Friday, January 21, 2011

Mused: Basket Liner: A Tutuorial

With winter came the piles of gloves, hats, and scarves.  I had pulled down the box of accessories but I didn't like the way it looked cluttering up my hallway and closet.  So I decided to put one of my baskets to use and put the box away. 

What else did it need?  A liner!

I took some fabric from my stash and tried to fancy up my basket.  I looked up a couple different ways of lining baskets but none of them quite applied to my basket.  My basket bows out at the sides, is not even around the edges, and some parts are broken.
These instructions are vague because baskets are all different.  Mine is an odd shape.

Basket Liner:

Enough fabric to go wrap around your basket outside.  This makes sure you have enough
Sewing supplies
Scrap paper
Glue gun (because this project began to annoy me)

Lay out your scrap paper and trace around the bottom of your basket from the outside.  This will give you some seam allowance. 

Then hold your scrap paper up against the outside of your basket and trace across the top, or use a measuring tape and measure the sides.  Add another couple of inches to your pattern for seam allowance and to fold over the edge of your basket.

Pin your patterns to your cloth and cut them out.  My side pattern is only for half of the basket, so I cut out two of them.  Since I was going to fold my fabric over the edge, I had to think about how the handles were going to fit in there.  To create a hole, I sewed up the sides of the pieces but left several inches free at the top, enough for fold over.  You should probably iron the seams flat.  Iron them all the way to the top so that you can sew the seam flat against each side. 

This way your fabric won't unravel at the handle.  Fold over the top edge and hem to keep the rest of the fabric from unraveling. 

Now you should have a tube of fabric hemmed at the top and a solid bottom piece.  Now we gather! 

My basket needed more fabric in the center than on the bottom, so I got to play with gathers.  The way I tend to do gathers is to pin the bottom piece to the outer piece in one spot.  Then, pin on the opposite side.  Pin halfway between those and then halfway between those.  This divides your extra material into small areas to gather rather than doing funky things like, oh, math but yet keeps them mostly neat and even.  You keep dividing your sections until you get to the size you want your gathers.  Then fold and pin the extra fabric down.

Then pop it in the sewing machine, hand sew, or staple (I'm joking but you possibly could use staples) around the bottom of your liner.  Once done, pop it in your basket and see how it fits.  If you need to make adjustments, now is the time.  Mine fit pretty well.

Now that your liner is in, there are a couple more options.  I starting sewing with a needle and thread at where the sides met around the handles.  I found it was difficult to go through the basket to the other side with any degree of ease.  It wasn't bad getting the fabric tacked down in those spots, but I couldn't see going all the way around and making it look neat.  So I fired up my xmas present from Santa, my new glue gun.

Lay out the fabric like you want it to be.  One site I saw suggested using clothespins to hold the fabric in place and just take a couple off at a time to glue it down.  My basket was too big for that option, so I held it in place.  Once I got my section figured out, I lifted the edge with my hand on the back to hold the fabric in place, laid down a line of glue, and pressed the fabric back down.  I only glued the front edge of the basket but you could glue the inside first if you want to hold it down more.

Go around the entire basket a little at a time and end up back where you began.  Now you have a fabric lined basket.

Good job!

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