Lined Drawstring Ballet Bag

ballet drawstring bag by little button diaries 16
My two have recently started ballet classes. Super cute they are too, running around flat footed thinking they look like the sugar plum fairy. I’d been hauling all their stuff to ballet lessons in a plastic bag, so I decided I should make a bit more effort and make them each a little bag. I tried quite hard with these ones. They better like ballet! This lined drawstring bag is super easy and quick to make. And the applique comes with a free template! All seams are sewn with a 1cm seam allowance unless stated. You will need:
  • 20in x 15in outer fabric
  • 20in x 15in lining fabric
  • 20cm square matching fabric for applique
  • 20cm square bondaweb
  • 2.6m yellow cotton tape or ribbon
  • yellow embroidery thread
  • Applique ballet shoes template
  • safety pin
1. Attach bondaweb to the back of the appliqué fabric. Trace the template onto the paper backing of the bondaweb and cut out. Line the appliqué onto the front of one of the outer pieces, in the centre and iron to adhere.   2. Blanket stitch the appliqué onto the fabric using coordinating embroidery thread. I cheat and use my machine for speed but I do think a hand stitched finish looks nicer. Laziness won for me (mainly because I was making 2)! I realised at this point, with my spotty fabric, that this looks a little bit like a ninja! I quite like it, ballet bags in disguise…   3. If you want to personalise the bag by stitching a name onto the front, now is the time to do that. As I was making one for each of my girls I wrote their names under the ballet shoes in pencil then backstitched using yellow embroidery thread. 4. Pin the two outer pieces right sides together. Sew along the bottom of the bag. For the 2 sides, leave 2 (3cm wide) gaps – one 3cm from the top and one 3cm up from the bottom of the bag (as shown in the illustration below) and sew. These are for the drawstring. Pin and sew the lining fabric right sides together as well, leaving an 8cm gap in the centre of the bottom of the bag to allow you to turn the fabric (as shown). Trim the corners and any excess fabric and press the seams open.  5. With the seams flat – you can pin if you want to be sure – sew a neat box 5mm around the top drawstring openings of the bag. 6. Turn the lining fabric the right way out and insert it into the outer fabric so that the right sides are facing. Make sure the seams are lined up, then pin and sew around the top of the bag. 7. Turn the bag out through the hole in the lining fabric. Stitch the hole closed and insert the lining into the outer fabric. Press, then neatly top stitch around the opening. 8. To make the channel for the drawstring, sew another line all the way around the bag, just underneath the drawstring opening. 9. Cut the length of strap in half to create 2 x 1.3m lengths. Attach a satefty pin the the end of one and feed it into one of the openings. Bring it all the way round and back through the original hole. Repeat with the other piece in the other hole. 10. Take one of the pairs of straps, make sure it isn’t twisted, and pin the end inside the corresponding bottom hole on the bag, with about 2.5cm of the strap in the hole. Hand stitch in place.   Hooray! Un petit sac de ballet! Tia x P.S. If you also have a little ballerina, you might like this ballet duffel bag from Laura – super cute.

Back to School Pencil Case

applique pencil case little button diaries 13

As a little starting school gift, I thought I would make Amelie a little stitched pencil case. I know she probably doesn’t need one yet, but still. I wanted to make it! So here it is. It didn’t take long, with a little evening stitching in front of the box.  I appliqued it with a yellow pencil and stitched her name on. I know, she will probably ditch it very quickly in favour of some Helly Kitty of Frozen crap, but she likes it at the moment!

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Unicorn Pillow Part 2: Quick Zipped Pillow

unicorn pillow tutorial little button diaries


A couple of weeks ago I posted part one of this pillow tutorial – the unicorn applique. So here’s how to turn that little applique into a pillow. If you sew, you probably already know how to add a zip to a seam, but if you aren’t sure, this is so easy (and I only recently discovered it. I’d been doing it the long loooong way for years). Here’s how to make a pillow in just half an hour. You won’t want to buy one ever again!

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Unicorn Pillow Part 1: Applique

unicorn applique cushion tutorial little button diaries

I have a child who is obsessed with Unicorns. We went to London Zoo a few months ago and on the way there, we were asking her what Animals she most wanted to see. “ummmmm…. unicorns & whales!”, she said. I had to really work hard to persuade her that kangaroos as WAY more exciting than whales. She cried when I said unicorns aren’t real, and I felt so bad.

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Applique Elephant Nursery Art

applique elephant nursery artwork

Just after Christmas my brother and his wife had a beautiful little girl called Inara. She wasn’t due till February, so she was the picture of teeny tiny pocket sized perfection. I wanted to make her a little picture with her name on it, so I thought I would applique something as I enjoyed making the photo-applique so much. Here’s what I made…

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Turn a Photo into an Appliqué

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Ages ago, before our little buttons were on the planet (and what a different planet it was…), I did a bit of experimenting with turning photographs into appliques. Iwould chop out pictures, often magazine images, place them onto scraps of fabric, and sew to create an applique like this one:

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How to Make a Piped & Appliqued Pillow

applique and piped pillow tutorial

A couple of weeks ago I was very happy to be asked if I would be godmother to a beautiful little baby called Olive. She is such a joyful little girl, I decided I’d make her a little colourful cushion to match her personality. I’ve never piped fabric before so I thought I’d give that a shot. Its easy! I’m piping everything from now on…

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DIY Fabric Cot Tidy

cot tidy 1

Its nice to have a little place to store the little toys and things you need for bedtime, so I decided to make a very simple cot tidy to hang on the side of Amelie’s bed. I’ve seen a few in baby shops and they always seem pretty basic to make.

So I took a piece of thick canvas (measuring about 75x50cm) and sewed bias binding all the way around to neaten the edges. I also made 4 strips of the binding for the ties and sewed these to the top corners.

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