who volunteered maybe we’d take care of her bag. (She was handicapped and couldn’t sew by herself.) The morsbaggers rose to terrific heights and devised a clever plan how to alter this bag. When one machine couldn’t sew through the thick material, another morsbagger took over. This was great but gave us the clever idea of organizing cards from the local alteration service to hand out to such “customers” next time.
One lady, a repeat-morsbagger, asked whether we could teach something different next time. Clearly she got a bit bored by always the same pattern! So, I told her about a fabric shop that has sewing classes. Maybe I should get their cards as well?
People always find it hard to understand that morsbags and morsbags workshops are FREE. They alsways want to donate money, fabric, thread, anything at all to show their gratitude. So, for my next events I had the idea of imitating Jamie Oliver with his “pass-it-on pledge”. He gave cookery classes and urged participants to teach this dish to a specified number people, who in turn should teach it to as many people. This way knowledge would spread.
Do you have stories of unexpected behaviour from visitors? They would be entertaining but also a good preparation for future morsbags events.
thanks for sending some sunshine this way – it came here round midday. So, I only made 2 Morsbags today and enjoyed the sun the rest of the day. We live in north Germany, Berlin is two hours by car.
Beattie, I especially loved the idea of threading the morsbags with letters on them onto the rope: I also had people trying to get bags with their initials off the clothes line! I can see from all your useful ideas that you have done workshops any times and probably learnt something at everyone of them!
Wonderful pictures, lovely bags, too – I can see them on my computer once I clicked Jan’s links. I’m very envious: I still haven’t cracked this Flickr thing. I’m also envious of the lovely sunshine in your pics: Here in Germany it’s a rainy day. Still, these are good weather conditions for sewing morsbags!
This is such fantastic information and exactly what I needed: We’re going to have another Morsbags workshop and I wanted to display unusual Morsbags. For example one made out of a gent’s shirt, one that was an embroidered tablecloth, one a former pillowcase, etc. Now I know how to display them.
I have a special workshop display for the different “stages” of a morsbag: It’s a blanket and I pinned 8 small morsbags in their metamorphosis from the kit the participants are given (i.e. a long piece of material, tops folded down and handles already pinned inside) to the finished product. Especially school teachers were impressed with it!
This is great, thank you very much!
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!
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?
Right, I experimented a bit with bag sizes and found that the 30x33cm bags are supersweet, but not at all suitable for kids carrying library books. I can see now why children often pick the normal sized morsbags! The little bags are ideal for treats to take home after a kid’s birthday and could be reused for carrying snacks or slippers when going to a play date.
Thanks for your ideas! I will try and experiment with the measurements you gave me because I have a lot of smaller pieces to use up.
But of course picture books are very big and only a normal sized morsbag would accomodate them – I didn’t think about that!