Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Basket Tutorial

Alright, at the urging of Melanie, I have created a tutorial for these adorable baskets! And I warn you now, there are a LOT of pictures in this post! Like, going crazy waiting for all these dang pictures to upload, a lot of pictures. Anyways, on to the tutorial!
The first two steps are deciding on your basket size and choosing fabric. They kind of go hand in hand, because they might influence each other! The larger one has a 9"diameter and is 6" tall. smaller one has a 6" diameter and is 4" tall. I will give the cut sizes for both sizes, but feel free to deviate if you want!

Cut sizes for 6" diameter basket (fat quarter friendly)
Main front fabric:
1 strip 19 3/8" x 3 1/2"
1 circle 6 1/2" diameter
Lining and banding fabric:
1 strip 19 3/8" x 1 1/2" (front band)
1 strip 19 3/8" x 4 1/2
1 circle 6 1/2" diameter
Handle fabric:
3 strips 18" x 1 1/2"

Cut sizes for 9" diameter basket
Main front fabric:
1 strip 28 3/4" x 5"
1 circle 9 1/2" diameter
Lining and banding fabric:
1 strip 28 3/4" x 2" (front band)
1 strip 28 3/4" x 6 1/2"
1 circle 9 1/2" diameter
Handle fabric:
3 strips 22" x 1 1/2"

Other supplies:
12/32" cording
fusible fleece
normal sewing/cutting supplies

Once you have chosen your fabrics and size, cut them all out! The handle fabric size might seem long, but remember that it will end up shorter once it is braided! If you want handles longer or shorter than the ones pictured, you can adjust accordingly. Figure out how long you want the handle and multiply by 1.5 for the take up in braiding.

* 1/4" seam allowances are used throughout this project except when specified!

There are many ways to cut circles, but here is my way. Use a string (in this case, I had a needle with embroidery floss on it within arm's reach, but a piece of yarn or other string tied around a pin would work just as well), put it in/on your fabric, mark the string at HALF the cut diameter(for a 6" dia. basket, mark at 3.25). Then use the mark on the string to mark your circle, like so. Hint: once you have one circle cut out, lay it on top of the second fabric and use as a pattern!

You should now have 8 cut pieces.

Now, take your main outside piece and outside banding piece, sew long sides together, and press.

Cut out and iron your fusible fleece onto your basket front, lining, and both circles. The only pieces NOT "fleeced" are your handle pieces. Hint: lay your cut pieces onto your fusible fleece and use as a cutting guide!

Next, take your two outside pieces, and stitch the short side together. Be sure to line up your banding seam or it will not look continuous.

Press your seam open. The piece should now look like this.

Now, fold the tube you just sewed, in half, with the seam on one side. Mark the fold. I used a disappearing marker. Then match the seam with the mark you just made and mark both new fold lines. Now you should have "quartered" the tube. Continue matching up your marks and marking the folds until you have "eighthed" the tube.
Grab your outside circle and fold it in half. Mark those folds.

Then line up the marks and mark the folds again. Continue until your circle has eight marks as well. Kind of hard to see in my picture...Sorry!

Now pin the pieces right sides together, matching your marks.

Sew together! I find it easiest to sew it with the circle on the bottom.

Press the seam. This part is kind of a pain since it is on a curve, but it makes it look much better! ps I have no idea why my camera put the line through this picture. It has been happening a lot lately...anyone have a tip for me?

See? The seam should be all pretty now.

Repeat all of that for the lining pieces, omitting the part about the banding but use a 3/8" - 1/2" seam allowance to stitch the lining bottom to the lining side!! Oh, and pressing the bottom lining seam is not necessary, but you can if you want to. I didn't. Once it is seamed, trim the bottom seam allowance down to 1/4".

Press the top edge over 1/4", to the inside for the outer piece and to the outside for the lining. That doesn't sound confusing at all... :)

Insert the lining into the outer piece. It will look like it could never fit, but don't worry, it will! Set this aside for now.

Ok, time for the handle. Take a few deep breaths, this part can be a little tricky! First, take a handle strip, fold right sides together matching the long edges, and sew to make a long tube. Stop about 1/2" from the end, and backstitch! Now, get your cording. Stitch it to the end where you have the little flap.

Ok, get out your bodkin (if you don't have one, a big safety pin will work too.)

Slip the bodkin into the fabric tube. See it sticking out there?

Clamp it around the end of the cording. Now you are going to turn the fabric and pull the cording through at the same time. I'm not gonna lie, this part is a pain. Push the bodkin through the fabric tube and pull the fabric down over the cording. I actually made a video to help show how to do this, but it's not loading....If your bodkin comes unclipped inside the tube as you turn it, don't panic! It happened to me at least once every single one of my tubes. Just push the bodkin back into place and reattach it.
Cut the cording about 1/2" below the end of the fabric once it is completely turned.
Repeat with the other 2 handle strips.

Once you have 3 covered cords, stitch them together at one end. Then braid! I pinned to my ironing board to hold it in place while I braided.

Stitch the end of the braid to keep it from unraveling.

Alright, now you have a braided handle and a handle-less basket, time to put them together!

Put one end of your handle between the front and back pieces at the seam. Pin. Now start pinning the outside and lining together, working around to the side opposite the seam. Pin the loose end of the handle between the layers directly across from the end in the seam.

Topstitch 1/4" from the folded edge of the fabric around the top lip, and then again at 1/8".

Guess what? You are done! Stand back and admire your handiwork!

If any of you use my tutorial to make this I would love to see! Either comment with a link or email me at maniacalmaterialgirls [at] gmail [dot]com! Oh, and if you have any questions or trouble with the tutorial, email me for that too!


Melanie said...

Awesome. And might I say, lovely fabric. I'm linking up to this tomrrow- day 7! Thanks!

Lindsay Thomas said...

This is so great! What an awesome way to make Easter baskets look good! Someday, when I learn how to sew, I'm definitely making some of these!

Cami said...

Oh my Goodness! Those are adorable! I wish I had time to make them before Easter but I don't. It's linked on my "To Do" list. Maybe next year!

V and Co. said...

very creative!

Lola....L..O..L..A....lo--oh--luh! said...

What a great tutorial! Good job! I'm sad that I found it AFTER Easter. Maybe I'll have to make one now anyway.

Tony Kirkham said...

Thanks so much for putting this together. here it is Friday before Easter, and I think I will just jump in. It's been on my to do list for several years (um...7) and I just need to get going.