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FreeSpirit-Rowan 10&10 Series: Fabric Box-Baskets in Jenean Morrison/In My Room

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I think a lot of people in our S4H audience like stuff to put other stuff in. Every time we do any kind of a storage solution here, we get rave reviews. Our structured fabric baskets are at the top of that list. We have a new variation of them today in Jenean Morrison's In My Room collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics. I call them box-baskets. They're created in essentially the same manner as a number of our previous baskets, but we've changed the shape, the height, and the base in order to give them more of the feel of a box. And, we're using a heavy canvas strapping for the easy-to-grab side handle loops. We've worked with Jenean before and just love her. This new collection is wonderfully reminiscent of the playful little patterns of the sixties and seventies, which ties into collection's name; In My Room is also a Beach Boys hit from their 1963 Surfer Girl album.

Turns out, Jenean was not following in Beach Boy, Brian Wilson's footsteps, but in her own, describing her collection inspiration as, "... a favorite space, a private space, where we can get away from the world at large and experience an inner world of imagination and inspiration - a space made by, and just for, yourself."

Many of the prints of In My Room are smaller, which makes them especially fun to work with for patchworking, a technique we used on one of our trio of box-basket samples. The construction of the three baskets is the same, and by using a neutral solid for each base, it ties them together so they work as a group. We used FreeSpirit's amazing home déc solid, resulting in a great look and a stable bottom. The baskets finish at approximately 8" square and 10" tall. 

Our thanks to the great folks at FreeSpirit and Rowan Fabrics for sponsoring these four weeks of Resolution Inspiration from ten of their amazing designers. What's Jenean's resolution? She has several!

"This year I resolve to take a 'real'' vacation, one that has nothing to do with work (except perhaps to get inspired for my next fabric collection). Since Joel and I were married in 2007, every 'vacation' we have taken has either been to Quilt Market or some other place related to work. Along those lines, I also resolve to start work earlier and finish earlier each day. Because I work at home, I have a habit of working until all hours of the night. I would like to devote more time to family and friends this year. I'd like to end my work days around 5:00, then relax and enjoy myself for the rest of the evening. And, I will even consider taking a weekend off every now and then! On the creative front, I want to push boundaries and try new things. I want to learn new techniques and incorporate them into my artwork, and I'd like to experiment more with color!"

In My Room debuted in November of 2012. We were able to still find a good selection at Sew4Home Marketplace vendors and Fat Quarter Shop.

Remember, not all shops take delivery and/or display fabrics on the same schedule, so actual in-stock dates may vary. Also, you can always ask your favorite local independent fabric retailer to special order fabric for you. Check out the Westminster Fibers Retail Locator for shopping options near you.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies




  • 1 yard of 1- 1¼" wide heavy cotton webbing for the handles; we used a 1¼" natural cotton, purchased locally
  • 1 yard of 20" heavyweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon's Peltex 71F ultra-firm one-side fusible
  • 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 

Getting Started


  1. From the fabric for the basket's exterior (Daydream in Pink and Retreat in Tan in our samples), cut TWO 17" wide x 9" high rectangles.


  1. From EACH of fabrics for the basket's exterior (Daydream in Pink, Retreat in Tan, Loft in Brown and Shade Tree in Orange in our sample), cut FOUR 3" wide x 9" high rectangles to yield 16 rectangles total.


  1. From the fabric for the basket's lining (Loft in Brown, Shade Tree in Orange and Pillow Fort in Tan in our samples), cut TWO 17" wide x 15" high rectangles.
  2. From the fabric for the basket's base (Home Dec Solid in Taupe in our samples), cut TWO 17" wide x 7" high rectangles.
  3. From the heavyweight fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    TWO 16" x 8" rectangles
    TWO 16" x 6" rectangles
  4. Cut the webbing into TWO 16" lengths.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board 

  1. The solid basket and patchwork basket are constructed in the same manner. The only difference is creating the patchwork exterior panels from which to start. To do this, separate your sixteen 3" x 9" strips into two sets of eight. 
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, seam each set of eight together along the 9" sides to create your two side panels.  


  1. Find the two exterior fabric panels, the two base panels, and the four heavyweight interfacing pieces.
  2. Center the appropriate interfacing piece on the wrong side of each fabric piece so there is ½" of fabric showing beyond all edges of the interfacing.
  3. Following manufacturer's instructions, and using a pressing cloth, fuse the interfacing to the fabric. 

