Saturday, November 20, 2010

Totes for my Little Ballerinas

Wow! I can't believe this is my 100th post...man, I talk too much! Thanks for listening :-) Don't worry, I brought you all some eye candy to go along with the babble today.

The two little beauties in my life love to dance. Spend a good part of each day on their tip-toes, twirling around...do you have little ballerinas like this, too?


They both take a dance class, and normally I tote their tiny little ballet and tap shoes back and forth to class in a crumby plastic bag. So, I thought they needed an upgrade.
Ta da! Ballerina totes! I think these are probably the most favorite thing I have ever made. And since I am in "Santa's Workshop" mode, I went ahead and made 5 of 'em...for family and friends!
The inspiration for these bags was this adorable Japanese ballerina print....isn't it sweet?
I only had a fat quarter, so I had to stretch my creative muscles to come up with a way to highlight the print but have enough to make all these bags. The body of the bag is rather simple, just a simple tote in a linen-look cotton, lined with a sweet pink polka dot. The straps used the same linen and a soft pink stripe.

I added a big pocket on the front, with a square of the ballerina print, some coordinating Hunky Dory, and some more pink polka dots. I also hand embroidered each girl's name in pink thread, and added some cute girly crochet trim.
I used some more Hunky Dory to make a loop for a big wooden button- an informal closure easy to manage with little fingers. If my name was Oprah, or Julie Andrews, wooden buttons would be one of "my favorite things."
As a little fun detail, I also added a tab with an appliqued ballerina...can never have too many ballerinas on a ballerina bag, after all! Each girl got a different little ballerina "character."


The finished size is about 12" by 13", ample for ballet shoes, tutus and a change of clothes.


One added bonus of this project is that, aside from one fat quarter of the ballerina print, all of the fabrics and notions I used were from my stash. I feel like a "real" quilter now....I used to have to always buy coordinates for everything, but have now amassed a pretty awesome variety of fabrics. It felt good to dip into it and use some up!

These will be under the Christmas tree, so we will still be "plastic bagging-it" for a few weeks...but I am sure they will be thrilled.

19 comments:

quiltilicious said...

Wow - when do you sleep?!

TheBlackForrist said...

Japanese fabrics, man, they just keep getting cuter. I love the piecing together of the materials... makes them go much farther! I need to get into santa's workshop mode immediately!

Lee said...

I've been wanting to make a dance tote for my daughter for ages! I've had some Castle Peeps set aside for the purpose. Yours is darling and I really like the button closure. Thanks for inspiring/reminding me! : )

Jennifer said...

These are so cute! Makes me wish my daughter was old enough to dance and need something like this!

QuiltyGirl said...

Adorable!
I love the hand embroidery, but I think my most favorite part is the tiny tag!

nima said...

wow..that's pretty and cute

amy smart said...

These are adorable. Love that little ballerina print!

Bree said...

These are absolutely adorable! I especially like the tags you put on the sides with the different characters.

Megan said...

Love, love, love these! The little tag on the side with the different characters is wonderful!

Elizabeth D. said...

Awfully cute idea! I especially love the little tag on the side. Now I know just what to make my niece for her birthday in January! :)

Lisa Ann said...

Those bags are absolutely adorable! Your girls looks super sweet, lucky to have a mama that makes them things! And your tag is an excellent idea, mind if I use it?!

emedoodle said...

These are adorable! :) Great work!

Karin said...

So cute! Wish I had a ballerina to make this for because that little print is darling! Did you make one for each of the girls in class? What a sweet thing to do! I'll bet they were tickled pink!

Kate said...

These are gorgeous - your girls will love them!

Naturally Carol said...

Love them! Good idea to put names on them, I can just imagine if they all toddled off to ballet classes with them all looking the same! Very cute ideas incorporated in each one!

Naturally Carol said...

I just want to come back and check out some of your other work, so, I have become your latest follower! I hope you have time to come and see me too...you're more than welcome, anytime.

Quiltstory said...

So so so so cute!! Love each little "character", that fabric is to die for. Love!! Thanks for sharing :)

Katie said...

This is adorable! I saw it a couple of days ago and just can't get it out of my head. I love the combination of lace and linen. I think my little ballerina niece would love something like this.

jednoiglec said...

Soooo cute! When I saw your little ballerinas and lovely bags, I thought that I would love to have some little ballerina at home too:)