Morsbag competition entry – A family of bags!

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I believe sewing is good for your personal well being. When its good for the community and for the environment as well it makes it even better!

When I heard about the Morsbag competition to make 10 bags in a theme of your choice it captured my imagination and I decided enter.

Thinking of a theme ‘sewing’ would have been the obvious choice but I thought that was a bit too predictable. I started to think around the subject and about other things that are important to me, then I decided the theme should be ‘family’. It was my mum that first introduced me to sewing and taught me how to sew. It was my children who were the motivation for me to start my sewing business because  I wanted to have the time flexibility to be with them as much as possible. They also provide the inspiration for lots of my projects and my childrens clothing styles. Its my lovely husband who has put up with me sewing at all sorts of strange hours and supported me in starting and pursuing my sewing business.

Sewing is also full of  ‘families’. My love of teaching started in South Africa 12 years ago when I became a volunteer teacher for a disadvantaged community. The women that I taught inspired me. They would help one another and although many unrelated they showed impressive sisterhood. The applique methods I used on many of these bags are the same as I taught this group.

I’m lucky to have lots of regular customers coming to my sewing classes which are like little sewing families!


Let me present my family themed Morsbags:

I started by defining each member of my immediate family by their most favorite thing.

Apatosaurus and Giganotosaurus:


This is Joseph aged four who is an authority on dinosaurs his favorites being Apatosaurus and Giganotosaurus. He loves all things dinosaur and will happily watch dinosaur documentaries on TV. He can tell you which dinosaurs are carnivores and which are herbivores. I used some left over dinosaur print fabric from one of my makes for him. He is going to keep this bag and use it for his swimming kit.

Twilight sparkle:

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This is Ella aged six who loves pink and purple and all things My little Pony. Twilight sparkle being her favorite…I think because she is pink and purple! Ella will keep her bag and use it for her swimming kit as well.



This is my long suffering husband Barry who works very hard and is an amazing Dad, he occasionally gets some time out to watch his favorite game ..Rugby, of course he supports the Tigers. He will keep his bag and add it to his collection of Morsbag supermarket shopping bags that he keeps in his car for the weekly mini shop (all the things I forget to buy!!).

Bobbins and buttons:

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This is me! I am so lucky that I have been able to turn my passion into a business, I genuinely love sewing and teaching in my business Bobbins and Buttons.

I love that grandmothers can make beautiful items for their grandchildren that might become treasured family heirlooms. I love that hectic career people come and chill out and use sewing as therapy. I love that those suffering with mental health issues get relief with sewing. I love that mums come and make lovely things for their children and learn a skill that they can pass on. I love that guys get involved and find a new passion. I love that things you just can’t buy CAN be made! I just love Sewing!!

Garden of love:

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This represents my parents, my late mum and my Dad both passionate gardeners. Both practical and happiest when in the lovely garden that they created and that my Dad still maintains.

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This is my Dad and my sister who were very happy to be given Morsbags from my family collection!

Bling bling sausages:

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This one represents my husbands parents. My father-in-law Barry senior was a butcher in his working life and Carol my late mother-in-law was well known for her glamour and love of sequins and sparkle. I will give this one to my father-in-law.

Home is where the heart is:

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Over lunch one weekend I did a bit of brain storming for a couple of the designs. I asked Barry and the kids to say what object they thought about when they thought about home and the family. I liked Barry’s suggestion the best…the washing machine. He always does the washing because if he leaves it to me he runs out of shirts before the end of the week! I added some other regular household chores of my own, baking and cooking which are good and cleaning and ironing which are not so good…ironing only occurs with a glass of wine, its the only way to get through the weekly mountain!


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During the brainstorming I asked which word best described the family, I liked Ella’s suggestion the best for this one…..Cuddle. I spread the letters over several bags to share a cuddle with the family!

It made a good spelling test as well…

I gave this bag to my sister.

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My family:


This is inspired by the weekly community project I run. We did a project where they learnt some simple applique techniques based around something they love, several choose to applique a hand for each of their children. This is My husband, me and our two kids hands traced in chosen colour felt fabric.


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Simple family love. I gave this one to my sister as well.

All the bags are made from pieces of fabric left over from projects and the applique is also made from scraps of fabric. In true Morsbag tradition all the bags are or will be given away or put to good use within the family.

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Its also only right that everyone had a go at making their bag as well.

Morsbags is a great cause and I am happy to support it. Leicestershire makes hundreds of bags and has a great Morsbag community. The public vote for this competition starts on 1st April, don’t forget to take a look at Morsbag website and place your vote. I have a little campaign running on social media if you are posting comments or entries to do with Leicestershire morsbags use #leicsmorsbags so we can find you.

Good luck everyone who has entered.



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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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