Basket top and handles

  1. Place the two interfaced top panels right sides together and pin along both 9" sides. 
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both sides.
  3. Turn right side out. Fold down the top raw edge ½" all around. Using a pressing cloth, press in place. Pin if necessary as well.
  4. This creates a clean top edge to the basket for later final finishing.
  5. Find the two 16" lengths of webbing.
  6. Measure 8" from one end and draw a horizontal line on each length of webbing.
  7. Fold an end back to this mark to create a loop. Pin in place.
  8. On both exterior side seams, measure 1" down from the top finished edge and mark this measurement with a pin on either side of the seam.
  9. Center one folded-back webbing strip along one side seam. The raw edge of the webbing should be against the right side of the fabric, and this raw edge should be approximately ¼" below the pin marks (ie. 1¼" below the top finished edge). The bottom unfolded raw edge of the webbing should be flush with the bottom of the fabric and the top loop should extend above the top of the basket.
  10. Pin in place. 
  11. Edgestitch in place. Start at the 1" pin mark. Head down one side to start, pivot to cross over at the bottom, then head back up, stopping at the opposite 1" pin mark.
  12. Pivot and stitch across. Then, stitch a 1½" long "X Box" to reinforce the handle loop.
  13. Repeat to attach the remaining webbing handle loop on the opposite side.

Basket bottom

  1. Find the two interfaced bottom exterior panels.
  2. Following the same steps as for the top exterior, place the panels right sides together and stitch the side seams. 
  3. Turn right side out and press down the top raw edge ½" all around, using a pressing cloth. 
  4. This creates a nice finished edge as above.

Assemble top and bottom

  1. Both exterior sections should still be right side out. 
  2. Using a pressing cloth, lightly press the bottom raw edge of the top section to set a ½" crease line all around.
  3. Slip the top section into the bottom section so the raw bottom edge of the top section falls behind the finished top edge of the bottom section. (I know... that's a lot of tops and bottoms... ready it through a couple of times, then look at the pictures.)
  4. Align the raw edges of both sections. The crease line of the top section should match with the folded edge of the bottom section, and the raw edges of the two pieces should be flush and pressed down towards the bottom. Pin in place all around.
  5. Here's a view looking from the top down.
  6. And from the bottom up, showing how the raw edges align.
  7. Lengthen your stitch and topstitch all around twice to secure the top to the bottom. The first time around, the seam line should be about ⅛" from the folded edge of the base. 
  8. The second time around, the seam line should be about ¼" from the first seam line. 
  9. Turn the assemble basket wrong side out and flatten to align the bottom raw edges.
  10. Pin across the bottom edge.
  11. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across the bottom edge.

Box the bottom corners

  1. Using a see-through ruler and a fabric pen or pencil, measure, mark and cut out a 3½" x 3½" square in each bottom corner. 
  2. Match up the side and bottom seams. Pin in place and stitch across, using a ½" seam allowance. 
  3. Double or triple stitch to secure this seam. 
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.
  5. Turn the basket right side out and push out all the corners to form the 8" base. The thickness of all the layers slightly increases the size of the base.
  6. To make the sides of the basket more square and box-like, gently fold each side and press to create four vertical crease lines.

    NOTE: If you are new to boxed corners, check out our tutorial for step-by-step instructions


  1. Find the two lining rectangles.
  2. Place the two pieces right sides together, aligning all raw edges. Pin in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
  4. With the lining still wrong side out, the next step is to box the bottom corners.
  5. Follow the same steps as you did above for the basket exterior. 
  6. As we mentioned above, if you are new to boxed corners, check out our tutorial for step-by-step instructions
  7. Leave the lining wrong side out.

Final assembly

  1. Find the basket lining. It should be wrong side out. Find the exterior basket. It should be right side out. 
  2. Slip the lining inside the exterior so the two are now wrong sides together. 
  3. Align the bottom boxed corners and the top raw edges.
  4. Align the finished top folded edges of the lining and the exterior. Pin in place all around.
  5. Lengthen your stitch. Edgestitch all around the top through all the layers, keeping your stitching approximately ¼" from the top folded edges.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild



Comments (102)

Rookie said:
Rookie's picture

These baskets are the perfect solution to adding more storage for my first grand baby's nursery. My sewing resolution is to finish one project each month. Twelve new projects...can't wait. 

DesignsbyJanet said:
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I think this basket fits the bill size wise for what I am needing to do to revamp my sewing/craft room in early 2013.  I am so excited.  Fabrics are really cute and will go with so many things.  Thanks

ktvita said:
ktvita's picture

I was looking for a magazine/lap quilt holder for  our family room and this is perfect!! Love the fabric and the colors are so springy/summery!!

My 2013 resolution is to sort out, proritize, actually use my stash and implement at least 3 of the projects from my to-do list!!! One quilt, One handbag/may be this clutch and one skirt (yes want to start with a simpler one)! I've bookmarked so many projects and have bought many books on quilts, handbags, dress making and home decor in 2012.  

