This is the first basket I made based on Ayumi's tutorial:
They are not too hard to make, and you get such a feeling of accomplishment from making something so useful!
In the very near future, my friend Susan and I will be organizing a swap of fabric baskets, bins, buckets and boxes on Craftster (sign-ups begin February 6th). At the request of one of our regular swap participants, I took pictures recently as I made a fabric basket using my own design. I will show you how it's made--the tutorial starts NOW!!
Here's the finished product; it measures 5 3/4" wide x 4" deep x 4" tall.
1. Choose two fabrics, one for the inside and one for the outside of your basket; a fat quarter of each will be enough. To make the basket sturdy, you will also need two kinds of interfacing. They can be bought by the yard at fabric stores.
--1/2 yard of heavyweight sew-in interfacing (also called stabilizer)
--1/2 yard of featherweight or lightweight iron-in interfacing (also called fusible interfacing)
(I buy mine by the bolt. Pellon is a good brand.)
2. Cut the fabrics to these sizes:
--inner fabric: one piece 12 1/4" x 10 1/4"
--outer fabric: one piece 12 1/2" x 10 1/2"
--handle fabric (I used the outer fabric): one piece 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" (this makes both handles)
3. Cut 3 pieces of the iron-in interfacing just a little smaller than each of your 3 pieces of fabric. Following the package directions, fuse it to the wrong side of each piece.
4. Cut 1 piece of the sew-in interfacing just a little LARGER than your outer fabric. Pin it to the wrong side of the fabric, then baste it to the fabric using a 1/8" seam allowance, and your longest sewing machine stitch. If it seems a little warped after sewing, try ironing it.
5. Trim the excess interfacing from around the edges of the outer fabric.
This picture shows my fabrics with both interfacings applied. The sew-in interfacing has not yet been trimmed.
6. Make the handles: fold the handle fabric in half lengthwise, and sew it into a tube, using a 1/4" seam. Turn it right-side-out and press it flat. (This picture shows my sewn tube before turning. It also shows my handy-dandy tube-turning tool!) Use whatever method works for you to turn the tube.
Sew a line of stitching along each side of the handle fabric, about 1/8" from the edge.
Cut the handle fabric in half (each piece will be 5 1/4" long).
7. Now to make the basket shape, starting with the outer fabric: fold the interfaced fabric in half so the short sides are lined up at the top, and sew the two folded sides using a 1/4" seam. (This picture shows the inner fabric sewn in half as just described.)
8. Make the 4" gussets: flatten one of the sides you just sewed, so the seam is centered and it ends in a triangular point. With a ruler, find the spot where the width of the triangle is 4", and draw a line there that is perpendicular to the seam. It is easy to do if you have a gridded mat like the one in this picture.
Sew along the line you drew, then cut off the excess fabric. Make the gusset on the other side the same way.
I'm repeating this picture to show you how your outer fabric should now look. Sew the inner fabric and make 4" gussets on it in exactly the same way.
9. Attach the handles to the basket: pin each handle to the outer fabric so it straddles the side seam, with each inner handle edge 3/4" from the center seam (the two handle ends will be 1 1/2" apart).
Sew the pinned handles in place using a 1/8" seam.
10. Yay, now it's time to finish the basket! Your outer fabric should be inside-out, as in this picture. Turn your inner fabric so it is now RIGHT-side-out.
Place the inner fabric inside the outer fabric, and line up the side seams. Pin the side seams together.
To figure out where to start sewing, hold the basket with one side seam in each hand and one flat side facing you. Start sewing near where your right hand is holding it, about 1" ahead of the handles. Sew around the top edge of the basket, using a 1/4" seam, until you come to the second side seam. Stop here and remove the basket from the sewing machine. Since your inner fabric is 1/4" smaller than the outer fabric, the two fabrics will not line up perfectly along the top edge (but it is important for the inner fabric to be smaller, so it fits smoothly inside the finished basket).
HERE'S THE TRICKY PART:
You need to adjust for the difference in size here, at the seam line. Pinch about 1/4" of the outer fabric at the seam so it overlaps itself, and pin it in place. We're doing this at the seam line so the adjustment will be invisible in the finished basket. Take a look at the remaining opening in this top seam; if the two fabrics are now perfectly aligned, continue sewing the top seam, but leave a 3-4" opening on the side to turn it right-side-out. If the two fabrics are not perfectly aligned, unpin the seam and adjust it until the fabrics line up perfectly. Then sew the remaining seam, leaving an opening for turning.
Whew, I'm glad that's over! Turn your basket right-side out and it will look like this:
Iron the top edge flat, pushing the inner fabric down a little so it is recessed below the top edge. Iron down the seam allowance of the opening, and pin it for sewing.
11. Sew a seam all around the top edge of the basket, 1/8" from the top. Then sew a second seam 1/4" from the first seam. This gives your basket a firm top edge. Iron it nice and smooth, and you are done!
It came out great!
Yes, I'm happy!