I think a lot of people like to make stuff into which they can put other stuff. Every time we come up with a new storage solution, we get rave reviews. Structured fabric baskets are at the top of the list. These "box-baskets" are put together 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 the feel of a box and a basket in one!
We created three basket samples in two styles: one patchwork version and two solid versions. The construction for either is the same; for the patchwork, you simply need to piece together the front and back panels from the 16 vertical cuts prior to starting. We suggest using four fabrics, each cut into four pieces to create the mix-and-match sides of the box.
The neutral solid for the base and heavy cotton webbing handles are the same on all three, which ties them altogether into a set. Firm fusible interfacing provides the structure and the super stable bottom. And, we've added a double line of topstitching for a professional finish.
Our basket set was original created from the In My Room collection by Jenean Morrison for FreeSpirit Fabrics, which is no longer available. To create a similar colorful look inside and out, we suggest taking a look at the new Cali Mod collection coming soon from Joel Dewberry for FreeSpirit.
Preview of Swatches from Cali Mod
Each basket finishes at approximately 8" square and 10" tall. A perfect size for uses in almost any room in the house.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but helpful when working with heavy layers
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional but helpful for some of the precise topstitching
- Denim sewing machine needle; best for stitching through the heavy webbing
Fabric and Other Supplies
SOLID BASKET FABRIC
- ½ yard of 44"+ wide cotton fabric for the basket's exterior
- ½ yard of 44"+ wide cotton fabric for the basket's lining
- ¼ yard of 44"+ wide décor weight cotton fabric or lightweight canvas for the basket's base
PATCHWORK BASKET FABRIC
- ¼ yard of FOUR coordinating 44"+ wide cotton fabrics for the basket's patchwork exterior
NOTE: The cuts are exactly 9" high; if you are worried about your accuracy or want an exact fussy cut, get ⅓ yard of each fabric.
- ½ yard of 44"+ wide cotton fabric for basket's lining
- ¼ yard of 44"+ wide décor weight cotton fabric or lightweight canvas for the basket's base
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"+ wide heavyweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon's Peltex 71F ultra-firm one-side fusible
- All purpose thread to match fabric and webbing
- 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, cut TWO 17" wide x 9" high rectangles.
- From EACH of fabrics for the basket's exterior, cut FOUR 3" wide x 9" high rectangles to yield 16 rectangles total.
- From the fabric for the basket's lining, cut TWO 17" wide x 15" high rectangles.
- From the fabric for the basket's base, cut TWO 17" wide x 7" high rectangles.
- From the heavyweight fusible interfacing, cut the following:
TWO 16" x 8" rectangles
TWO 16" x 6" rectangles
- Cut the webbing into TWO 16" lengths.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- 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.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, seam each set of eight together along the 9" sides to create your two side panels.
- Find the two exterior fabric panels, the two base panels, and the four heavyweight interfacing pieces.
- 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.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, and using a pressing cloth, fuse the interfacing to the fabric.
Basket top and handles
- Place the two interfaced top panels right sides together and pin along both 9" sides.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both sides.
- 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.
- This creates a clean top edge to the basket for later final finishing.
- Find the two 16" lengths of webbing.
- Measure 8" from one end and draw a horizontal line on each length of webbing.
- Fold an end back to this mark to create a loop. Pin in place.
- 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.
- 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 un-loopedraw edge of the webbing should be flush with the bottom of the fabric; the top loop should extend above the top of the basket.
- Pin in place.
- 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.
- Pivot and stitch across. Then, stitch a 1½" long "X Box" to reinforce the handle loop. We have a full tutorial on How to Make an X Box Stitch if you are new to the technique.
- Repeat to attach the remaining webbing handle loop on the opposite side.
- Find the two interfaced bottom exterior panels.
- Following the same steps as for the top exterior, place the panels right sides together and stitch the side seams.
- Turn right side out and press down the top raw edge ½" all around, using a pressing cloth.
- This creates a nice finished edge as above.
Assemble top and bottom
- Both exterior sections should still be right side out.
- Using a pressing cloth, lightly press the bottom raw edge of the top section to set a ½" crease line all around.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Here's a view looking from the top down.
- And from the bottom up, showing how the raw edges align.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to slightly contrast with the bottom panel fabric. We used a natural against the light taupe color of our fabric.
- Lengthen your stitch and topstitch, within the base panel, 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.
- The second time around, the seam line should be about ¼" from the first seam line.
- Turn the assemble basket wrong side out and flatten to align the bottom raw edges.
- Pin across the bottom edge.
- Re-set the stitch length to normal. Re-thread with thread to best match the fabric if necessary.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch across the bottom edge.
Box the bottom corners
- 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.
- Pull the square apart to match up the side and bottom seams. Pin in place and stitch across, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Double or triple stitch to secure this seam.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
NOTE: If you are new to making box corners, check out our step-by-step tutorial prior to starting.
- Turn the basket right side out and push out all the corners to form the base.
- To make the sides of the basket more square and box-like, gently fold each side and press to create four vertical crease lines.
- Find the two lining rectangles.
- Place the two pieces right sides together, aligning all raw edges. 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.
- With the lining still wrong side out, the next step is to box the bottom corners.
- Follow the same steps as you did above for the basket exterior.
- As we mentioned above, if you are new to boxed corners, check out our tutorial for step-by-step instructions.
- Leave the lining wrong side out.
- Find the basket lining. It should be wrong side out. Find the exterior basket. It should be right side out.
- Slip the lining inside the exterior so the two are now wrong sides together.
- Align the bottom boxed corners and the top raw edges.
- The top folded edges of the lining and the exterior should be perfectly flush. If they are not, adjust one or both until they match. Pin in place all around.
- 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