Thursday, 14 October 2010

A ballet bag for Bella

One of the nicest things that happened this week was being asked to make a ballet bag for a friend's little girl. 

Bella is four, loves her ballet lessons and all things girlie and pink.  The old plastic carrier bag she was carrying her tutu around in just didn't cut it any more, so her Mum asked me if I would make her a ballet bag.  It had to be roomy enough for her tutu and also girlie enough to satisfy Bella's style requirements.  What an excellent brief!

I rummaged through my piles of fabric, and came across a piece of this wonderful Alexander Henry apples and pears fabric that was just big enough.  I have used it in so many projects over the past few years that I can't remember them all.  I was amazed to find this last piece lurking at the back of a shelf, just big enough for bag making.

I made a large tote bag, and boxed the corners to make a wide, flat base.  I embroidered Bella's name on one side of the bag and sewed some suffolk puffs on the other side.

I made straps long enough for Bella or her Mum to sling the bag over a shoulder, and lined it with the last remnant of the thick white sheeting I acquired from my Grandmother and used here and here.

Then I really wanted to add a pocket too, because I know from years of O's ballet lessons that there are so many little extras required for ballet that would get lost at the bottom of a big bag - the hairpins, hairbands, little pink socks, a hairbrush and so much more.  I didn't have quite enough of the apples and pears fabric left, so I made a pocket out of this green Tanya Whelan fabric instead.  I love the way it contrasts so well with the white lining, and picks up the green in the apples and pears.

Cutting up the green pocket fabric made me think what an excellent fabric it would make for an apron, so today I made the rest of it into another reversible apron for the shop.

And it looked exactly as I had imagined it would - always so gratifying!  The reverse side is made from a vintage French cotton that I bought this summer in France.

Then, because I was on a roll I made another apron for the shop - this time in pastel pinks and oranges, on one side using some more French vintage fabric bought this summer, and on the other side a really lovely, bold print from Ikea.

And now I have to stop sewing for other people and turn my attentions closer to home. Next week both the children have their birthdays and C has asked me to make him a cushion.  Here is the one I made for O's birthday this time last year.  C wants a Swiss themed one, and happily I did go mad in two fabric shops in Interlaken and Brienz when we were on holiday so I think I may have just the right sort of out though, there may be edelweiss and fondue sets involved!


  1. You are on a roll! What wonderful sewing.

  2. What a super ballet bag. And such brilliant details: the Tanya Whelan pocket on the inside and Suffolk puffs on the outside. She'll be the envy of all her classmates!

    K x

  3. Oh the ballet bag is perfect ,I bet Bella is delighted ,love your reversable pinnys too ,clever girl ,and I clicked onto your 'here' and looked at your lovely cushins and erm pinched the pocket idea to add to my Christmas present make list Jan xx

  4. Beautiful ballet bag, I hope Bella liked it. Love the aprons too.

  5. Can't wait! Might even get out our raclette set in your honour!

  6. Both the bag and the aprons are just lovely. I'm off to have another browse in the shop. Do you take commissions for the bread bags?


Even though I often do not have the time to reply to everybody, I really appreciate all your comments so much - thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts on what I've written.