There is a Ballet Boy in my house. I often describe the same boy as awake or asleep. He’s never had grumpy, only happy or miserable. And he is almost never quiet if he is awake. A natural extrovert he loves to entertain and relishes a spotlight. He is almost perfect, but more than a little exhausting some days. So I was pleasantly surprised (and full of Mama pride) when my girls said they wanted to make him a bag for his ballet stuff as a Christmas present.
I picked the pattern - easy enough for them to sew but practical. The Stowe Bag from Grainline Studios is technically designed as a project bag, more for knitters. But it is just the right size for my Ballet Boy. And seemed to be an easy sew for the girls - with my supervision. They picked the fabrics. It was hard, I will admit, to let go of the green Marimekko but fabric has more value in use than on a shelf.
We made the bag in two sessions. I cut the fabric and they got everything prepped and the basics sewn. Then we finished off with the bias tape the next day. It was miraculously done in time for Christmas morning.
As expected the appreciation of the bag was lost on Christmas morning in the face of a Connor McDavid jersey and new Lego. But it’s been in steady use ever since. He takes it to each practice, it carrried his uniform to a gala event where he had a major solo, and it remains perfect in every way. Just like him.
An aside: I could not recommend his ballet school any more highly. He is getting amazing opportunities, the families are wonderful, and his teachers - all former professionals - are incredible and kind.
We made the small size.
Pockets ended up being pointless. We did change the seaming to make more sense for things like holding his glasses case and slippers, but they just flop open. Would skip those next time.
We skipped steps 13 and 14 of the pattern because I mistakenly thought that was the bottom gusset creation which we determined we didn’t need. I might go back and do those steps.
Our bias tape is bigger than the pattern specifies. We were on a deadline and this one was in the stash, already made.