Sunday, 19 December 2010

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Here is - finally! - a tutorial for my little FQ fabric basket.  The incredible response I've had to my giveaway has given me the small push I needed to sit down and write it.  So here it is, hopefully clear enough to be understood, but if anything is missing, please let me know and I will try to clarify.


Material needed:
Coordinated fabric scraps (fat eights work well for the sides)
Thin polyester batting (cotton and bamboo are not stiff enough)
Non-woven, heavy weight sew-on interfacing
Two yards of ribbon
Matching or contrasting thread
Vanishing-ink fabric marker
Plastic Ruler
Hand-sewing needle
Rotary cutter (optional)
Cutting mat (optional)
Sewing machine (optional)

Cutting List:

From the outside fabric (here the black and green fabric)
2 pieces of 13" X 4" for long sides
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4" for short ends

From the inside fabric (here the green dots)
2 pieces of 13" X 4" for long sides
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4" for short ends

From the bottom fabric (here the floral)
2 pieces of 13" X 51/2"

From the batting:
2 pieces of 13" X 4"
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4"
1 piece of 13" X 51/2"

From the interfacing:
2 pieces of 13" X 4"
2 pieces of 51/2" X 4"
1 piece of 13" X 51/2"

From the ribbon:
8 pieces of 7" long

Once you have chosen your fabrics, iron each piece and cut according to cutting list above.  I have used two coordinated fat eights for the sides, but any scraps will do.  It would even be fun to have all different sides.

What you choose to use as batting and interfacing will determine the sturdiness of your basket.  I wanted a clean look, but I don't plan on moving this basket around much, sot extra sturdiness was not necessary.  I have tried different combinations and this light batting with the thick interfacing is what gave me the most satisfying result.  However, if you need something sturdier, inserting plastic canvas might be a better option.  In that case, you would need to leave larger openings when you sew around each side.

Step-by-step how-to

1.  As we have four layers for each four sides of the basket (inside fabric, batting, interfacing and outside fabric), we will quilt three of them together to give stability and add a little interest.  The quilting may be done differently than what I do, a simple cross pattern, but from experience I would recommend to avoid vertical or horizontal lines as they make a bend in the side of the basket and make it lose its shape.  So, this being said, take a small piece of the outside fabric, and using a ruler and a fabric marker, trace an X from corner to corner.  Repeat for the other small piece of outside fabric.  For the two long pieces of outside fabric, trace two Xs, from corner to middle of long side.

2.  Now what you need to do is a “sandwich” with one piece of batting, one piece of interfacing, and one piece of outside fabric on top, right side facing up.

3.  Quilt the three layers on the X that you have marked, either by machine or by hand.  Repeat for the three other sides.

4.  Now is time to add the inside fabric and the ribbons to the “sandwich”.  Place a quilted piece of outside fabric on your work table, outside fabric facing up.  Position two pieces of ribbon, one on either side, at 1” from the top.

5.  Then, lay the inside fabric over, wrong side facing up, and pin everything in place, making sure that the loose ends of ribbons will not get caught in the seam.

6.  Sew around the “sandwich”, leaving a 2” opening on the bottom side, i.e. the long side farther from the ribbons.  Clip corners.

7.  Turn right side out and repeat for all three other sides, and for the bottom part, omitting the ribbons on this last one.

8.  Iron flat all pieces and hand sew the openings.

9.  Now is time to assemble the sides to the bottom of the basket.  Place the bottom on your work table, inside up ( I chose the quilted side to be inside the basket, but you could choose otherwise, it won’t make much of a difference).  Take one side of your basket and lay it on the bottom piece, outside up, aligning the bottom sides of both pieces.  Pin in place.  Hand sew both pieces together.

10.  Repeat for other three sides.

11.  Tie the ribbons in the corners and you have a finished basket!


  1. thanks for the great tutorial. can't wait to make my own.

  2. I can't wait to make one. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Thank you so much! Bookmarking to try after the holiday buzzes down. :)

  4. thanks, will be trying after the holidays as well. thanks!

  5. thank you for the tutorial! i remember this being in your giveaway!!

    In the Hammock Vintage

  6. I'm going to make this to use as a collapsible thread/scrap box to take to classes. So simple- love it!

  7. Fantastic Great ideia Thank`s

  8. U do a great job of explaining, everything looks so easy to follow. Will have to make one sometime. Make nice gifts, also. Thank you

  9. I make small versions of this because you can fold them flat and pack in your suitcase. At your destination, it makes it easier to keep track of things like a watch, earrings, rings, etc overnight. If you're at a hotel I wouldn't leave anything of value in it when not in your room.

  10. Just made one and as I don't like hand sewing I zigzagged the edges together to join the bottom to the sides. I also used Bosal In-R-Form one sided fusible instead of batting and interfacing-cut this to 5 1/4x3 3/4 and used a 1/4"seam. This was a fun project and very useful! Thanks