Picking one favorite designer is really hard.. I've collected fabric lines from Joel Dewberry, Ty Pennington, Jennifer Paganelli, Paula Prass, Sweetwater, Tanya Whelan ... these are the names I can think of at the top of my head right now.... and just love all other designers for their creativity!!! 

Okay, if at all I've to pick one now, I think it is Joel Dewberry :)

Dona4ky said:
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I love these baskets! I see that the tutorial is excellent and looks like it would be easy to follow. I have definately added this to my  favorites list!

goonybird said:
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I love baskets - will have to make some!

My resolution is to sew more and finish my projects! My favorite designer is Kaffe Fassett...

JMcGowan said:
JMcGowan's picture

Need to make some of these for my sewing room.  Need to get it organized.

Momo said:
Momo's picture

I am re-organizing my craft and sewing space and these little box/baskets are going to be perfect for me to hide my supplies in my very open and visible dining area, and yet be very attractive.  I love these kinds of projects! 

chaoticlilshadow said:
chaoticlilshadow's picture

I love this tutorial! I can't wait to give it a try!

celtic19 said:
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I love these!  This is definately on my list for 2013 resolution, along with finish the quilt I'm currently piecing.  My favorite designer would have to be Anna Maria Horner.  I just LOVE her fabrics--such bright beautiful colors and designs! 


Holly Ann said:
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Cool pattern I love the straps. My sewiNg resolution is to make more things to hstay me stay organized.

Beckie said:
Beckie's picture

Lovely!  I just love those floral fabrics... You've got a nice fabric choice! I could use about a zillion of those baskets! Thanks for sharing this project! Happy stiching!

Dupcodeb said:
Dupcodeb's picture

Super useful and cute to boot!  My favorite deigner is Anna maria Horner and my 2013 resolution is to finish a coat I have been working and and then moving to some of your projects.

Carmen Country Mouse said:
Carmen Country Mouse's picture

Love this tutorial! May have to sit down & make this right awaMy ions of my fav fabric designers is Joel Dewberry. My resolution is to make one thing a month for myself. I'll start with this!

Dena said:
Dena's picture

another tutorial that I feel I could do.  I want a dozen of these for me and maybe some as gifts.

vt_ellen said:
vt_ellen's picture

Love these!  I love the idea of delivering a gift (muffins, cookies) with the basket to keep!

bostons2danes said:
bostons2danes's picture

these baskets are adorable...definately want to try to make them. thanks for the tutorial 

Teresaknits said:
Teresaknits's picture

I love the fabric and how useful these will be in my new sewing room - definitely next on my to do list!

Cheryl B said:
Cheryl B's picture

I can see making a few of these for my sewing room for storage I always need and for purely decorative purposes.

Gabnxe said:
Gabnxe's picture

My resolution for 2013 is to make some baskets like this! I am always in need of storage and these are nice an deep. My favorite is Kaffe Fassett!

JennaH said:
JennaH's picture

These would be so handy to organize some of my stuff!

mygardenerjh said:
mygardenerjh's picture

Wonderful baskets! Now to unglue myself from this fascinating and inspiring website and get sewing...I can hardly wait to finish the project I have started so I can make these darling baskets. 2013 resolution= finish project working on before starting next project(LOL, how did I get so many projects started and not finished?!?!)

ginamari said:
ginamari's picture

Isn't this sweeter than sweet! Thank you for coming up with these practical ideas and then the clear instructions to boot, helping me to make my house a home.

gibbylet said:
gibbylet's picture

I really love the way the handles are attached on this basket, thank you for the detailed tutorial!

sewalittle2 said:
sewalittle2's picture

WOW!! Great tutorial! My 2013 resolution is to creat more in my sewing room! My favorite designer is Joel Dewberry!

Dottie M. said:
Dottie M.'s picture

My sewing resolution for 2013 is to finish some of my quilting UFOs. This is so hard because I see another great project or class I would like to try and poof! There goes the old project!

My favorite designer from the 10&10 series is Jenean Morrison. The "In My Room" collection has taken me right back to the late sixties. Back then, I made myself a pair of floral-fabric pants that looked as if they could fit right into this collection! While I wouldn't make pants like that now (!), these fabrics look really cute in the fabric baskets. I especially like the addition of smaller-scale prints; the variation in scale makes for projects that can use wild and crazy prints along with some prints that give the eyes a place to rest.

kim-the-girl said:
kim-the-girl's picture

What a great fabric  box!  I've seen so many of these, but the handles on these make them SO functional!

Savitar said:
Savitar's picture

I pinned this project immediately after seeing it, and this moves near to the top of my 2013 sewing list, because it fulfills another resolution of organizing!

