Structured on the bottom, soft on the top. Sounds like the making of a comfy mattress, but it's also the clever construction that creates our adorable Bonnet Baskets. The walls and base of the basket use a combination of fusible foam and rigid interfacing to form a perfect round shape that stands up on its own - even when filled to the brim. The drawstring top is soft and flexible, creating a billowy cap to cover and secure the basket's contents.
Each basket uses six 5" x 10" Jolly Bar pre-cuts to form its pretty patchwork. Jolly Bars are an exclusive pre-cut developed just for Fat Quarter Shop. Their handy rectangle shape is perfect for all kinds of applications. We originally chose Jolly Bars in Bonnie & Camille's Hello Darling for Moda fabrics, a collection that is no longer available. However, just as there are new collections coming out every season, so there are new Jolly Bars. Below are a few new options with a similar sweet color combination and petite print motif. Click on a swatch for more detail.
With 42 slices to choose from in each Jolly Bar bundle, we had plenty of options to put together our two sample baskets. In fact, we made both baskets as well as three Hearts on a String sachet sets from just one Jolly Bar bundle, and still had plenty of cuts leftover for additional future projects.
Standard weight cotton forms the top bonnet so it's very soft and completely unstructured. It cinches around the top with a pretty ribbon. The result reminds us of the kind of bouncy basket Little Red Riding Hood might carry on her way to visit Grandma.
We used a heavy twill for the basket's accent bands, base, and handle. A denim or lightweight canvas would also work well. The handle itself is detachable. It secures on either side with a real button and buttonhole. This allows you to remove one or both sides of the handle to get full access for filling or emptying the basket.
Although we made our pretty samples with Valentine's Day in mind, this would make a lovely gift basket for any occasion. Simply change out the prints and colors to best match the event and/or recipient. Fat Quarter Shop currently has dozens of different Jolly Bar bundles in stock and ready to ship as well as a full selection of quilting weight solids for the drawstring top.
It would be a lovely way to bundle up new baby necessities, warm wedding wishes, or simply pop over to your friend's house this weekend for a surprise visit with a basket of your favorite scones or cinnamon rolls.
Our basket finishes at approximately 16" high and is 8½" in diameter. The structured base is about 11" high with the remaining 5" of the drawstring bonnet being completely flexible up to the full 16" in height. Or, push it down inside the basket when you don't need a cover.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking foot or similar; optional, but it is helpful to have a even feed foot for the thick layers of this basket. You can also engage your machine's built-in fabric feeding system, which is what we did, using the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex system
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional but helpful for the Jolly Bar seams
- Edge Guide foot; optional but helpful for the precise topstitching
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies shown are for ONE basket
- SIX Jolly Bar pre-cuts or scraps; we used a Jolly Bar bundle from Fat Quarter Shop
- ⅝ yard of 44+ standard weight cotton for the lining and the bonnet top; we used 44" Bella Solids by Moda in Aqua and Ivory
- ½ yard of 44"+ wide twill or lightweight canvas for the handle, top binding, bottom accent band, and the base; we used 58" Hampton Twill by Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Tomato and Bleached White
- ⅔ yard of 20"+ wide fusible foam or similar for the body of the basket; we used 20" Pellon one-side fusible Flex Foam
- ⅓ yard of 20"+ wide heavy-weight fusible interfacing for the basket base; we used 20" Pellon Peltex
- ⅛ yard or scrap of 20"+ mid-weight fusible interfacing for the handle; we used 45" Pellon Décor Bond
- 1 yard of ¼" wide ribbon or narrow cord for the drawstring; we used ¼" silk ribbon in aqua and red, purchased locally
- TWO 1" buttons; we used wooden buttons, purchased locally
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- All purpose thread in a contrasting color for topstitching; we used tan to coordinate with the buttons
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Seam ripper
- Hand sewing needle
- Safety pin
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print out TWO copies of the pattern piece, Patchwork Basket Base.
IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line.
- Match up the two pattern pieces, using the printed arrows as your guide, to create the full circle pattern. Butt together and tape; do not overlap.
- Select your SIX Jolly Bar pre-cuts. When deciding, remember to vary light and dark colors as well as the size of the motif for the most interesting look to your patchwork. If you choose not to use Jolly Bars, you will need SIX 5" x 10" rectangles.
- From the fabric for the lining and the bonnet top, cut the following:
Using the pattern, cut ONE circle
ONE 27½" wide x 11" high rectangle for the main body
ONE 27¾" wide x 7¾" high rectangle for the bonnet top
- From the fabric for the handle, top binding, bottom accent band, and the base, cut the following:
Using the pattern, cut ONE circle
ONE 3" x 18" strip for the handle
ONE 3" x 27½" strip for the top binding
ONE 2" x 27½" strip for the bottom accent band
- From the fusible foam interfacing, cut ONE 26½" x 10 rectangle.
