March 7, 2011
You can customize this fabric basket to make it any size or shape you want. I’m going to give you the instructions for how I made this one, which is about 5″ x 5″ and is 8.5″ tall.
What you will need
If you are purchasing fabric for this project, each 1/8 yard of fabric will give you 2 strips so you need a total of 1 and 1/4 yards of fabric. The amount of fabric you need for each strip depends on how many different fabric you choose to use. I decided to use lots of different fabric for this project, but it can also be done using only 1 or 2 different fabric choices.
Fusible interfacing – you will need and equal amount of interfacing.
Making the strips
Start by making your strips for weaving the basket. Cut fabric 2.25″ wide and at least 24″ long. You will need 20 strips total for this pail. Place each strip on a piece of fusible interfacing and iron them down. I lined them up and did as many as possible at once and cut them apart later.
Once you cut the strips, fold one in half lengthwise and stitch along the side using a 1/4″ seam allowance to form a tube. Leave the ends open. Repeat for 18 more strips.Leave one strip alone for now. It will be the edge piece for the top of the pail later.
Turn each strip right side out. This may take a bit of time. I sat down with a cold drink and some trash tv to help pass the time. After turning each strip, iron flat. Now you should have 18 strips ready for making the basket and 1 strip ready for the handle.
Weaving the pail
Take the 5 strips you want to use for the basket and place them next to each other, going the same direction. Take the other 5 strips and start weaving them back and forth between the first 5 strips, one at a time. They will look like this. Get the weaving as close to the center as possible because this is the bottom of your basket.
Place an object on the part you just weaved to begin weaving sides of the basket. I used a box of saltines because it was the perfect size for what I wanted. Bring all the strips up the sides of the cracker box and use a rubber band to secure the strips.
Begin weaving strips to form the sides of the pail. Sorry these pictures aren’t the best, but I made this in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep well. So this is the best you get.
Keep the strips as close together as possible to make a tight weave. Overlap the ends and tuck them behind one of the vertical pieces. At the end you may need to wiggle some of them around, tighten them, etc.
Continue adding strips, until you get to the top. This one took 8 strips to complete the sides. (I think I mentioned that before, but I tend to repeat myself often…it’s a result of raising kids). Once you get to your last strip, fold the vertical ends over the top horizontal piece and pin into place.
Wiggle your strips until they are pulled tight enough and are even all the way around the basket. Hand stitch the ends of the horizontal strips to hold them in place. Run a zigzag stitch around the top of the pail. Trim the flappy pieces.
Finishing the pail
Take the remaining strip you didn’t sew into a strip. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press flat. Open the strip and fold the raw edges back towards the center fold and press. Fold the ends in and press them also.
Place the strip along the top of the pail so the pail is sandwiched between the two sides of the strip. Overlap the ends and stitch near the open edge.
Take your remaining strip and fold the ends up a couple of times and stitch across to finish the end. Make a buttonhole on each side. Attaching the handle with button and buttonhole will allow you to put the handle up and down. Sew on a button to each side and you are finished.
These would make cute Easter baskets or Trick or Treat buckets too!
As usual, if something doesn’t make sense with this tutorial, please let me know!