Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tutorial: Sewing Basket

I was rather unsuccessful at finding a nice basket for dd1 while at the thrift store today (though, we did find her a small picnic basket, complete with dishes, flatware, and toy food); however, I will share with you what I plan to do once I find one. There are 2 free patterns/tutorials on and, which you may also use. I’m just going to “wing it” and make dd’s basket as follows:
  1. Measure the basket. If you don’t like the look of the outside and don’t mind covering it, measure the basket from top to bottom and from side to side (if it is a round basket, measure from top to bottom, then around), taking note of all your measurements. Measure the bottom of the basket, length and width, or the diameter if it’s round. Repeat for the inside of the basket.
  2. If you want your basket to be a bit plush, measure out and cut to size the batting you wish to use. If you don’t wish to use batting, skip this step. I will probably line dd’s with felt on the inside of the lining fabric instead of using batting. Fit the batting to the inside of the basket if desired.
  3. Measure and cut your fabric, giving at least 1/4” seam allowance. If you plan to use batting, make sure you add a little extra fabric, especially if you plan to bat the outside, as well. Make sure the pieces are either labeled or separated if you are covering the outside as well as the inside.
  4. Pin the inside side pieces together and sew all top-to-bottom seams. Fit and pin the bottom piece on, then sew. Place the lining into the basket and whipstitch in some way to the basket frame.
  5. Pin the outside side pieces together (if desired) and sew all top-to-bottom seams. Fit the bottom piece to the side pieces, pin, and sew. Place the batting where desired on the outside (if you choose)–I don’t recommend batting the bottom, however–and fit the outside cover over the batting. Whipstitch cover to the frame of the basket.
  6. Cut 2 12” lengths of ribbon, fold in half (so each length is 6” long) and sew to the side where you wish to attach your lid–these will be your hinges.
  7. You may use any of the following to “finish” the bottom of the basket: Take 2 lengths of wide coordinating ribbon and fit one length to the top rim of the inside of the basket, making certain that the top of the inside lining seam is covered by the bottom of the ribbon and the top of the ribbon does not go much past the top of the frame (in some cases, you may need a really wide ribbon). Hem-stitch the bottom of the ribbon to the top of the lining. Repeat with the second length of ribbon (if desired) for the outside of the basket. If using 2 lengths of ribbon, once they are hem-stitched to the fabric on the inside and the outside, sew the top edges of the ribbons together above the frame of the basket where they meet. If you want to skip the sewing of the ribbon(s), you can cheat and glue them on. I’ve even seen the ribbons stapled onto the frames and buttons either sewn on or glued on to cover the staples.
  8. Cut to size a piece of sturdy cardboard, plastic canvas, or whatever you choose to use for a lid.
  9. Cut to size your batting and fabric (again, adding extra fabric for the use of batting). Add an extra inch to the back of the fabric where the “hinges” will be tied to the lid. Sew together 3 sides of the lid cover, leaving the 4th side open.
  10. Place batting on the lid, and fit cover over both. Sew final seam closed. Sew a strong seam 1” inside the extra fabric–this should be where the cardboard/canvas/etc. ends.
  11. Place lid over top of basket. Mark on the extra 1” fabric where the ribbons are placed on the basket. Remove lid, and work 2 button holes wide enough for the ribbons to come through.
  12. Return lid to top of the basket and pull one side of the 6” length of ribbons through each button hole. Tie in a bow. you may wish to sew a strong knot in the middle of the bow to keep it from becoming untied.
  13. For a closure, you may choose to do any of the following:
a) sew one half of a frog closure to the lid and the other half to the basket where it would meet the lid.
b) sew a loop of ribbon to the lid, with a button over the ends of the ribbon, and sew a button to the basket
c) make a tab from extra fabric and sew snap closures to the tab and basket
d) be creative! use whatever you prefer. :)
If you like, go ahead and sew in some pockets to your lining.
you may also use your basket as you wish, but there will be more up-coming projects to outfit it (not to give anything away, but things like notions holders and the like–further details to come!!). We can even extend this sewing basket project for another week, since i was so late in typing up these instructions and I can’t find a basket yet.
Please post your results!

by Tracey4610

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