Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beautiful Personalized Ballerina / Tutu Blanket

My daughter was invited to her best friend's 8th birthday party and when I asked what she wanted to give  as a gift, she said she wanted me to make her one of my fleece blankets. Ellie, 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 (since I cannot draw) 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 simple blanket. 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. If I were to have paid for everything now, the cost would have been higher at approximately $20 ($5 for the blanket, $6 tulle, $5 for 1/2 yard pink and black fleece, $2 ribbon). This project took me about 4 hours to do, but if I were to make another one I could cut the time in half.

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 :)
What do you think?



  1. WOW! So super cute! I have a ballerina in my home and she is freaking out ... she LOVES it!

  2. So creative! You have a really cute blog too!

  3. That is sooooooo cute! What a great gift!!! I am your newest follower and hope that you will come be a follower at my blog!!! brooke
    Girl Boy Girl Inspired

  4. This caught my eye because my niece is a ballerina & her name is Ellie. So cute!

  5. this is stunning you are so clever thanks for sharing i found it on made by you monday when i was linking up some projects from my blog tina x x

  6. Darling I love it! Sharing it on my CraftOManiac FB page! WINKS- jen

  7. I think this just awesome! VERY nice work!!! I bet the friend was THRILLED!

  8. Beautiful. You are so creative.

  9. Adorable, your so talented!


  10. Love it, and I can only imagine the girl loved it too:) I wish I was more crafty couse I can see this being a great gift. And one of a kind too:) Thanks for posting, u really are full of great ideas. greetings from norway

  11. This is amazing! Saw it on Tip me Tuesday and thought it was a painting ( I dabble in painting a bit). Was very pleasantly surprised it was a blanket. WOW! great job!

  12. That is so cute. My daughter would absolutely love a blanket like that. Thank you for sharing.

  13. This is amazing! I love everything about it.. especially the beautiful tutu! Wow! Hope you will share with my Pink Hippo Party @

  14. What a special & unique present. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday:)

  15. Awe!!! This is so cute. My daughter is having her first ballet recital in May and I think this just might be the perfect gift for her afterwards!!!!

  16. I really like this idea thanks for share.



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