This fabric basket project was written by Fiona Pullen. .
Having recently moved house I’ve been making loads of these storage baskets. You can make them in varying sizes and use them for all sorts of things, from kids toys to sewing supplies. I have one as a make up box, plus several for my scraps.
Supplies & equipment needed
Half a fat quarter of fabric for the outer and a same sized piece matching Kona cotton for the lining. You can find lots of lovely fabrics online at Sew Much to Do which would be idea for this project.
Fusible interfacing – heavy
Tape measure and/or ruler
Pins or Wonder Clips
Step 1 Cutting
Cut your fabric. I cut a fat quarter in half of my main fabric, and then removed the selvedge. That left me with a piece of fabric which was 20 inches wide and 10 inches high. I cut the same sized piece of lining fabric.
You can alter these measurements if you want a wider or taller basket.
For the interfacing you want it to be a little smaller, 1/2 inch less on the width and 1 inch less on the height.
TIP – If you have a directional print make sure you are cutting your fabric the right way up!
Step 2 – Interfacing
If your fabric needs ironing iron it first. Then iron the fusible interfacing to the reverse side of your outer fabric. If you haven’t used fusible interfacing before you want to put the side with the raised dots against the fabric.
You want to leave 1/4 inch gap around the sides and bottom, and a larger gap at the top as per the photo above. Again check which way up your fabric needs to go to make sure you position the interfacing correctly.
Allow the fabric to cool for a minute before stitching.
Step 3 – Stitching the outer
Fold the outer piece of fabric in half lengthways, right sides together. Pin or use Wonderclips (as I have done) to hold together.
Stitch around the outside, accross the bottom and up the side 1/4 inch from the edge, leaving the top open.
When you reach the corner leave the needle in the fabric, lift the foot and pivot the fabric (as pictured) to turn it around. Then continue stitching up the side.
Step 4 – Sew the lining
Do the same with the lining fabric so you end up with 2 rectangles of fabric only open on one end (the top).
Step 5 – Shaping the bottom
Poke your finger into the corner by the seam to make it stick out, it should look triangular like the top left picture above. Measuring from the bottom point draw a line 2.5 inches from the bottom.
Stitch along that line, and then cut off the corner just below that line. This will give your fabric basket a flat bottom. If you want a wider bottom then draw your line further from the bottom point.
Repeat this on the opposite side of the box.
Step 6 – Putting it together
You should now have 2 fabric box shapes. Turn the outer piece of fabric the right way around so you have 2 boxes looking like the picture above. Now place the lining into the outer as per the image below.
Step 7 – Neatening the top
Now you want to fold the excess fabric you have at the top inwards, hiding the raw edges. Do this all the way around pinning or clipping the edges as you go.
TIP – If you want your basket to have handles you can use ribbon and inset the ends of the ribbon between the 2 sides of fabric.
I have to say I find Wonder Clips much easier than pins for this. Easier to add and easier to remove when sewing.
Step 8 – Stitch around the top
You then want to slowly and carefully stitch around the top, ideally 1/4 an inch, or less from the edge to make sure you get both sides of the folded in fabric. You can either use a matching thread to make the stitches blend into the fabric, or a contrasting thread to make them stand out.
I removed the free arm cover from my machine to make it easier to stitch the top edge of the basket.
Step 9 (optional)
Fold down the top around an inch to show the lining fabric and reinforce the top. You could use a contrasting lining to give a pop of colour to the top.
You can also turn these baskets inside out so the lining will become your outer fabric. This would work best if you use prints for both the outside and inside of the basket.