- Trim back the base pattern along the dotted seam line. Use this smaller pattern to cut ONE circle from he heavy-weight fusible interfacing.
- From the mid-weight fusible interfacing, cut ONE 1" x 17" strip.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the bottom section of the basket
- Find the six Jolly Bar rectangles. Lay them out in your desired order.
- Working from left to right, select the first two Jolly Bars in the sequence.
- Place them right sides together along one 10" side and pin in place.
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch together. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot.
- Find the next Jolly Bar in the sequence and stitch together in the same manner.
- Continue until all six Jolly Bars are stitched together to form one, flat six-piece panel. Press all the seam allowances open.
- Find the 2" x 27½" bottom accent band. Pin it right sides together along the bottom of the patchworked side panel.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the band in place.
- Press the seam allowance together and down toward the band.
- Re-thread the machine with the contrasting topstitching thread in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch. We also attached the Janome Edge Guide foot.
- Topstitch along the entire seam within the band.
- We used an extra long stitch, almost a basting length, for the best look against the heavy twill.
- Place the sewn panel wrong side up on your work surface. Find the foam panel.
- Place the foam, fusible side down, on the fabric panel. There should be ½" of fabric showing beyond the foam on all sides. Lightly pin the foam in place just to hold it in position.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the foam panel in place. Work from the right side of the panel to fuse.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the Jolly Bar fabric in the top and bobbin. Keep the longer stitch length.
- Stitch in the ditch of each Jolly Bar seam (this means you are topstitching directly on top of the existing seam). This adds stability and gives a bit of subtle dimension to the main body of the basket. Stitch from the top raw edges of the panel down to the top of the bottom accent band. Do not stitch through the accent band. If possible, use a locking stitch to secure the seam above the band. If you do not have this feature, leave the thread tails long and hand knot at the back.
- Use a Walking foot or similar if possible. We engaged the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome machine.
- Fold the panel in half, aligning the remaining raw side edges. Pin in place, being careful to align the bottom band.
- Re-set the stitch length to normal. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch this final vertical seam to create a tube. Your seam should run alongside, but not on, the foam interfacing.
Prepare and insert the base of the basket
- Find the base panel circle and the circle of heavyweight interfacing. Place the interfacing against the wrong side of the fabric circle, centering it so there is ½" of fabric showing beyond the interfacing all around. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place.
- Gently fold the fused circle in half, top to bottom, and place a pin at each edge of the fold.
- Open up and re-fold the opposite direction, again placing a pin at the edge of the fold.
- You are creating quadrant pins around the circle, like the points on the face of a clock: 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00.
- Repeat this process with the open bottom edge (the edge with the accent band) of the main basket. The main side seam of the bottom opening is your 6:00 point. Flatten the opening so this seam aligns with the patchwork seam directly opposite it. This is the 12:00 point. The two outer folds are the 3:00 and 9:00 points. Place pins at all points.
- Set the base into the bottom opening so the two pieces are right sides together. Align the quadrant pins of the main tube with the quadrant pins of the base circle.
- Pin at these points first, then fill in around the circle.
- Because of the thicker layers, we chose to hand baste the layers together for better security and so we weren't bothered fussing with pins under the presser foot. This is optional, but does make the seam a bit easier to sew.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the base circle and accent band in the top and bobbin. The stitch length should still be normal. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch all the way around the circle. Go very slowly; the stiffness of the base interfacing can make it a bit tricky to manipulate the basket under the foot.
NOTE: If you feel like your machine is simply not up to this task, you could use a mid-weight interfacing like Pellon Décor Bond rather than the heavyweight. It will make the basket a bit less stable, but it should still sit flat, and the extra flexibility of the lighter interfacing will make it easier to maneuver the basket under the presser foot.
- Clip the curve, press as best you can, and turn right side out. Set aside the finished bottom basket.
NOTE: This technique is the same as any project where you are inserting a flat circle into a tube. If you are new to this process, check out our full, step-by-step tutorial.
Prepare the top binding
- Find the 3" x 27½" binding strip. Fold it in half (so it is now 1½" x 27½") and press to set a center crease. Fold back one 27½" raw edge ½" and press to set a second crease line.
- Unfold so the two crease lines are visible
- Place the 3" ends right sides together. Pin in place.
