April 28, 2016

Dottie Vintage (Dance) Bag

Perfect combination of fabric and sewing pattern! Dottie Vintage Handbag | The Inspired Wren


A few dancers monkeying around on a Dottie Vintage Handbag -- perfect for a dance class of first-graders, no?


This Sewing Showcase post aims inspire with a unique combination of sewing pattern and fabrics.
Scroll to the bottom of this article for full details.



This fabric!!! Perfect combination of fabric and sewing pattern! Dottie Vintage Handbag sewn in Alexander Henry Monkey's Bizness Ballet Class and Rip Stop Nylon | The Inspired Wren

Back in September, soon after The Peanut signed up for tap/ballet dance class, I purchased this fabulous fabric for a dance bag. This fabric! I had seen it a year prior and had no reason to buy it. I'm not a fabric collector (I know, that makes me an odd duck among the many on-line fabric stashers), so without a reason to buy it I walked away. The very day I sent in the forms for the dance class, this fabric popped back in to my head. The charming local quilt store where I had initially spied it no longer had any in stock. But that didn't stop me! I found some on-line and not-so-patiently waited for it to arrive. As an instant-gratification-girl, that was unusual for me, too.

While I waited for the fabric to arrive I searched for the perfect pattern. If I could, I would get The Peanut the exact dance bag I had in those first years of tap/ballet dancing: the classic vinyl box with a top compartment and a second one underneath with a side snap opening. I can still remember the smell of that bag, those shoes, that first studio. But alas, it's not the 70s (what?!) and it's not my dance class. So I decided on the Dottie Vintage Handbag: perfect for little dance shoes.

Perfect combination of fabric and sewing pattern! Dottie Vintage Handbag | The Inspired Wren


And then life happened. And sewing did not. So The Peanut carried her dance shoes in the original (un)Lined Canvas Tote all year. Early last week when I asked her if she wanted new pants or a new dance bag, she didn't hesitate. Dance bag! 

It was great to pull out the project bag I had put together back in September -- an oh so classy gallon zip-lock freezer bag -- complete with threads and zips ready to go. I also loved that the rectangular pattern pieces from Swoon included the final measurements so I could just cut with my ruler and rotary blade. Then life happened again! (Congestion and a fever this time. The Peanut, not me.) And it took me over a week to finish what felt like a day's work. 

The dance bag came together in a lovely contrast of cream and black. The lining is rip-stop nylon, to withstand the tap shoes flying in and out with a first grader's enthusiasm. I would have loved a pale pink lining, but I was set on using rip-stop and my in-store choices were limited to black and a few basic primary/secondary solids. I also had the same problem of not finding pink for the inner pocket zip; yes, I could have shortened a longer zipper, but I was clearly shopping lazily and didn't think that through.

Love the Rip Stop Nylon lining for a dance bag! Dottie Vintage Handbag as Dance Bag | The Inspired Wren


I was able to fuse the rip-stop to the woven interfacing as the directions called for; I found if I went fast with the hot iron -- rather than holding it in place -- the fuse worked without too many waves/bubbles. It was not as slippery to sew as I anticipated, and the binding clips [affiliate link] worked wonders (get it?) without leaving holes in the nylon. 

Rather than use the rip-stop for the handles and the zipper tabs, I used a scrap of black twill I already had on hand. I really like the feel of the bottomweight on the handles. I also used prepackaged piping rather than make my own -- more lazy shopping/sewing. Did I mention I love the contrast of the blacks against the natural background of the dancers?

Perfect fussy cut! Dottie Vintage Handbag | The Inspired Wren


The final recital is only eight weeks away, but the dance bag is finally done. And it's ready for Summer classes and the 2016-17 school year, too.



Pattern

Dottie Vintage Handbag by Swoon Patterns

Fabric

Alexander Henry Monkey's Bizness Ballet Class, Natural [affiliate link] (Fabric.com); Rip Stop Nylon, Black [affiliate link] (Joann Fabric); Sew Classic Bottomweight Cotton Twill, Black [affiliate link] (Joann Fabric)

Notes

I used the main fabric to create the interior pocket; while I love the dancers hanging out inside the pocket, I don't love that the edges of the pale fabric are visible around the black zipper. I also joined the piping in the round, rather than cross the edges as the pattern calls for; I never seem to have luck with that cross over method.

Love

This fabric! This perfectly sized bag! I took the time to fussy cut not only the front and back panels but also the bottom panel of the gusset. I cut that panel as two pieces so that those adorable dancers could jump on each side of the bag -- they make me happy every time I see them.

Perfect combination of fabric and sewing pattern! Dottie Vintage Handbag | The Inspired Wren


Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

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7 comments:

  1. That is darling! I love the fussy cut panels and the black contrast!

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    1. Thanks, Charity! I had so much fun sewing this one.

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  2. I remember that bag/box!

    This is so much cuter!! I adore everything about this!

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    1. Thanks! I miss that box/bag, though. Such a vintage classic.

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  3. I love the fabric and your daughter's sensible decision to choose a bag. Lovely combinations and placement.

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    1. Thanks! I don't know if it was a "sensible" decision though -- she already had a bag that did the job and all her pants are running short on her right now. I have noticed she is developing a strong appreciation for lots of bags for different jobs. That's fine with me. I enjoy sewing them, but I'm the type to have one bag that I carry daily for a few years before replacing. Now I'll just give them all to her.

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  4. This is SO cute! Unfortunately, the pattern isn't available. I have 3 little dancers of my own that would love me to make these for them :(

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