Be a basketmaker!
Sure, you can sew, but did you know that you can make amazing baskets too using your sewing machine, some fabric and the same materials that you use for your other projects?
This sturdy basket will hold anything you want it to such as blankets and pillows, yarn and crafting supplies, books, DVD’s, even laundry (but who would want that???).
It was the winner of our December U-Pick challenge and I’m so glad it won the vote!
I’m currently using this one to hold slippery swim fabrics in an IKEA cubby because it fit perfectly (just like my Big Fold Up Basket).
Here’s another basket that I made using 2 different fabrics so I could experiment with the woven design.
Don't be intimidated by the leather handles - they were easy to attach with a leather needle. I bought one 1 1/2'' x 42'' leather strip (in the 12.99 package from Joanns above) and it was enough for 4 handles - 2 on each basket.
Of course, you could sew handles from a different material like fabric, or leave them off all together. It’s up to you!
How to Sew a DIY Woven Basket:
You will need:
2-3 yards of fabric (see note below)
2 yards of Peltex 72F (double sided fusible ultra firm stabilizer) - mine was 20’’ wide
a leather strip 1 1/2’’ wide x 21’’ long for the handles (optional)
Wonderclips (optional but very helpful)
Hot glue gun and hot glue
Note about fabric: large pieces are cut and fused to peltex, and then cut again to make strips. 3 yards of fabric is required if you want to cut all of the large pieces whole instead of piecing them together. You can make the basket with 2 yards of fabric if you are willing to piece strips together to make the large pieces. This won’t change the look of the basket much, in my opinion (unless your fabric is directional).
Feel free to use two different fabric for the two sides of the strips or mix it up with many fabrics. I can’t wait to see how you make it!
From fabric, cut (or piece together):
1 strip 8’’ x 47 1/2’’ (for the band around the top of the basket)
2 rectangles 8 1/2’’ x 47 1/2’’ (for the strips that go around the basket)
2 rectangles 12 1/2’’ x 28’’ (for the strips that run lengthwise)
2 rectangles 10 1/2’’ x 30 1/2’’ (for the strips that run widthwise)
From the Peltex72F stabilizer, cut:
1 strip 2’’ x 47’’ (for the band around the top of the basket)
1 rectangle 8 1/2’’ x 47 1/2’’ (for the strips that go around the basket)
1 rectangle 12 1/2’’ x 28’’ (for the strips that run lengthwise)
1 rectangle 10 1/2’’ x 30 1/2’’ (for the strips that run widthwise)
If you are piecing fabrics together to make the large pieces - use a 1/4’’ seam allowance and press the seams open.
You can also piece peltex pieces together. Just butt two straight edges up and zig zag along the line to attach them (see above). No one will be able to tell the difference when the fabrics are fused to the stabilizer.
1. Organize your fabrics and stabilizers with the same sizes together - except pair the 8’’ x 47 1/2’’ fabric piece together with the 2’’ x 47’’ stabilizer piece because they are both for the top band.
2. Lightly fuse a fabric rectangle to the stabilizer of the same size. When fusing the first side, don’t press too long or use steam or the piece will stick to your ironing board!
3. Fuse the remaining fabric piece of the same size to the other side of the stabilizer. When fusing the second side, press as long as needed to completely fuse the fabric to the stabilizer - lots of steam helps it fuse faster.
Then flip the piece over and fuse the first side completely.
Tip: don’t worry too much if the fabrics and stabilizer are not aligned exactly. You have an extra 1/2’’ in length and width to make up for not being perfect!
Repeat with the other fabric and peltex rectangles except the ones for the top band.
You will then have 3 fabric/peltex/fabric sandwiches:
one 12 1/2’’ x 28’’
one 10 1/2’’ x 30 1/2’’
one 8 1/2’’ x 47 1/2’’
Cut the strips:
1. Trim off the top edge of one of the fabric/peltex/fabric rectangles, and then cut it into 2’’ strips. Don't worry about trimming the side edges (or ends) of the strips. They will be trimmed later.
Repeat with the other sandwiches.
You should be able to get:
4 strips 2’’ x 47 1/2’’
6 strips 2’’ x 28’’
5 strips 2’’ x 30 1/2’’
Make the Top Band:
1. Fold the 8’’ x 47 1/2’’ strip in half lengthwise and press. Fold the long edges to the center and press again.
2. Lay the 2’’ x 47’’ piece of stabilizer inside one of the folds and press to fuse.
3. With the pieces partially folded, put the two ends right sides together and stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
4. Press the seam open.
5. Refold the band to make a large loop that is 2’’ tall. Topstitch around the loop on 1/4’’ from both long edges.
Set the band aside for later.
Make the 2’’ loops:
1. Trim the ends of the 2’’ x 47 1/2’’ pieces so they are only 47’’ long.
2. Place the ends of one piece together to make a loop and zig zag stitch the ends to make a loop.
3. Make 4 loops and set them aside.
Weave the Basket:
1. Lay the five 2’’ x 30 1/2’’ strips horizontally in front of your with about 1/4’’ between them.
2. Weave 2 of the 2’’ x 28’’ strips vertically - sliding them to the center of the longer horizontal strips.
3. Weave two more shorter strips on either side so that you have 4 horizontal strips and 5 vertical strips, all woven together in the center.
Squish the strips together as closely as you can.
4. Place one of the 2’’ tall loops in the center of the woven strips and push every other one to the inside.
Tip: it helps to secure the loop with a few wonderclips while you are weaving.
5. Place the next loop inside the basket and weave the opposite strips inside. Secure with wonderclips if it helps.
Continue weaving in the two remaining loops.
It may seem like the horizontal and vertical strips are not long enough, but if you pull the loops and strips together tightly, they are actually a bit too long.
6. After weaving in all the loops, pull the strips tight and trim each one even with the top loop. Secure each strip with a wonderclip (or a pin).
7. Sew around the top edge of the basket to secure the strips - then you won’t need the clips anymore. Sew about 1/2’’ from the top edge.
8. Cut the leather strip into two 1 1/2’’ x 10 1/2’’.
9. Install the leather needle in your sewing machine and sew the ends of the leather strips to the ends of the basket. I used two lines of stitching to make the handles secure.
Don’t worry if your stitching doesn’t look perfect - it won’t show.
10. Place the band around the top of the basket, even with the top edges of the strips and the top loop.
11. Use lots of hot glue to attach the band to the top of the basket.
Note: You could sew the band in place - sewing on top of the topstitching on the band, but you’d need a really heavy duty sewing machine. I didn’t want to put my sewing machine through that - and the hot glue doesn’t show so it looks great!
All done… I hope you love your basket!
Be sure to show me by tagging me on Instagram @sewcanshe!
You might also like this roundup of 9 Must Make Free Basket Patterns!