Friday, September 13, 2013

Kona Club Challenge - Ballet Tote by Krista from Poppyprint

Krista from Poppyprint took the Kona Club Challenge this month. Krista used the colors we sent out in April 2013 for Kona Club and made this adorable Ballet Tote. We hope you enjoy this tutorial and make one of your own!

We are giving away the fat quarters that Krista used in this tutorial so be sure to leave a comment on this post to win!

Krista Hennebury sews and quilts in her little home studio in North Vancouver. She began quilting 12 years ago as a creative outlet after her two children came along.  She blogs at sharing tutorials and travel photography, teaches workshops, runs a popular day-retreat business and is an active member of the Lions Gate Quilters Guild and the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. Her work has appeared in Quilters Connection, Fat Quarterly and Stitch magazines as well as Modern Quilt Blocks. She's currently working on an e-book sharing her knowledge with others who wish to start a retreat business in their community.

Ballet Tote

Finished size 8" x 12" x 2"
It's not just back to school this fall - it is back to ballet, too! Send your ballerina off in style with this sweet Ballet Tote featuring Sew Sisters' lovely April Kona Solids FQ set.  I designed this tote with my sister and nieces in mind; they've recently taken over Demi Pointe, a dance shop in Charlottetown, PEI. I've adapted a machine applique technique by Karen Soltys in "Applique Made Easy" from Rodale to make the scripted heart.  If the applique is too daunting, just skip it, or add a fusible appliqued monogram instead!

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Please read through the tutorial and have a look at the photos prior to cutting or sewing anything!

Fabric Requirements 

Cutting Requirements

Kona Snow
  • 2 bias strips 1 1/4" wide (cut these at 45 degrees across the middle of the FQ)
Parallel to straight of grain, cut:
  • 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" bottom border
  • 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" top border
  • 2 - 1 1/2" x 13 1/2" side borders
  • 2 - 2 1/2" x 18" strips for patchwork panel
  • 2 - 1 3/4" x 18" strips for handles
  • 2 - 10 1/2" x 13 1/2"  for lining
  • 10 1/2" x 13 1/2" for tote back panel
  • 2 - 5" x 10 1/2" for drawstring top
  •  2 - 10 1/2" x 13 1/2" rectangles to fuse on wrong side of tote front and back panels
WST = wrong sides together
RST = right sides together
RSO = right side out
WSO = wrong side out

Creating the Front Panel

Piece a 4 square by 5 square checkerboard panel: Sew alternating strips of Melon and Salmon into one strip set Melon/Salmon/Melon/Salmon. Press all seams in one direction. Cross cut the set into five 2 1/2" strips. Flip the 2nd and 4th strip end to end. Your sets should now resemble a checkerboard and all seams should be opposing so they'll lock together when you piece the strips, creating nice sharp corners. Piece strips together, press seams open.

Make the Handles

Sew a 1 3/4" strip of Melon to one of Salmon along the 18" length. Turn and sew down the opposite side. Press seams open. Turn RSO, press. Topstitch 1/8" from each finished edge. Repeat for second handle. Neaten ends ensuring handles are equal length.  Set aside.

Heart Applique

Attach bias strips end to end using a 45 degree seam as you would a quilt binding. Fold in half longways and press. 

Ballet Tote Tutorial

Cut a 7 1/2" square of scrap paper. Fold in half and draw a half heart filling the width of the paper with the top curve of the heart (in other words, you want a chubby vs skinny heart). Cut out heart template. Trace the heart onto your panel with a temporary fabric pen, matching center fold of heart with center seam of checkerboard. The top curves of the heart should be about 1 1/4" from top of panel. With your pen, extend the lines of the heart horizontally from the bottom point making 'tails', reaching the left and right edges of the panel about 1/2" below the last horizontal seam (see photo below).

Ballet Tote Tutorial

Turn your panel on the table in front of you so that the heart is upside down. Beginning at the top left, use tiny dots of fabric glue just below your drawn line to secure the raw edge of your bias strip. Work your way around the curve of the line without stretching the bias strip. Stop gluing at the inside point of the heart.

