My daughter started her first ballet class last week. She has taken dance classes before, but never strictly ballet. I grew up dancing; danced for 14 years and loved every minute of it. I was never very good at ballet, but excelled in jazz and modern dance. If you are a parent that grew up dancing, you know the feeling of nervous anticipation when your child takes their first class. Will they like it as much as I did? I’m happy to report she loves it! It probably doesn’t hurt she has a couple of her best friends in the class with her.
I went ahead and made my daughter a drawstring bag for her ballet slippers and I thought it would be a great simple tutorial to share with you all. The bag is reversible and has a pair of embroidered ballet slippers on one of the sides. If you want to create this bag yourself, here is what you will need:
- (2) 7″ x 13″ rectangles for your exterior fabric (I used this)
- (2) 7″ x 13″ rectangles for you interior fabric (I used this)
- (4) 7″ x 2″ rectangles for the fabric your drawstring will pass through (I used scraps from recycled clothing)
- (2) 21″ drawstring or ribbon (the opening will be 1/2″ wide)
- Embroidery thread (optional)
- Ballet Slipper Line Drawing (Dowload Here)
Now that you have all your materials gathered, let’s get started!
*Feel free to skip the first 2 steps if you do not want the embroidered ballet slippers on your bag.
Step 1: Print out the Ballet Slipper Line Drawing and cut out the slippers. Decide where you would like the slippers to be placed on your exterior fabric and transfer the drawing to your fabric. I taped the slippers to the back of my fabric and then taped the fabric to a window with good light. I then traced the slippers using a fine washable crayola marker from my kids stash.
Step 2: Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop and using a backstitch go over all the lines of the ballet slipper.
Step 3: Now, moving on to the construction of the bag. First we will make the casing for the drawstring. Stack 2 of your Casing rectangles right sides together. Sew 1/2″ from each of the outer edges.
Step 4: Iron the seams open.
Step 5: Turn the casing right side out with the seams on the sides. Iron.
Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 with the other 2 casing pieces. You should now have 2 separate casings.
Step 7: Fold each casing in half on the long side. Iron to crease.
Step 8: Grab one casing and one of your exterior rectangles. Place the casing on top of the shorter side of the exterior fabric’s right side, lining up the raw edges. The casing will be 1″ shorter than the exterior fabric. Place the casing in the center, you should have 1/2″ on each side. Use 2 pins to hold in place before moving to the next step.
Step 9: Place one of your interior rectangles on top of the casing and exterior fabric. The bag’s pieces should have right sides together, with the casing piece sandwiched in the middle. Pin everything together, being careful to keep your casing piece in the center with all raw edges lining up.
Step 10: Sew all 3 pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. DO NOT start at the edge of the fabric. You will only be sewing on top of the casing. So, start 1/2″ down and continue down, ending 1/2″ before the other end. If it helps you to make a mark for your starting and ending points before sewing, do so.
When you are finished with step 10, you will have something like this. Basically, you just sewed one side of your bag.
Step 11: Repeat Steps 8-10 to make the other side of your bag.
Step 12: We will now begin attaching the two sides of the bag together. Open up each of your sides flat, so the casing is in the middle. Place the sides right sides together, interior to interior, exterior to exterior. Pin around the interior fabric, excluding the side with the casing. Sew a 1/2″ allowance along the 3 sides. Be careful not to sew on top of your casing. Your casing should be pushed on the other side when doing this step. If it’s not doing that naturally, simply push it to the other side before sewing.
You should now have something that looks like this. Your lining is complete, now you just need to sew the outside.
Step 13: Before sewing the exterior sides together, you’ll need to tuck your casing into the interior pouch. This will make it so you don’t accidently sew it onto your exterior fabric. If you would like to pin it in place, go ahead.
Step 14: Line up the exterior sides, right sides together, and pin in place. Sew a 1/2″ seam allowance around the 3 sides, leaving a 3″ opening on one of the sides.
Step 15: Cut all 4 of your corners at an angle, making sure to not cut over your sewn lines.
Step 16: This step probably isn’t completely necessary, but it will make for a cleaner finished product. It will also help later on when you’ll need to hand stitch an opening closed. Iron your seams open along the outside of both the interior pouch and the exterior pouch.
Step 17: Turn the exterior pouch right side out through your 3″ opening until it encases the interior pouch.
Step 18: Insert your 21″ drawstrings through each of your casings using a safety pin.
Step 19: See that opening along the side of the bag in the photo above? Go ahead and hand stitch that closed and you are all done!! Enjoy your reversible drawstring bag!
Let me know if you make a bag yourself! And, if you have any questions, I am here to answer them!