Ballet Bag


Little girls and ballet lessons go together like little boys and superheroes. For each little girl who plies at the barre, there is a mother scrambling to keep up with the slippers, tights, leotard, tutu, hair brush, elastic and bows to costume her little ballerina in the mandated uniform. A ballet or dance bag is almost required.

When four year-old Laurel began what looks to be a long journey toward grace and poise, she carried this bag to the dance studio. Purchased as a durable, washable tote, it has been transformed from perfectly plain pink to pleasingly prissy. It has weathered that first year of lessons as well as several launderings. Laurel has just begun her second year and the bag still carries her gear.

ballerina L

The embroidery design is from the graceful Ballet collection, available from Secrets of Embroidery It didn’t take long to realize that hooping this bag would be impossible. So the design was stitched on a piece of faux linen and then sewn to the bag. The colors selected do not bring the text to the forefront, so it takes close scrutiny to see that it says BALLET. The raw edges are covered by brown grosgrain ribbon with pink polka dots as are the straps.

Large buttons topped with a smaller button are color coordinated with the embroidery and sewn at each corner of the appliqued patch. The same polka dot ribbon is stitched on the handles for another punch of contrasting color.

L back

Today, it is no longer considered safe to have a child’s name embroidered or printed in plain view of strangers. Monograms, however, give the same personal touch without disclosing too much personal information. For that reason, on the back of the bag, an “L” was embroidered. It was fortunate that Laurel’s name begins with a letter that was included in the ballet text.

A final detail, included specifically for interest, is a charm sewn at the base of each pair of handles. Two different hearts, a star and a ballerina dangle give her something to fiddle with on the way to the studio.

ballet handkerchief

An extra little surprise was tucked into the zippered pouch inside the bag. I made an 8″ child size linen handkerchief, hemstitched, lace edged and embroidered with a pair of ballet slippers. This feminine accessory opened the door for discussion about the practicality and many social uses of a young lady’s hanky. She just giggled. She does that a lot.

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