Ballet Tote Tutorial

With a scant 1/4" seam, start sewing along the bias strip. Sew slowly and carefully around the curve, pivoting your work with the needle down. Stop with needle down at the inside point of the heart. With sharp to the tip embroidery scissors, clip 1/8" into the bias strip. 

Ballet Tote Tutorial

Work the strip back up along the drawn line to begin the second curve of the heart. Don't worry if the seam allowance of the strip buckles up a bit at the point where you clipped, just try your best to overlap the seam allowance at the snip. Stitch about an inch along the bias strip, backstitch and remove your work from the machine so you can continue gluing the rest of the strip down. 

Ballet Tote Tutorial

When you reach the overlap at the bottom of the heart, fold the previously sewn section of bias strip over it's seam allowance (above). Glue the overlapping strip on top. Now go back and complete the sewing of the bias strip from where you left off at the top of the heart.

Ballet Tote Tutorial

Ballet Tote Tutorial

Press the folded edge of the bias strip over so it conceals the seam allowance, securing with dots of fabric glue (above). You may have to trim seam allowances in the curved section (snip 1/8" into the seam allowance at the curves to relax the applique if your panel is gathering here). At the inside point of the heart, create a mitre by pressing one side flat beyond the point, then folding the other side over (photos below).

Ballet Tote Tutorial

Ballet Tote Tutorial

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Topstitch 1/16" away from folded edge all around the heart and 'tails', below. Press your panel flat.

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Attach Borders

Attach top and bottom borders to front panel. Press away from panel. Attach side borders. Press away from panel.

Completing the Outer Tote

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of front and back tote panels. Pin front and back panels RST. Sew down one side, across bottom and up other side, pivoting in the corners. Snip corners. Box the bottom corners by collapsing the side and bottom seams together at each corner, forming a point. Draw a line 1" from point perpendicular to side/bottom seams.

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Sew on this line backstitching at start and finish for strength. Clip the point off, leaving 1/4" seam allowance. 

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Press side seams open. Turn tote RSO.

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Pin handles to front and back of tote, centering handles over the left and right vertical seams of the checkerboard panel. Baste in place.

Make Lining

Pin the two School Bus rectangles together. Sew along sides and bottom, leaving a 3" turning hole along the bottom seam.  Box the bottom corners exactly as you did with the outer tote.

Make Drawstring Top

Pin the two 5" x 10 1/2" Coral strips together. Sew the 5" side, backstitching at top and bottom. On the opposite 5" side, make a mark 1" down from top edge and another mark 1 1/2" down from top edge (this is for an opening in the hem for the drawstring to pull through). 

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Sew side seam from the top to the first mark, stopping and backstitching at the mark. Begin sewing again at the second mark, backstitching to secure and continuing all the way to the bottom.  Press side seams open. Topstitch seam allowances to secure.

Hem top edge by turning under 1/4" to the wrong side, press. Turn down 3/4", press. Stitch hem close to the folded edge.

Assemble Tote

Pull Drawstring Top over outer tote, RST (handles down), matching raw edges around the top of the tote and aligning the drawstring seams with the center front and back of tote (see below). The drawstring opening is centered above the heart applique. Baste around the top of the tote.

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Insert tote into lining, RST, matching raw edges around the top of the tote. The drawstring top is now sandwiched between the tote and the lining. Sew around the top of the tote with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Turn the tote by pulling the outer bag down through the bottom of the lining. Close the turning hole in the bottom of the lining by machine, or a hand ladder stitch. Stuff the lining down into the tote. Do the same with the drawstring top. Press the top seam. Topstitch around the top of the tote. Try a larger sized needle like a 90/14 to sew over all of the seam allowances. In the photo below, you can see that I use a regular sewing foot to topstitch, but I move my needle over the the furthest right position - I find I get the most control and an even line of stitching this way.

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Attach a safety pin to one end of the cording or ribbon and thread through the hole in the drawstring top hem. Thread the two ends of cord through the toggle, then tie the ends in a knot to prevent them slipping back through the toggle.

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

Ballet Tote Tute by Poppyprint

You did it!! If you make a Ballet Tote, I'd love to see it! Add a photo to my flickr Poppyprint Projects group, or tag me @poppyprint on Instagram. 


You could win 4 fat quarters of the Kona Cotton Solids Krista used to make her Ballet Tote!
Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.
Krista chose the colors we sent out in April 2013 to our Kona Club members.

