Monday, March 21, 2011

Ballerina Blanket Tutorial

One great thing about blogging is meeting new friends.  Stephanie from Full of Great Ideas is such a sweet gal and super creative.  You def. have to check out her blog!  I love it!  And I love this blanket she made.  It's so super sweet!  Thanks for sharing today Stephanie!! :)

My daughter was invited to her best friend's 8th birthday party. Her friend is an amazing ballerina and my daughter really wanted to make her a blanket with a ballerina on it. I knew there was no way I could make a ballerina but I came up with an idea that I am very proud of and I think is absolutely beautiful.

I used the same technique as my personalized fleece blankets to make this. I purchased the large deep pink coral fleece blanket (double bed size) and 1yard of tulle. I had black felt, pink fleece, pink ribbon, Velcro circles and thread in light pink, deep pink (to match the blanket) and black on hand. Total cost $5 for the blanket (on clearance) and $6 for the tulle.

I started by printing off some images of a tutu and body form to be inspired from. I first cut out of black felt the bust of the body form, then the post and the feet. Make sure to prewash the felt because the color can transfer.
Once I was happy with the dress form, I used that as the shape to cut the bodysuit. I didn't want the top to be too low cut since this is a gift for an 8 year old girl so I made just a small 'v' shape. I used a wide light pink ribbon (same as the slippers) to make straps on the shoulder.

I decided to remove the black felt from behind the bodysuit so that it was quicker to sew. This is optional.
I placed all the pieces on the blanket to determine where I wanted the exactly. I then lightly glued the fabric down onto the blanket using a fabric glue that dries clear. I start with the black pieces first by pulling one side back and gluing it. This allows you to glue it down without having to move the entire piece.
Once this was drying, I started to work on the ballet slippers. For these I simply printed off a clip art image that was resized (approximately 7 1/2 long) to be in proportion to the bodysuit . I then cut out the shape of the slippers in light pink fleece and sewed a straight stitch over the inner lines to make it look like it had an opening for a foot.
 I ripped off the paper and did a tight zig-zag stitch over the straight stitch to create a bold accent line.
I cut two pieces of ribbon to the length I wanted to make the ties for the slippers (I lightly heated the ends of the ribbon so they would not fray). I glued the ribbons and slippers on the blanket.

I create the girl's name in a Word file using a font that I like. I print off the letters and then cut them out of the light pink fleece. I glue these down in the exact spot I wanted them.

Next I focused on the tutu. I had 1 yard of tulle so I folded it in half length wise and did a basting stitch along the fold.
Pulling one tread from either end I gathered the tulle until it was the width of the waist of the dress. I then sewed a ribbon across the basting stitch to secure it.
Once the glue was dry, I did a zig-zag stitch around the dress form, name and the bodysuit. I always use the exact color of the blanket for the bobbin thread and match the upper thread with what I am sewing. I find this makes both the front and back of the blanket look nice.
(Back of fabric with matching thread.)
I attached the tutu to the dress with small Velcro circles. I thought it would be best that this could be removed for washing. Not 100% necessary but a nice to have.
One last look. Wow... I can't tell you how happy I am with this. Let's hope she loves it too :)

Told you!  Love it huh?  A-stinking-dorable.


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