I made this basket to hold some Valentine's Day treats for my son's preschool teachers, but I didn't want it to scream "VALENTINE'S DAY". With the aqua and the dark pink on the exterior and the teal (which looks much more blue in all of the photos for some reason) on the interior, the color combo looks both sweet for Valentine's Day but appropriate for year-round as well.
This basket has more of a boxed-out shape than the typical one because of the construction method. I got the idea for this basket when making my Toy Tote.
Boxy Fabric Basket -- Sewing Tutorial
Quilting cotton or lightweight home decor fabric:
- Exterior -- 1/4 yard if non-directional print, 1/2 yard if directional print
- Lining -- 1/4 yard if non-directional print, 1/2 yard if directional print
Felt OR fusible fleece (a piece at least 14" x 21")
Piping -- about 2 yards
Cotton or nylon webbing (1" wide or so) -- 15 inches
Thread to match the piping AND thread to match the lining fabric
Freezer paper (regular paper would work fine too)
Finished dimensions: approximately 6 1/2" wide by 6 1/2" deep by 6" tall.
All seam allowances will be 3/8" unless otherwise indicated.
STEP ONE: Drawing the pattern and cutting the fabric
Draw the pattern piece as shown below on a regular piece of paper, or if you have some, on freezer paper. Essentially, this is a 7" x 10.5" rectangle with the bottom corners chopped off.
If you used freezer paper, you can iron the waxy side of the pattern piece right onto the fabric. Then, it will temporarily adhere and keep the pattern piece from shifting while you cut. I like to fold the fabric such that I can cut multiples out at the same time.
Cut out FOUR of the pattern piece shapes from the LINING only.
Then, grab your pattern piece and hack 3/4" off the top.
Now your pattern piece should have the dimensions shown in the photo below. Cut FOUR of the newly-resized pattern piece from the EXTERIOR and the FELT/FUSIBLE FLEECE.
You should have these now:
Now, adhere the felt or fusible fleece to the exterior pieces. You can either use basting spray with the felt, or you can baste with your sewing machine all the way around each of the pieces 1/4" away from the edge. If you have fusible fleece, then you can just iron those puppies on to the exterior.
STEP TWO: Constructing the exterior
Grab your piping and cut FOUR lengths that are each 6 inches long.
On the RIGHT side of the EXTERIOR fabric (which already has the felt/fleece attached), pin each of the piping lengths down the right vertical edges, matching the raw edge of the piping with the raw edge of the fabric. The piping will hang off of the bottom of the fabric just a bit.
Pop your zipper or piping foot onto your machine. Using the thread that matches the piping, stitch right on top of the stitching that holds the piping together, right down to where the fabric ends.
Yeah, you can't really see the white stitching on the white piping, but believe me when I say it's there.
Trim any of the piping off that extends beyond the bottom of the fabric. It's easiest to do this if you flip the fabric over first.
Repeat with each of the other pieces. You should have this now.
Place two of the pieces with the right sides together. Repeat with the two other pieces. Pin them down the LEFT side.
At a spot 3/8" up from the bottom left corner (where the piping ends), make a little mark.
Do the same thing 3/8" up to the left from the bottom point.
Start stitching at the mark you made at the bottom point. When you get to the mark you made at the left corner, leave the needle down, lift the presser foot, pivot the fabric to start stitching on top of the existing stitching line (the one that attached the piping), put the presser foot down, and stitch all the way to the end.
Now you should have this:
Repeat with the other pair of exterior pieces. if you open both of them up, you should now have this:
Place the two sets with the right sides together, matching up the corners and seams. Pin.
Flatten out the places where the bottom points meet, like this:
Sew them together stitching with two different seams with a 3/8" seam allowance. Starting at the bottom point (3/8" in from the point), sew up the diagonals and up both sides (on the existing stitching lines).
Turn the exterior right side out.
Take the rest of your piping and pin it around the top edge with the raw edge of the piping matching the raw edge of the fabric.. Leave a tail of about two inches unpinned at the beginning and at the end. Don't trim the ling end of the piping just yet.
Sew the piping on (sewing on the stitching that holds the piping together), but leave a couple of inches on each end unsewn. Make sure about an inch or so of the end of the piping overlaps the beginning of the piping and cut off the excess.
Using a seam ripper, rip out about an inch of the stitching holding the end of the piping together. Cut off the cord inside at the point where the beginning of the piping meets the end of the piping.
Fold in about a half an inch of the piping casing on the end and finger press it.
Nest the beginning of the piping into the end of the piping, butting up the two ends of the cording together.
Close the piping casing around and pin into place.
Stitch the piping down, closing the gap.
STEP FOUR: Sewing the lining and assembling the basket
Assemble the lining with the same construction method as the exterior, only without all of the piping mess. Now you should have this:
Turn the exterior wrong side out. Trim a bit off of the corners and at the bottom points of both the lining and the exterior. You can also trim a little bit of the felt out of the exterior seams to cut down on the bulk.
With the exterior turned wrong side out and the lining turned right side out, nest the lining inside the exterior. Yup, the lining will be sticking up about 3/4" above the exterior. Double check to make sure the pretty sides of the fabric are facing each other before you pin and stitch.
Shove the lining down to align the raw edges with those of the exterior. Pin into place, matching all of the seams. Then sew them together on the stitching line that attached the piping, BUT LEAVE OPEN A 4" TURNING GAP! I like to leave the turning gap open on the side where the piping is attached.
Carefully turn the basket right side out through the turning gap.
Shove the lining down into the basket with the excess wrapped around to the exterior. Now the lining should fit nicely down inside the exterior.
Press it all down neatly into place, including the part with the turning gap.
Switch your thread to match the lining. Using your zipper foot, stitch along the top edge as close to the piping as you can get. This will close the turning gap and keep the lining down into place.
Now it should look like this.
STEP FIVE: Adding the handles
Take the 15" length of webbing and cut it into two lengths, 7 1/2" long.
Fold under an inch on the ends of each piece and press.
Pin them onto the sides of the basket, 1" down from the piping on the top and 1" in from the piping on the sides. This will make the handles bow out a little so they won't lie flush against the basket. I like to make one of the sides with the handle be the one with the piping join and the turning gap.
First, switch the only top thread in your machine to one that matches your webbing. Keep the bobbin thread the same color as your lining. This will disguise the stitching on the lining. You always could just sew on the handles before you attach the exterior and the lining, but I think it helps keep the lining in place to have the stitching for the handles go through the lining as well.
Stitch the handles on by sewing a square with an "x" through it at the end of each handle, enclosing the raw edges of the webbing. Repeat on the opposite side with the other handle.
From the outside, you should only see the white stitching.
From the inside, you can hardly see where the handles were attached.
Grab your iron and give the basket another press. Give it shape by folding where the edges of the box should be and pressing a sharper crease.
Looks cool from the inside as well, doesn't it?
Voila! A sweet little basket to fill with treats for your favorite teacher or friend.
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