Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fabric Toy Basket - Tutorial

Today I am going to show you how to make a basket out of fabric.  I decided I needed one to hold all the baby toys.  They used to be crammed into this old popcorn can.

Now they are happy in their new home (with room to grow)

What you will need: Outside fabric, lining fabric, cuff fabric, stabilizer (I used 'innerfuse')

I would recommend using a jeans needle, as things can get rather bulky.  My sewing machine also has a setting for heavy, woven fabric.

Start with your fabric spread out.  (Flat would be good. I should have ironed!).  I am using two old skirts that are old/out of style/too big.  One denim and one khaki.

Draw your circle - any size you wish.  Just remember you will lose about an inch in the seam allowance.

I wanted a 20 inch circle, so I used a pencil and string cut to 10 inches.

Cut out one circle of your 'good fabric', one lining fabric and one circle from your stabilizer.
Fuse them together, or baste with the stabilizer in the middle.
Next cut the strips for your sides.  This will require some math.  You can make them as tall as you want. (mine are 10 in tall)  For the length you will have to figure this out.  C=2 x pi x r   (Remember this from geometry?)   C = circumference  pi = 3.1412,  r is the radius - or half the distance across your circle.  So we'll take mine for an example.  My circle is 20 inches across.  Half of 20 is 10, so to find my Circumference:  2 x 3.1412 x 10 =  62.8.  I rounded that up to 63 and added an inch for seam allowances and cut my strips to be 64 inches long.  One strip of lining, one of outside, and one of stabilizer.
If your stabilizer piece isn't long enough, just put two ends together and join with a zig-zag stitch.
Fuse all three layers like you did the circles and sew the strips right sides together.  You are going to want to press your seam open.  Things will get a bit bulky.
Now, pin your sides to the bottom, right sides together and sew.  You should end up with something like this:
Now to the cuff.  This part will be folded over to hide our seams and for some contrast.  I used an old denim shirt for this part.  This will be cut to the same length as your sides.  Width is up to you.  Depends how deep you want your cuff.  Mine is 9.5 inches, 4.25 when folded in half.
Sew your strip into a circle by joining the ends, right sides together.  Then fold in half, iron and baste across the top edge.
Make some handles, if desired.  I just used the hem from the skirt, cut to length.  You could fold over some fabric and sew up the sides, or even use webbing from the fabric store.
Pin your handles where you want them. They should be pinned to the lining side.  You could measure, I just eye-balled it.
Now pin on the cuff to the lining side.  The handles should be sandwiched in between.
Sew cuff to top of the basket.  I ended up turning mine right side out and then sewing.  It was a lot easier to maneuver under the machine.
Here is the cuff sewn on.
Turn the cuff out and press.  You could even top stitch it down.  I haven't yet, but I'm considering it.

 And you have a baby boy Basket.
 I mean baby Toy Basket


Unknown said...

Such a cool cool idea Rachel.. I love it.....Hugs from South Texas..Birgit

Mindy said...

What a perfect use of old clothing. I love this basket!

He DOES look pretty cozy in there... said...

I'd love to play with that "toy" anyday! Great project! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

It's so fun that he can fit in the basket with his toys. That's one of those "keeper" shots!

- said...

He's so sweet...great toy basket.

Jen said...

I love this! Way to recycle old clothes! Thanks for linking this up to Fantastic Friday!