Friday, June 10, 2016

Personalized One-Zip Bag for Ballet Gift

We just wrapped up another ballet recital over here.  My daughter's ballet school does a full ballet each year (in lieu of a regular recital) where all the girls have a part, from the tiny 5-year-olds all the way to the high school seniors who dance the starring roles.  This year was Sleeping Beauty and the first year my daughter and her class danced en pointe.

It is also that time of year when we thank the teachers and teen helpers who assist during regular class instruction.  The helper in our class is a sweet and talented dancer named Rebekah.  Although our class takes up a collection for a group gift, we wanted to give her a little token of our appreciation individually.

I knew I wanted to use my embroidery machine to personalize the gift, but I also wanted to try a new technique after seeing a Craftsy promo on a new class called Zippered Bags with a Twist The One-Zip Way.  (At the time of publishing, there is a 50% off sale on all Craftsy classes!!)

If you look closely, you will see two things:  the zipper pull is a contrasting color and there's only one side of zipper tape, not the two sides you regularly see to make a zipper work!  I learned how to make this happen in the class!  I also just bought a collection of 100 zippers for $15 to play with on Etsy.

To make the bag, I just followed the instructions in the class, pausing as needed to complete each step.  I did do embroidery on the bag.  I debated and decided to do the embroidery after the flat panel was complete before the zipper was sewn and before the lining was sewn but after the fusible fleece was added.  Let me just say this:  next time, I will do the embroidery AND THEN add the fusible fleece.  It was a headache to do it the way I did it.

I used my steam press to attach the fleece.

Using my Embrilliance Essentials software, I merged a file from Urban Threads with lettering from Applique Corner to personalize the bag.  I added a basting box using the software as well.  I used the full-size template that I was able to print using the software to decide the exact placement of my design.  It was a little tricky because boxing the bag (by boxing the corners) meant that the front panel would wrap under, creating some of the bottom of the bag.

I hooped poly mesh (because it is thin and virtually invisible in every way so it does not need to be cut away).  I floated the panel over the hooped stabilizer.

 I placed the template in the hoop and then used the thumb tack method to perfectly place the panel on the hoop.

I center the design using the crosshairs.

I place thumbtacks on the back of the hoop, piercing up to the top so that the points of the thumbtacks are on top of the template.

Then I remove the template and place it on the prepared panel.  I pin the template onto the panel and then place it back on the hoop, making sure to EXACTLY place the points through VERY SAME holes in the templates.

Then I removed the template and voila!  Perfectly placed so that the center of the placement on the panel is in the center of the hoop and ready to stitch!

I continued with the class to complete the bag.

We filled the bag with chocolates and added a tag with a message from my daughter.  There was no time for a "pretty" picture with the bow and tag with candies inside.  This ballet is put together every year with the skills of the dance school owner/teacher and her only employee.  Parent volunteers make up the rest of the "staff".  That means that parents do costumes, lighting, sound, stage management, house management, stage hand work, sit with the kids, get them to their cues, handle props, take tickets, create the program, set up dressing rooms, make party tables with treats and healthy snacks in the dressing rooms, and encourage the dancers, handling various emergencies of varying degrees.  Basically under the management of the school owner, we do everything other than the choreography, direction, and teaching!   It is an amazing group of dedicated parents who love their daughters!  Next year, I will start earlier on gifts and surprises.  (I say that every year.)

Links to items and files mentioned (the Craftsy links are my affiliate links so I hope you will use them):

  • Craftsy Class 50% off sale:  click here.  Sale expires June 13, 2016 at midnight MDT.  
  • Zippered Bags with a Twist - the One Zip Way:  click here.  
  • 100 Zippers for $15.50 on Etsy:  click here.  
  • Embrilliance Essentials software:  click here.  
  • Urban Threads Sleeping Beauty embroidery file:  click here.  
  • Applique Corner Rodney font (1/4"):  click here.

To see previous year's projects for that year's ballet:

  • Beauty and the Beast - bracelets, paper flowers, cut paper boxes:  click here.
  • Cinderella - necklaces, glittered cookies, little boxes:  click here.

To see my my notes and resources for machine embroidery, you are invited to my Embroidery Page on this blog by clicking the Embroidery tab or click here.

To see my previous paper projects, check out my Paper Gallery or click here.


Kathy said...

Thanks again for so generously sharing all of your talent on your blog! I sign up for newsletters from an embroidery website and thought of you when I opened theirs this morning, they are offering some free ice cream social themed embroidery files that I thought you might enjoy. Here is the link:

Nadia ( said...

Thanks, Kathy!

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