Savitar said:
Savitar's picture

I pinned this project immediately after seeing it, and this moves near to the top of my 2013 sewing list, because it fulfills another resolution of organizing!

hollyfri said:
hollyfri's picture

My 2013 resolution is to sew more gifts for family and friends. I love to shop for gifts but I love to sew more. So I think I will shop for more fabric (as if I don't already have enough!) and sew more gifts. I love the basket pattern very clever!.I normally am not a fan of orange, but the sublte shade along with the pink is wonderful. Jenean Morrison's design is so fresh and happy.

Martieo said:
Martieo's picture

I LOVE these fabric boxes!  My 2013 sewing resolution is to create lots of these for gift giving. What a wonderful presentation they will make.  I will start by using fabric from Jennifer Paganelli's collections.  She is my favorite designer because she uses such absolutely stunning colors.

Martieo said:
Martieo's picture

I LOVE these fabric boxes!  My 2013 sewing resolution is to create lots of these for gift giving. What a wonderful presentation they will make.  I will start by using fabric from Jennifer Paganelli's collections.  She is my favorite designer because she uses such absolutely stunning colors.

ggiffinrao said:
ggiffinrao's picture

My resolution is to learn how to make clothing that does not look "home-made". My favorite designer is Valori Wells!

sewval said:
sewval's picture

I really like this project and the fabric but Kaffe Fawcett is my favorite Westminster designer( well I love Godwin and Jacobs as well) and his fabrics would go well in my house so I would probably use them. My 2013 sewing resolution is to get some UFO's out of the way and to make up a quilt using Kaffe fabrics. I saw one made up in a Karla Alexander pattern with wavy lines that I was thinking about trying. It was gorgeous but I think his fabric makes up well in practically anything.

EstateTailor said:
EstateTailor's picture

I remember making flat vanity boxes years ago but it's great to see the addition of webbing handles...these take it up a notch!

ChristyL said:
ChristyL's picture

I've been looking for hanging fabric bins...and voila! Sew4Home to the rescue....perfect timing. My daughter needs some stuffty storage on a short wall in her room...I'm on it!

Jonalee said:
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This is definitely interesting.  Making quilts is my favorite hobby, but this is a good use of scraps and would make great gifts!

jovy.ann said:
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If I can think of a good reason to make these, I definitely would.  As it is, I already have so many boxes and baskets in my sewing room that this would just add on to the clutter.  But it's so cute and interesting that I'm thinking of making it just because!

LuvSS said:
LuvSS's picture

I love these baskets! Jenean Morrison is my favorite.

My 2013 resolution is to meke these first! I would like to sew for myself more this year..

I am sorry, I have pressed "save" twice..

LuvSS said:
LuvSS's picture

I love these baskets! Jenean Morrison is my favorite.

My 2013 resolution is to meke these first! I would like to sew for myself more this year..

Madmeninge said:
Madmeninge's picture

I can see these baskets in my first grandchild's nursery. 2013 was planned around blocks, tuning my skills and playing with as many fabrics as possible, before I found out about my daughter's pregnancy. How can anyone have a favourite designer or range, when there are so many brilliant ones, and so many different projects, as demonstrated here in the 10 &10.  I love this fabric by Janean Morrison for these containers, but not for the baby's cot or my daughter's feeding gown. I adore so many. My cat Monte,  who watches over my machine like a furred angel definately needs Jennifer Panganelli's Happy Land round cushion so she can keep me company this year. Let them all have their place in my home!

mooslie said:
mooslie's picture

Beautiful baskets. I will definetly try to make one.

Pam S said:
Pam S's picture

I'm going to make a couple in red fabrics for valentines gifts! Thanks ffor the tutorial!

Alsan said:
Alsan's picture

I am running out of things to say about the wonderful projects, I wish I could make them all in  Philip Jacob's material. It is so vibrant and wonderful, I can see dozens of ideas to fulfill!

SusanH363 said:
SusanH363's picture

I love baskets to organize! Have to make some of these quickly!

My 2013 sewing resolution is to try my hand at art/landscape quilts. I've already got a design in mind that will be perfect over my fireplace! (Obviously optimistic!) My favorite designer of all time has to be Kaffe Fassett! Love this fabric! I've bought some but haven't yet found a pattern worthy enough of the wonderfully modern colors and designs. I really want some of the new 'Collective!' 

With so many projects on my resolution list, I could really make good use of the fabric if I win!

Debbie H said:
Debbie H's picture

Love the baskets! 

My sewing resolution is to always learn something new and to challenge myself. My favorite designer is Donna dewberry. thanks!

gussek at hotmail dot com


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