Fabric Baskets, Give as a Gift or Gift Basket

I know that thanksgiving hasn’t arrived yet but for those of us who make gifts, you can never start sewing or gift making too early. As I recently made one of these fabric baskets with a baby blanket and soft toy for a friend’s new baby I’ve got the bug for making a few more. With the holidays coming around they make great gifts either on their own, or use as an alternative to a stocking. Add some weekend staples for when your holiday’s guests come over to stay.

Fill with weekend necessaries

This basic fabric pattern can be used over and over again, scaled up and down or change the handles for a grocery tote bag.

The sizes below will make a basket around 6 inches deep. 8.25 inches wide and 6.5 inches high in size when completed.  Altering the size of the initial rectangle will alter the size of the basket.

You need (in inches):

In the unbleached cotton duck:

  • two 15.5 x 12 for the outside
  • two 13 x 2.5 for the handles

For the lining, this is a pretty, but subdued butterfly pattern.

  • two of 15.5 x 12
  • two of 13 x 2.5 for the handles

Cut out your fabric

Use a ½ inch seam allowance and as the duck is pretty thick, you may not need a stabilizer. If you make it with a thinner fabric such as quilting cotton then use a stiff interfacing.

Wash and iron cotton lining fabric before use.

Body of the basket

Start by sewing around the edges of both the outside and the lining fabric

Sewing guidelineCut of the corner

Trim of the corners, this will make ironing the seams open that little bit easier.

Pull the top (un-sewn) parts apart and crease the trimmed corners into a triangle. Pin flat or iron.

Iron the punch folds flat

Using a quilter’s ruler (this is easier as it already has a 45 degree angle printed on it. If you don’t have one then measure up the seam you’ve just ironed flat; 3 inches). Hold the ruler perpendicular to the seam and measure 6 inches across, centering your ruler on the seam. Draw a line using a pencil. This is the line that you will sew.

Use a quilt rulerCreate the bottom

Sew along the pencil line on both the outer (duck) and the lining. And trim of the excess. You can sew a second seam about ¼ from the first. This really strengthens the seam if you think the basket will be used for heavy items.

Sew along the line and trim off the excess

You now have two baskets that apart from being a bit floppy hold themselves up.

Turn the outer (duck) inside out, so the seams are in the inside. Measure and fold about 1 ½ inch on the duck (this will become the rim). I like to iron this flat. It will hold itself down if you do, or you can pin.

Fold over the top and iron to give a crisp edge


Press the handle outer strips with the edges together (leave a very slight gap). Do the same with the lining but make sure the edges touch. You want the lining fabric to be just a smidgen smaller.

The lining needs to be slightly smaller than the outside

Pin the lining on top of the outer and stitch down each side.

sew the handles with a small seam

Make a pencil line 2 inches up from each end of the handles. We’ll use this mark to make sure all the handles are the same length.

Putting it all together

Holding the basket with one of the side seams towards you – measure about 1 ½ from the seam in both directions. mark lightly with a pencil. The actual measurement doesn’t matter as long as they are the same. Do the same on the other side seam.

Snuggle the lining down into the outer basket. Pushing the corners together. The lining will now be taller than the outer (because we folded the edge down).

Place the two bottoms together

Fold down the lining so it’s the same height as the outer.

Pin the handles so they are at the pencil line measured across the handles and at the pencil marks you made earlier. Pin and iron. This makes a nice sharp top edge.

.and now for the lining

We’re now going to sew around the entire basket. You really need the machine sewing base to be as small as possible (think sewing a sleeve). I remove my quilting base and also move my sewing machine as close as I can to the edge of a table. This way, the basket can move freely around and just supported by other hand whilst I’m sewing around the rim.

Sew around the edge

Add a second row of stitching.

To make the base a little stiffer. Measure and cut a piece of cardboard the same size as the bottom. Sew a sleeve for the cardboard that’s a little longer than it needs to be.

Slip cardboard into the sleeve

Now just push the base into the bottom of the basket.

Place the sleeve at the bottom of the basket

Fill with weekend necessities  or holiday gifts. either way you have a really nice way of presenting a gift.

Fill with weekend necessaries

Alternatively if you can bear to part with it – simply make more of them and keep them for yourself. You’ll get a couple of baskets out a a yard of the cotton duck.

Use to hold your fabric

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