We have a visitor on the blog today! Cheryl of Sew Can Do is showing us how to make this adorable Little Dancer Ballet Bag for the ballerina in your life. Cheryl used our Ballet collection, naturally, and we love the softness of the light grey and pink palette.

Read on for the tutorial!

Today’s tutorial is for a sweet bag that’s designed to get feet moving: the Little Dancer Ballet Bag.

The handy 16 inch wide by 9 inch high size provides plenty of room for dance slippers, tutus and anything else a ballerina could need.

Full length zipper top closure means it’s easy to get everything in and out of the bag:

The sides feature custom piped pocket sides with coordinated fabrics.  Perfect quick spots for tucking away small items:

Now, let’s get to making the The Little Dancer Bag!


– 1/2 yard Ballet Collage

– 1 yard Studio Basic Blush

– 1/2 yard Ballet Dot Grey

– 1/2 yard Ballet Dot Pink

– 1/2 yard Ballet Slippers

– 2 yards 1/2 inch wide piping

– 1 yard Fusible fleece

– 16 inch zipper

– Notions (zipper foot, pins, rotary cutter, iron, hand sewing needle, matching thread)
Seam allowance is 1/2 inch unless otherwise specified.
Cut the following pieces:

From Ballet

(2) Main pieces 17 inches wide by 15 inches high

From Ballet Shoes

(2) Circles 9 1/2 inches in diameter
From Grey Dot

(2) Circles 9 1/2 inches in diameter

(1) Rectangle 11 inches wides by 3 inches high – for bow

(1) Strip 12 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches high – for bow ties

(1) Strap piece 34 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches high

(1) Bottom panel 19 inches wide by 6 inches high
From Pink Studio

(2) Main pieces 17 inches wide by 15 inches high

(2) Circles 9 1/2 inches in diameter
From Fusible fleece

(4) Main pieces 17 inches wide by 14 1/2 inches high

(4) Circles 9 1/4 inches in diameter

(1) Strap pieces 42 inches wide by 2 high

(1) Bottom panel 17 inches wide by 5 inches high

Iron fusible fleece onto wrong side of all pieces, centering the slightly smaller fusible so there is even spacing on the sides of the fabric.  With right sides facing, stitch together the bottom edges of the two main outer pieces with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Repeat with the lining pieces, but leave a 3 inch gap for turning.  Press seams open.

For the decorative stripe, fold the fabric lengthwise and stitch along the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Pull right side out and press so seam is in the center.

Take outer and pin the stripe 5 inches from one end, center seam facing down.  Edge stitch together:

Take bottom panel and press the long sides under 1/2 inch.  Center the bottom panel over the main bag’s bottom seam, pin, then edge stitch in place.

For the outer pockets, take the grey circles and cut them to be half moons, about 5 1/2 inches high.

Make bias tape from the Pink Dot and apply to top edge.  Baste to the Ballet Shoe circles around the curves only.

To make the custom piping, cut (2) 1 inch wide strips on the bias from the Pink Dot fabric. Note: Cutting can be done at a 60 degree angle, instead of the usual 45 degree, to get the full length needed out of a 1/2 yard cut.  Trim the strips and two pieces of basic piping to be at least 28 inches long. Wrap strip around piping and pin into place.  Stitch close to cording of the piping using a zipper foot.

With raw edges together, stitch piping to outer bag circles, again using a zipper foot, starting 1/2 inch from the starting end (this will be key for finishing):  Upon reaching the end, overlap the raw ends, slightly downward and stitch into place as shown:

Now the outer circle sides are pocketed & piped:

Time to attach the zipper.  With zipper facing downward, pin zipper tape along the top raw edge of one side of the main bag.  Stitch along close to zipper teeth, leaving 1/2 inch length unstitched at start & end.

Pin other side of zipper tape to the other top side of the main bag. This will make a tube shape. Keeping the body of the bag out of the way (so you are only sewing the seam allowance area), stitch zipper tape & fabric together, again, leaving 1/2 inch length unstitched at start & end. Open zipper a few inches – this will be needed for turning later.

Now to make the shoulder strap.  Fold the strap piece in half lengthwise and stitch 1/4 inch from edge down one side.  Turn right side and press strap so that seam is in center.  Edge stitch along each side of the strap.

Pin raw edges of strap, seam side facing up, to either end of the zipper section.  Baste into place.

With right sides facing, pin each side circle to the newly made cylinder.  Stitch on top of the stitching of the piping.  Clip around curves, careful not to clip into stitching.

With the right side of the fabric facing down, pin one side of lining body to the seam allowance, along the zipper, of the already sewn main bag.  Stitch over existing stitching with zipper foot.  Pull remaining raw side of lining to other side of zipper seam and repeat.  Now the lining will appear to be a tube connected at the zipper to the main bag.  Attach side circles as done previously.  It will now look like to bags connected at the zipper.  Carefully pull the right sides out through the gap in the bottom of the lining.

Slipstitch the gap closed by hand and push lining inside of the main bag.

To make the decorative bow, cut the bow strip in half to get two 11 inch pieces.  Fold one in half width-wise and stitch along the short side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a small gap in the middle for turning.

Press the seam open so that it is in the center of the loop just made.  Then stitch across the top and bottom edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Turn right side out.

Pinch bow in center and secure with a pin:

Take remaining strip and cut into three equal 4 inch pieces.  Fold each lengthwise and stitch along the length and one short sides.  Turn right side out and press.  Wrap one piece around the center of the bow. Hand stitch tail pieces to stripe on bag and then bow on top.

Now the bag is ready for a little ballerina!

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