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 Fabric.com 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

SOLID BASKET FABRIC

PATCHWORK BASKET FABRIC

FOR EITHER BASKET STYLE:

  • 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

SOLID BASKET

  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.

PATCHWORK BASKET

  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.

EITHER BASKET

  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.  

Fusing

  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

Lining

  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.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild

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