Introduction: Ballet Bag

This project was a part of a Hackerspace Charlotte Build Night. I made this fantastic ballet bag as a gift for my four year old daughter for her first ballet recital. I found the instructions for the bag on The Ribbon Retreat:

I hope you enjoy my tutorial.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

What you will need:

I used cotton fabric. Something to keep in mind when choosing fabric; my main fabric had glitter and the iron-on did not want to stick without a lot of trouble. I wouldn't choose this type of fabric for future iron-on projects.

1 Yard Main Fabric

1 Yard Accent Fabric

1/4 Yard Lining Fabric

3" x 33" Felt for Strap Padding

Thread to Match Fabric


Sewing Machine


Ironing Board



Pencil or Chalk

Silhouette Portrait Cutter

Cut Mat (Comes with Cutting Machine)

Silhouette Starter Kit:

2 Sheets of Smooth or Flocked Heat Transfer Material

Silhouette Hook Tool

Step 2: Wash, Dry and Iron All Fabric

Follow the guidelines for washing and drying all of your fabric. Once this is done trim off loose threads, and iron all pieces.

Step 3: Cut Out All Pieces

Lay out your main fabric and draw a half circle measuring 23" at the top and 14 1/2" top to bottom. Cut out two pieces.

Take your accent fabric and cut out a 4" x 30" long piece.

On the lining fabric trace the shape of the main fabric piece and cut two of those out.

Cut the pocket out of the main fabric measuring 9 1/2" x 7 1/2".

To make the strap measure and cut out two pieces 3" x 33" of your accent fabric.

Measure and cut out 3" x 33" of felt.

Step 4: Pin and Sew Pleats of Main Pieces

Starting at the top center of the main fabric measure 2 inches and pull the fabric under, pinning on both sides. On either side measure 2 inches, fold under and pin. Be sure to keep pleats on both pieces of fabric even, otherwise they won't line up. When finished it should measure 13 inches along the top.

Sew a straight stitch across the top of both pieces giving a half inch seam allowance.

Step 5: Pin and Sew Outer Bag Together

Pin both pieces of the bag together with the right sides of the fabric together, and then sew together, leaving the top open.

Step 6: Attach Top Band

With the bag still inside out, take your accent fabric piece and pin to the inside top edge of the bag, right sides together. Trim the excess and sew the two ends together. With a half inch seam, sew the top edge.

Step 7: Sew Pocket and Attach to Lining

Take the pocket piece and fold it in half with the right sides together, then pin in place. Sew around the three edges and leave a small gap between the folded edge and the seam in order to turn it right side out when finished sewing. Turn right side out and iron flat.

Place it on the right side of the fabric lining and sew around the edges, leaving the top open.

Step 8: Add Lining to Bag

Pin the two lining pieces together with the right sides facing each other and sew around the edge with a half inch seam, leaving the top open.

Leave the lining inside out and turn the bag right side out. Put the lining inside the bag.

Step 9: Make Strap

Put the right sides together and place the felt on one of the sides, pin together and sew both long sides with a 5/8ths inch hem leaving the ends open. Turn right side and top stitch long sides with a 1/2 inch seam.

Step 10: Attach Strap to Bag

Put the strap in between the lining and the bag pieces on the seam edges of the bag. Get it quite a ways down to make sure it's secure and pin in place. Fold the lining and outer bag edges toward each other with a little more than a half inch to make a hem, and iron. Sew around the bag with a 1/2 inch seam, and then sew right on the top edge.

Step 11: Top Stitch

Sew a top stitch 5/8ths above the seam where the main bag meets the accent fabric.

Step 12: Create and Cut Out Images on Silhouette Design Studio

Install Silhouette's software onto your computer and create the image you want to put on your bag. It has a lot to choose from or you can make your own. Follow the Silhouette's instructions for properly placing your transfer material on the cut mat and loading it into the machine, and cutting your images out. Use the special hook tool to take away the excess material around the image.

Step 13: Iron Images Onto Bag

Arrange your images proper side down on your bag and follow the transfer material's directions for the correct length of time to leave the iron pressed to it.

Now you have a complete bag!

This bag pattern was create by The Ribbon Retreat:

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