If you are no-reply blogger please leave your email id in the post.
We will leave the giveaway open till Sunday September 15th, 2013.
Winner will be announced Monday , September 16th.
Good luck everybody and enjoy making your very own Ballet Tote! 


Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau said...

What an absolutely adorable bag!! I love your ingenious way to use bias as an outline - thanks so much for sharing! Wonderful tutorial - your experience shows!

DeborahGun said...

such a fun tutorial - thanks for sharing :-)

SarahQuilts said...

Beautiful! A great description of working with the bias strip. Now I want to make a cushion cover. )I should start with the heart, but a simple celic knot on a green patchwork background would be gorgeous (and fitting for my soon to arrive nephew's nursery.


Teresa @ said...

I love the colour selection and how she made the heart is brilliant! It was one of those "why did I never think of doing that?!" moments. Love it!

Lisa Marie said...

Cute bag, thanks for sharing the tutorial!

Michele T said...

Great tutorial and I love the bag - those colours are amazing!! Interesting to see how you made the heart - it is perfect!!

Diane H said...

Great tutorial - thanks very much.

elle said...

great! luv this colourway. Super tutorial.

Barb said...

Wow, what a wonderful tutorial! We definitely need a few dance bags in this house.

Gill said...

I don't have any little ballet dancers but I will definitely be making this tote!

Delores said...

Love Kona cottons and would love to win.
Krista - the bag is so cute!

Toni said...

How adorable. Kona is the best.

Jenny said...

cute bag...such an interesting use of bias tape!

Deanna said...

Love the bias tape heart. Such an easy way to make a design.

Barbe said...

sweet bag, love what bias tape can do. great colorway too.

Margaret said...

thanks for sharing this tutorial. I love the bag and the colors are wonderful.

Barb and Sharon said...

I really like the design of this bag.

Patti said...

Great tutorial, Krista. I'm a bit cowardly when it comes to applique, but this really looks doable. I like the glue you are using too! It looks like it has a nice small tip.

java diva said...

I adore Krista's bag! Ingenious with the drawstring closure. Def going on my make one day list.

Leanne said...

This is such a cute bag and a great technique too, thank you for the excellent tutorial.

Briarose said...

well, how fun and easy to follow directions. I'm going to make one with waterproof lining for my grand daughters' swimming gear. Thanks for sharing. Claire

Joyce said...

Just adorable...very imaginative way to make the heart!

Lolly Challice said...

I love Sew Sisters and Kona cottons...

Arita said...

Great tutorial, thank you for posting Krista.

juceyj03 said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Joy said...

I've read through the pattern instructions. They are clear with photos just where I need them. Now I know how to include a drawstring closure! It sounds a lot easier than I imagined. Thanks Krista! Just such a beautiful tote.

ultraorganized said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ultraorganized said...

Thank you for such a clear tutorial and I really like the drawstrings - so will the little girls - Krista you have done it again - Thank you #!}Terry at

Quilting Tangent said...

Nice bag and good directions.

Carmen N said...

Thanks for a wonderful tutorial and giveaway!

barbara woods said...

Would love to win, thanks

Holly said...

It's just beautiful, Krista! I love the unique closure at the top.

Holly said...

It's just beautiful, Krista! I love the unique closure at the top.

roccagal said...

I just luv those colors!
great bag and tutorial!

Judy Ann said...

The color palette here is beautiful The bag is so sweet and feminine without being fussy; just perfect! Thanks for the give away.

Anita E. said...

Oh, so soft and pretty! The bias heart is like the icing on a cake, looks like a "pirouette".

Indianna said...

I love the drawstring top closure. Interesting way of attaching the bias strip...I'll have to give it a go.

kathy said...

Fun tone on tone colors for a ballerina.
I like the drawstring closure as well.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Louisa said...

Such a sweet project!

eva said...

Love that tote (and the Kona bundle)!! Would such a sweet teacher gift. Thank you for the great tutorial

(ebercast at gmail dot com)

Anonymous said...

Very appropriate for Valentine's Month of February, a Heart Ballerina Bag! I'm loving it; doing the Happy Dance...who doesn't love Hearts?