- The machine should still be threaded to best match the binding in the top and bobbin, and the stitch length should still be normal.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together, creating a loop.
- Press the seam allowance open. Then, re-fold and re-press the ½" fold.
- Set aside.
Prepare the bottom lining
- Find the 11" x 27½" main lining rectangle and its base circle.
- In the same manner as above, fold the main lining rectangle in half and stitch with a ½" seam allowance to form a tube.
- Insert the base circle into the bottom of the tube, marking and then matching quadrant points as above.
- Re-thread with thread to best match the lining in the top and bobbin. Stitch the base circle in place with a ⅝" seam allowance. Because of the foam interfacing, the base of the lining needs to be a bit smaller.
Prepare the top bonnet
- Find the 7¾" x 27¾" bonnet rectangle.
- Along one 27¾" edge, fold back the raw edge 1" and press well to set a crease.
- Unfold, then press back the same raw edge ¼" and press well to set a second crease.
- Unfold this second fold so both crease lines are now visible.
- Fold the panel right sides together, aligning the 7¾" raw edges. Pin in place from the 1" crease line down to the bottom raw edge.
- Stitch together, using a ⅝" seam allowance, forming a tube.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat.
- Because this seam will be seen from both sides, we finished the seam allowance with modified turn-and-wrap finish. To do this, tuck under the both sides of the seam allowance, turning them back on themselves and hiding the raw edges underneath against the seam allowance itself. Press well to set the folds. Press under in this manner all the way up to the top raw edge, including the 1" open section at the very top.
- Edgestitch the length of the seam through all the layers. Stitch all the way up to the top, including the 1" open section.
NOTE: If you are new to seam finishing, we have a full four-part series you can review prior to starting.
- Following your original crease lines, re-fold the top of the tube . Remember, the top of the seam should be open 1". Fold down along the ¼" crease line and then along the 1" crease line to form the upper drawcord channel. Pin in place all around.
- Stitch the drawcord channel in place all around, running the seam close to the inner fold.
Layer the lining and stitch the top binding in place
- Find the exterior basket. It should be right side out.
- Find the main bottom lining. It should be wrong side out. Slip the lining into the basket so the two layers are now wrong sides together. Align the side seams. The top raw edges should be flush and the bottom of the lining should sit flat against the base of the basket. Lightly pin all around the top.
- Find the top bonnet. It should be wrong side out with the drawcord channel facing down.
- Slip the bonnet inside the basket. The wrong side of the bonnet should now be sitting against the right side of the lining. As above, align the side seams. Re-pin around the top through all the layers.
- Find the top binding loop. It should be right side out. Slip the binding inside the basket. The right side of the binding should now be sitting against the right side of the bonnet. As above, align the side seams. Re-pin around the top through all the layers.
- Use a Walking or Even Feet foot or engage your machine's fabric feeding system. Stitch all the way around the top through all the layers with a ½" seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowance up towards the center crease line of the binding. Pull the binding up and over the seam allowance, placing it into position against the front of the basket. The center fold of the binding should sit right along the top of the basket. Pin the binding in place. Pull the bonnet up and out into its final position.
- Here's a view from the inside with the bonnet out of the way and the binding pinned in place.
- Keep the bonnet pulled up and out of the way.
- Re-thread with thread to match the binding in the top and bobbin. Lengthen for a basting stitch.
- Baste the binding in place as close to the bottom fold as possible.
- Re-thread with the contrasting topstitching thread in the top and bobbin. Keep a lengthened stitch.
- Edgestitch all around.
- Remove the basting thread. Set the basket aside.
Make the handle
- Find the 3" x 18" strip for the handle. Fold it in half, wrong sides together, so it is now 1½" x 18". Press to set a center crease line. Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Find the 1" x 17" strip of mid-weight fusible interfacing. Place one long edge along the center crease line. There should be ½" of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on both sides and along the bottom. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place.
- Press back both long sides ½".
- Press back both ends ½".
- Re-fold along the original center crease line and press again. All sides should now be finished.
- The machine should still be threaded with the contrasting topstitching thread and the stitch should still be lengthened.
- Edgestitch along all four sides of the handle, pivoting at each corner. We again used our Janome Edge Guide foot.
- Mark 1" in from each end of the handle.
- Set-up your machine for a buttonhole and stitch a buttonhole at each marked point.
- Carefully cut open each button hole.
- Hand stitch a button in place within the top binding at the main side seam and the patchwork seam directly opposite. Button the handle in place onto the side buttons.
- Find the ribbon or cording. Attach a safety pin through one end and feed the ribbon/cording through the top drawcord channel. Knot the ends to finish.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild