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Flower Girl Fabric Basket
I was never a flower girl. This will go down on my List o’ Lifetime Regrets right alongside never tap dancing on Broadway and giving away my original Midge® and Skipper® dolls to the little girl up the street rather than saving them in mint condition to sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars! Putting my bitterness behind me, we’ve come up with a beautiful flower girl basket.
Our design would be perfect for a rustic wedding, combining five very different fabrics for an awesome blend of color, weight and texture: a rich cotton blend on the outside in a cool Ikat style polka dot, a vintage style ticking on the inside, a great tulle ruffle around the top, a ruched taffeta for the handle, and a pretty rolled accent rose on both the front and back in silk dupioni silk with burlap leaves. Of course, any/all of our fabric selections can be switched out to match your own style.
The construction style of the project is similar to several of the structured baskets we’ve done previously on S4H. What’s great about using this style for a wedding is that it’s nice and deep – so there’s less chance of the flowers spilling out as your bouncy flower girl twirls around waiting for her turn down the aisle.
The finished basket is approximately 8″ wide x 7″ tall (excluding the 1″ high tulle ruffle) and 5″ deep, which is also a perfect size and depth for other uses at the wedding: passing out packages of groom’s cake, holding bundles of birdseed for the after-wedding send off, carrying wedding programs, or keeping flatware and linens on the banquet tables. Without the handle, it would be a gorgeous base for guest table centerpieces.
It’s would also be great as an Easter basket, gift basket or as a lovely accent basket on a bedroom dresser top or shelf to hold scarves or other small accessories.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but very helpful when working with the multiple layers – you can also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex system that we love on many of our Janome studio machines
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The yardages shown below are generous to allow for fussy cutting. If you are not concerned with fussy cutting, you can get away with ⅓ yard of the main exterior and interior fabrics.
- ½ yard of 45″+ wide cotton fabric for the basket’s exterior; we originally used 54″ cotton/rayon blend Ikat Dots in Oatmeal Rose by Premier Prints
- ½ yard of 44″+ wide cotton fabric for the basket’s lining; we originally used 44″ Ticking in Pink Stripe
- ⅛ yard of 45″+ taffeta (or similar) fabric for the handle; we originally used 58″ Two-Tone Taffeta in Mauve
- ¼ yard of 100+ wide tulle fabric for the accent ruffle; we originally used 108″ Tulle Glimmer in Antique Gold
- ¼ yard of 45″+ wide silk (or similar) fabric for the two accent roses; we originally used 54″ Silk Dupioni in Pink Frost
- Scrap or ⅛ yard of natural burlap; we originally used a scrap from our table runner project done for the same Rustic Wedding series; 60″ Sultana Burlap in Natural
- Plastic Canvas or similar for the handle; we purchased an 12″ x 18″ sheet from which we cut our strip. One sheet will yield a number of strips
- 1 yard of 20″ heavyweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon’s Peltex 71F ultra-firm one-sided fusible
- ONE felt circle, 1½” in diameter
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Pressing cloth
- From the fabric for the basket’s exterior (Ikat Dots in Rosa Pink/Oatmeal in our sample), cut TWO 14″ wide x 10½” high rectangles.
- From the fabric for the basket’s lining (Pink Stripe Ticking in our sample), cut TWO 14″ wide x 10½” high rectangles.
- From the fabric for the handle sleeve (Two-Tone Mauve Taffeta in our sample), cut ONE 4″ x 30″ strip.
- From the fabric for the accent ruffle (Antique Gold Glimmer Tulle in our sample), cut TWO 2″ x WOF (width of fabric) strips.
- From the fabric for the accent roses (Silk Dupioni in Pink Frost in our sample), cut or tear TWO 3½” x 32″ strips.
NOTE: Tearing will give you a frayed edge and a more rustic look to your finished roses.
- From the heavyweight fusible interfacing, cut TWO 13″ x 9½” rectangles
- From the plastic canvas, cut ONE 1⅜” x 15½” strip.
- From the burlap, cut FOUR free form leaf shapes.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Find the two exterior fabric panels and the two heavyweight interfacing pieces.
- Center the interfacing on the wrong side of each fabric piece so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond all edges of the interfacing.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, and using a pressing cloth, fuse the interfacing to the fabric.
- Place the two interfaced panels right sides together. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. You are stitching right next to but not on the interfacing; this will allow your seam to lay flat without the bulk of the heavy interfacing.
- The next step is to box the bottom corners. To do this, pinch the corners, matching up the side and bottom seams.
- With a see-through ruler, measure 2½” in from the point of the corner peak, and draw a line. Repeat on the opposite corner.
- Pin in place and stitch across the drawn line. Stitch a second line approximately ⅛ from the first seam for stabilization and security. Repeat on the opposite corner.
- Trim away the peak close to the second seam.
- If you are new to boxed corners, check out our tutorial for step-by-step instructions.
- Press the seams open. Turn the exterior basket right side out.
- Press down the top raw edge ½” all the way around. It will cleanly fold down along the top edge of the interfacing.
- Find the two interior panels and place them right sides together. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
- Create box corners in the lining, following the same steps as above. As we mentioned, check out our How To Box Corners tutorial if you are new to this technique.
- With the lining still wrong side out, turn down the top raw edge ⅞” all the way around. Pin and press in place.
- Find the two tulle strips. Layer one on top of the other.
NOTE: The number of tulle layers is variable. For a very wispy look, you could use just a single layer. For a dense ruffle with deeper color, you could use three or even four layers.
- Run a gathering stitch along one side through both layers.
- Gather to fit the circumference of the basket top.
- Find the basket lining. It should still be wrong side out.
- Pin the bottom gathered edge of the tulle to the wrong side of the top folded edge of the lining. The bottom edge of the tulle should align with the folded-down raw edge of the lining. Pin around the top, adjusting the gathers as needed as you go. Overlap the ends of the tulle just enough to hide them. Pin in place all around.
- Find the basket exterior. It should be right side out. Carefully slide the lining (with the tulle securely pinned in place) inside the exterior so the two layers are now wrong sides together. Match up the side seams and the boxed bottoms of the two pieces.
Handle and top finishing
- Find the 4″ x 30″ taffeta strip. Fold it in half lengthwise so it is now 2″ x 30″. Pin in place along the 30″ side.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the 30″ side, leaving both ends open. This forms a long tube.
- Press the seam open and turn the tube right side out. Press flat with the seam running along one edge.
- Find the strip of plastic canvas. Insert it into the taffeta tube.
- Gather the taffeta to fit the tube.
- On one end, pull the plastic canvas strip back just far enough to allow you to sew a ½” seam across that end.
- Slide the plastic canvas back down until it butts up against this sewn sewn. Return to your machine and stitch a second seam just inside the first and through the plastic canvas, securing it in place and keeping it snug against the ½” seam.
- Re-gather the taffeta tube as necessary and repeat these steps to close and secure the opposite end.
- Find the basket. Measure from the side seams to find the exact center front and exact center back. Mark both points with a pin.
- Slip one end of the handle in between the lining and the exterior layers at each of these points.
- The handle should sit so the tulle is in front of it when viewed from the exterior.
- If possible, attach a Walking foot (you’ll notice from our pictures, that we used our Janome Even Feed/Walking foot for the entire project).
- Topstitch approximately ¼” from the top folded edges, through all the layers, around the entire top of the basket. The fabric will feed best if you work with the exterior layer on the top.
- If desired, to make the sides of the basket more square and box-like, gently fold each side and press to create four vertical crease lines.
- As shown in our photos, the roses should be centered on both the front and back panels with the leaves at the bottom.
- Lift the lining up and out of the way prior to starting your hand sewing, you don’t want your stitching to show through on the lining.
- Hand sew the leaves in place first.
- Then, create the two roses and stitch each in place over the leaves – one center front and one center back.
- Finally replace the lining and gently press the basket as needed.
- These roses are slightly smaller, but are made in exactly the same fashion as the roses on our Elegant Zippered Clutches. Click here to find the step-by-step directions and photos.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild
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Thanks for the great article!