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.

Stitched Birthday Badge

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My lovely little thing turned 5 yesterday. FIVE! Five years on the planet. Five years of being a mum. Five years since a labour that wrecked my body forever. Only five little rainbow years. She was very excited about the whole thing, about going to school and having everyone sing the birthday song, about being able to wear her sparkly shoes and about putting on her birthday badge and erm…. hang on, what now? Birthday badge??

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Life in Pictures: St. Ives

St Ives Cornwall 30

So we had a little holiday in St. Ives, Cornwall, for a week and it was lovely and now I think I’d quite like to live there. We left at 4am due to my (slightly OTT) panic about getting stuck in a jam with two bored kids on a journey that already takes 6 hours. But we arrived at 10 (unable to check in till 3…) in a bit of a daze and feeling slightly jetlagged/drunk on tiredness. So we had ice creams for breakfast and sat there feeling confused for a few hours.

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How to Make Oobleck!

How to make oobleck little button diaries

This stuff, if you haven’t already discovered it, is wonderful for kiddies to make a mess with. Plus it’s cheap and really quick to make which is good for us! So what the oobleck is this stuff? Well, it’s goo. Goo made from cornflour, that has the weirdest consistency ever. The name comes from Dr. Seuss who wrote a book, “Bartholomew & The Oobleck” about a substance that acts like a liquid, but when you apply pressure, it turns to a solid.

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The Pirate Craft Book

the pirate craft book by little button diaries

ARGGGHHHHH! Today’s the day, land lovers, that our new craft book is out and available to buy. The Pirate Craft Book is filled with 15 craft treasures to kits out little pirates from head to toe. We even show you how to throw your own pirate party me hearties. With projects including treasure maps, polly parrots, waistcoats and telescopes – if you know a little pirate obsessed little one then this book might just be perfect for them.

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Life in Pictures: The Seaside

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These pics are from a little trip we took to Eastbourne last week to see a show with the kids. A show which started at 7pm. Which could have been VERY STUPID. But turned out to be… only a bit stupid. They go to bed at 7pm normally, so I was dreading a tiredness induced shit fit mid performance. But luckily, it went the opposite way and my youngest sat dopily on my lap the whole way through. I love Eastbourne, there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about it. Proper English Seaside, with all the cheesy chintzy stuff that goes with it.

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Bunny Rabbit Soaps

bunny soap by little button diaries_9

These cute little bunny soaps make the perfect little gift for Easter. I can’t believe I’ve never made soaps before, they’re so bloomin easy! I always thought it would be complicated and involve tons of ingredients. But it isn’t and it doesn’t. It’s totally craft cheating to be honest, because all you’re doing is melting down an existing block of soap and cutting it into new shapes. I love it! And as I have a thousand cookie cutters the prospects are endless. Mo ha haaa.

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Easter Bonnets

DIY easter bonnets by little button diaries

Hobbycraft asked us to come up with some ideas for easy DIY Easter Bonnets that kids can make so we thought we’d share with you what we came up with. Unfortunately we didn’t get to keep any of the makes, which would have been useful for Amelie’s Easter Bonnet day at school which I’ve only just found out about! For the full tutorials go to Hobbycraft’s blog – they’ve got lots of other bonnets on their site too.

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Bunny Rabbit Cake

bunny rabbit cake for easter by little button diaries 16

This little bunny rabbit cake is an easy peasy bake. It would have to be, or I wouldn’t have been able to make it! I made it for my little Lilah’s 3rd birthday – because she is totally obsessed with bunnies. There were bunnies everywhere. This would make a fab centrepiece for an Easter Party too I think (check out our little video on throwing an Easter Party on our YouTube channel).

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Mini Makers: Colour Sort Button Art

button art by little button diaries 7

I was looking at my mountains of craft crap (#craftcrap) the other day – I really do have gigantic stacks of pointless stuff. It pains my inner zen. But I can’t get rid of it, not without finding a use. I have this huge jar of buttons – there are so many buttons they no longer fit in the jar. So it’s actually a huge jar of buttons with a pile of precariously placed buttons on the top. Ridiculous. So I came up with an idea to use my buttons. This craft is so easy and kids LOVE it. Perfect for preschool kids as it has two parts to it – colour sorting and picture building.

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9 Ways to Get Creative With Cardboard

9 ways to get creative with cardboard

A few weeks ago, along with the super Oh Creative Day, we launched a new Instagram account @get.creative.with as a way to encourage families to get crafting together. Each week has a new theme and guest judge and this week it was our turn. We chose CARDBOARD as our theme, and oh my, we were not disappointed with the super ways people got creative with it.

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Mini Makers: Clay Plant Pots

mini clay pots final 4

We ❤ air dry clay. But it’s only recently that our kids are starting to enjoy the stuff too (previous attempts haven’t always ended well with our kids either eating the clay or mushing it into their hair). Once you’re out of the toddler zone air dry clay is a fantastic medium for them to play around with – easy to mould, inexpensive, paintable and felt tip pen-able! Hobbycraft asked us to come up with an easy craft for kids using clay, so we decided to make these teeny plant pots, which are ridiculously easy to make with the help of a loo roll tube!

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Life In Pictures: Twinning is Winning

yellow coat m&s - little button diaries

You know you’ve been friends for a long time when all your likes and dislikes merge into being the same. Over the course of our 16 year friendship (gulp) we have developed a mutual like of weak coffee, crunch cream biscuits, prisons dramas and the colour yellow. We always want what the other has, and we regularly end up with the same stuff. Hence our troublesome twosome here in their little matchy yellow outfits. Too CUUUUTE.

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Life in Pictures: Cinderella & Acey

half term 1

Hello hello! Hope you’ve had a nice week? For us, it was half term and it’s been very lovely. I think I’m in a minority in the parent world, but I really love half term. Not in a slushy way, more that we like not being ruled by the routine! School is still new to us, and we (I) have struggled a bit with getting up and getting out in the mornings. In fact, I’m crap at it.  Despite my best intentions for calm TV-free mornings of getting ready without any tantrums and laughing into our cheerios, we always end up late,  missing socks, forgetting book bags and running to school with a sweat on. So this week has been about lie-ins. Not lie-ins like they used to be mind, more “you can take the ipad to your bedroom as a special treat!” kind of lie-ins. Which are almost as good. Almost.

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Easy Peasy PJs

pyjamas little button diaries 12

I’m not a pro at sewing clothes. I made a dress once and forgot to put arm holes in it. Then I made a skirt – using ridiculously expensive liberty fabric – and it wouldn’t zip up. I made it twice, both times it would not zip up! It stayed in a “maybe it will fit one day” pile for about 4 years, then I cut it up. Depressing. So I haven’t really made many clothes since. But then I saw this fabric and I thought it would make some cute PJs… so I made some PJs! And, thank goodness, they were the easiest thing ever. You don’t need a pattern – you just need another pair of pyjamas to use as a template.

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