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Scrappy Fabric Baskets from Threading My Way: National Sewing Month 2013

It’s Day Twenty-One of National Sewing Month! Too see the daily blog posts, projects of the day, and more National Sewing Month details, click here.

National Sewing Month 2013

Hi, Pam here from Threading My Way. I’m thrilled to be joining in with National Sewing Month.
Today I’m going to show you how to make your own Scrappy Fabric Basket, using small pieces of fabric from your stash. Measuring 6.5″ x 4.5″ x 4″ (16.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 10 cm), this handy sized basket is sturdy enough to stand up by itself. Let’s get started with the tutorial.
Materials:
The fabric strips can be any combination of prints. I used quilting cotton. You may not use all the strips.

I like the combination of the light weight iron-on interfacing and the medium to heavy weight, woven, sew-in interfacing. This produces a basket that will stand up by itself, without being bulky to sew. You could substitute this with different weight interfacing, fleece or batting. It all depends on the look you are after and what you are used to sewing with.

Instructions:

All seams are 3/8″ (1 cm), unless otherwise indicated.

Use a NON steam setting for pressing.

Back-stitch at the beginning and ending of seams. Arrange fabric strips:

  1. Lay 10 fabric strips side by side for the front and the same for the back.
  2. Play with the strips until you are happy with the arrangement.

 

Sew fabric strips together:

Sew the fabric strips together, at random angles, making sure the seams are straight as you sew. The long edges of the fabric will not be level.

  1. Lay the 2nd strip on the 1st strip, right sides together and at an angle, beginning in the left corner. Line up your presser foot with the top fabric and sew.
    Step 1: place top fabric at an angle
  2. Trim excess fabric, before sewing the next seam.
    Step 2: trim excess fabric from seam
  3. Lay the 3rd strip on the 2nd strip, right sides together and at an angle, beginning in the right corner.
    Step 3: place next fabric at a different angle
  4. Continue sewing the strips, alternating the direction of the angles and varying the degree, until all the strips are sewn. You may find you only need 9 strips per side. It all depends on how you have placed the fabrics.
 
Press seams open:
  1. When all strips are sewn for both front and back, press the seams open.
  2. Trim the sewn strips into a square, 9 inches x 9 inches (23 cm x 23 cm)
    Step 2: trim into a square
  3. Sew down each side of both squares, 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the edge of the fabric. This will secure the seams you have just cut.
Step 3: secure seams by sewing along the sides
Top-stitch:
  1. Set stitch length to slightly longer than normal. I set mine to 2.8.
  2. Top-stitch on either side of each seam, sewing 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the seam.
Attach interfacing:
  1. Follow manufacturer’s directions to fuse the iron-on interfacing to the wrong side of each square. I always cut iron-on interfacing a fraction smaller than the fabric and I place a cloth under the iron. This prevents any glue getting on the iron.
    Step 1: iron-on interfacing
  2. Attach the woven, sew-in interfacing, to the wrong side of each square, by sewing around all 4 edges, 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the edges. Sew with the interfacing uppermost.
Step 2: sew-in interfacing



Exterior of basket – sew front to back:

  1. With right sides together, sew down one side, stopping with the needle in the down position 3/8″ (1 cm) from the bottom edge.
  2. Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90º.
  3. Lower the presser foot and sew across the bottom, stopping with the needle in the down position 3/8″ (1 cm) from the side edge.
  4. Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90º.
  5. Lower the presser foot and sew the 2nd side.
  6. Neaten the edges by zig-zagging. Do NOT zig-zag the seams together. Sew them separately.
  7. Press seams open.
Making the box corner:
  1. Measure 2 inches (5 cm) from the bottom corner seam in both directions. (Measure from the seam. Don’t measure from the edge of the fabric.)
  2. Put a mark to show where 2 inches (5 cm) is. You will have four marks, all 2 inches (5 cm) from the bottom corners.
    Steps 1 & 2: measure 2″ from corner
  3. Pull out the sides of your basket.
  4. Place one seam on top of the other seam.
  5. Put a pin through the top mark. If the pin comes out through the mark on the other side, your boxed corner will line up.
    Step 5: check that the marks are lined up
  6. If the pin is not coming out through the mark on the other side, reposition the fabric until it does.
  7. Make sure the seams are open.
  8. Holding the fabric in place, take the pin out and re-pin away from the marks.
  9. With a ruler, draw a line across the fabric, at right angles to the seam and through the mark you made.
    Steps 8 & 9: rule a line to sew along
  10. Remove the pin. If you would like, hand sew to hold in place.
    Steps 10 & 11: remove pin and sew
  11. Sew across the line. I sew a couple of times for reinforcement.
  12. Cut the fabric and neaten.
    Step 12: cut fabric and neaten
  13. Repeat for the other side.
  14. Turn the exterior right side out and press.
Sewing the lining:
The two lining pieces are joined in the same way as the exterior fabric, except that a 3 inch (8 cm) gap is left in the bottom seam, to allow turning later on.
  1. With right sides together, sew down one side, stopping with the needle in the down position 3/8″ (1cm) from the bottom edge.
  2. Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90º.
  3. Lower the presser foot and sew 2.5 inches (7 cm) across the bottom. Stop and back-stitch.
  4. Leave a gap and begin sewing  2.5 inches (7 cm) from the 2nd corner. Back-stitch as you start sewing. Stop with the needle in the down position 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the side edge.
  5. Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90º.
  6. Lower the presser foot and sew the 2nd side.
  7. Neaten the edges by zig-zagging. Do NOT zig-zag the seams together. Sew them separately.
  8. Press seams open.
  9. Make boxed corners as per the exterior of the basket.
  10. Leave the lining wrong side out.
Attach the lining to the outside of the basket:
  1. Place the exterior inside the lining. IE: the right side of the exterior is next to the right side of the lining.
    Step 1: place exterior inside lining and line up top edges
  2. Line up the top edges of the lining and the exterior.
  3. Match the seams on either side, making sure the seams are open.
  4. Baste (hand sew) the top edges of the lining and the exterior to hold in place.
  5. Sew a 3/8 inch (1cm) seam to join the top edges of the lining and the exterior.
  6. Neaten the seam.
Steps 5 & 6: sew seam and neaten
Turn the exterior right side out:
  1. Put your fingers through the hole in the bottom of the lining.
  2. Gently pull the exterior out through the lining.
  3. Close the gap in the lining by sewing a row of stitching near to the edge.
Finishing off:
  1. Push the lining back into the basket.
  2. Press the top edge of the basket.
  3. Top-stitch 1/8inch (3 mm) from the edge, around the top of the basket.
You have finished your fabric basket. These little baskets don’t take long to whip up. You could easily make one in an evening. The most time consuming part is top-stitching the strips.
I made four baskets, each with a particular person in mind, although I’m tempted to keep just one. I think my favorite is the red… love the combination of checks and polka dots, teamed with Alexander Henry’s Willow Berries.
Then again, the yellow/blue combo of stripes and geometric shapes, Oh Boy! by David Walker, is rather striking.
Although the lining on the floral, blue basket appears to be pieced, it’s actually not. However, I deliberately chose it because it looked like patchwork. In fact, the lining could be two coordinating prints as I’ve done in the pink/maroon basket, although, it’s a little hard to see. I just didn’t have enough of any one fabric, which doesn’t matter, as it works well.

Now all you have to do is decide what to put into your basket.

 

Enjoy the rest of National Sewing Month. See you over at Threading My Way.

… Pam

 

 

What would you put in this Scrappy Fabric Basket?