Sunday, June 20, 2010

how to make a fabric basket in ten(ish) steps

I’ve made a few fabric baskets lately – and I plan to make more as I’ve decided that perhaps the fabric basket is the key to an organised sewing space and maybe even the organised life that I so desperately seek.  Most recently I made this fabric basket for a friend as a birthday present. Angelina of Norwood Walkabouts expressed interest in how to make one a ages ago (sorry it has taken me all this time!) …so here goes how in ten(ish) steps:

Step 1: Make a patternthe patternI decided that I wanted this basket to be a 10cm cube, so the length of the square on the pattern piece is 12cm to allow for a 1cm seam allowance. The section of the pattern that lies on the fold of the material is 6cm high and 36cm in total length (if I’d thought ahead I would have written the lengths on the paper – sorry!)

Step 2: Cut the materialscut the materialsYou will need – a piece of material for the outer, a piece of material for the lining and wadding.

Step 3: Pin the wadding and the lining togetherpin lining to wadding

  Step 4: Sew lining to waddingsew lining to waddingIMG_1048Trim excess seam allowance, particularly wadding.

Step 5: Sew seams (side edges of baskets)sew seamsTo sew the side seams together just fold the material right sides together and sew. Do this for the outer piece of material as well, again making sure that right sides are seams for outer 

Step 6: Make handles

Decide on the length and width of handles that you want for your basket. Then cut a piece of material four times the width you desire and a couple of centimetres longer. That is – if you want a handle that is two centimetres wide and ten centimetres long then cut a piece of material 8cm x 12cm. The handles are made in the same way that binding is made. Fold the piece of material in half, and then fold half again towards the centre. handles

Sew the handle together down the loose handles

Step 7: Attach handles to outer materialattach handles to outerNote that the handles are on the right side of the outer of the basket.

Step 8: Pin outer and lining together and sew together around top of basketpin outer and lining together ready to sewA few things to note here. Firstly right sides of material are facing together – so that is the back of my embroidery that you can see there in all its knotted mess. Secondly try to match the corners together because it just looks better. Sew around the top of the basket – ensuring to capture the handles and also remembering to leave a hole a couple of centimetres wide.

Step 9: Turn the basket out   turn the basket out Pull the basket through the hole so that the basket is now right side out and almost finished.

Step 10: Slip stitch closed the hole slip stitch closed

and voila – you’re make me smile basket

If you have any questions about the process be sure to email me and I’ll try to explain. Good luck!


  1. as i was driving home from perth today i was thinking about making a fabric basket like you had done (the one prior to this one, without the handles) and i was thinking how i would have to ask you how you did it! perfect timing :) i think i even understood all the instructions (due to your excellent explaining of course :) )

  2. Great basket ! Thanks for the tutorial so clear even I can follow it !

  3. Oh Sal you're a genius! Your instructions are so clear, so consice and your basket looks beautiful. Applause, Applause, Gorgeous ;-)

  4. Fabulous fabulous. Maybe this will be just the little project to get me back on the sewing machine and enjoying sewing again! What a great use of your darling embroidery too.

  5. looks so simple, and gorgeous. nice work. i will have to give it a try now. x

  6. Looks great! The best nappy bag I've ever had was one I made modelled on those green square shopping bags - but its always been a little floppy. Next time I'll put a bit of wadding to give it some body. Thanks!

  7. thank you sally !!
    bout time, geez :))) - - kidding!
    i can hear your apples crying all the way in
    tasmania. cozy them, and they will smile once again. xx

  8. Busy has requested a basket for her bike- I was thinking of making a fabric one so this is perfect!!! I would never have thought to start with the cross shape. Thanks Sally!

  9. Very inspired use of that gorgeous embroidery, Sally.

  10. Thank you for the great tutorial Sally:) xo

  11. Sally,Thanks for the tutorial,nice how you used your stitchery. Happy Days.

  12. You make it look so easy! I will have to give that a go. I think the back of your embroidery is just as pretty as the front....its so neat!

  13. wow this is gorgeous thanks so much for the tute

  14. What a brilliant use for that pretty bit of embroidery (which btw looks wonderful with just a few leaves!). Add this to the list of things I want to do and maybe in 2012 I'll come up for air!

    Alright, I'm leaving your blog now!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.