Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fabric Scrap Basket

Resource: The sometimes crafter


I thought I’d share with you how to make my fabric scrap “basket”. It’s VERY simple. I whipped out another two baskets in no time at all. Now I have all of my smaller scraps organized into small, medium and large groupings. Did I even mention I'm a Capricorn and like to be organized to a fault? No? Well if this doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what will. Go ahead, make yourself a few of these today. You’ll love it so much better than your Ziploc bags. I know I do!


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1. You will need to gather your supplies. I grabbed two fat quarters (one for the interior and one for the exterior) and my sew-in interfacing. I bought this a few years ago and have no idea of it’s name. It’s like a thick paper, not as thick as card stock, but thicker than printer paper. I think it’s something like this. You could also use a fusible interfacing, Timtex or batting. I found that I really like this interfacing for the boxes. It gives it a nice shape, but is easy to work with.

2. Cut out your pieces as follows:
Exterior: 1 – 15 x 15”
Interior: 1 – 14-7/8” x 14-7/8” **
Interfacing/batting: 1 – 15 x 15”

**I like my interior to fit and not be so rumpled from too much fabric, so this is why I cut my interior slightly smaller. You could of course cut it the same size as your other two pieces.

3. Cut 4-1/2” squares from each corner of your exterior and interfacing. I stack these two together and cut each corner. It should look like a giant plus-sign when you’re finished.

4. Take your interior piece and fold it in half one direction and then in half the other direction, resulting in a 7-1/2” square. Lining up on the corner with no folds, cut a 4-1/2” square. Again, you should have a giant plus-sign once opened out.

Note: You could also just cut a 4-1/2” squares out of each corner, it just goes a bit faster this way. The reason I didn’t do this with the exterior + interfacing is because of the rigidity of the interfacing I used. If your working with a softer material, or fusible interfacing, you could do this for your exterior + interfacing (or batting) pieces. This is your call.

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5. Fold opposite corners of the plus-sign to each other (as pictured) and pin along outer edges. Right sides of fabric together. Stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance. Open out and repeat for the opposite direction. (See photos below for more photo explanation.)

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6. You will now sew your lining in the same manner. Essentially what you’re doing is sewing your sides together by sewing the sides that were created when you cut out that 4-1/2” square from Step 3.

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7. With right sides together, nestle your exterior box inside of your interior.

Note: By “right sides together” I mean to have the fabric facing out on your exterior piece, and the fabric facing in on your interior piece.

8. Pin these two pieces together at the corner seams, making sure the seam allowances are facing opposite directions. This allows you to butt the seams together for a continuous seam from inside out. (See photo)

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9. You’ll notice that there is a little gapping between your exterior and interior, this is because your two fabrics are slightly different in size. You will need to ease your fabrics together, but pulling slightly as you pin.

I suggest you start with a pin in the center, and then half way between that and your edge seam, as shown in the second picture above. Continue around the top until it’s all pinned. You can see I have LOTS of pins in that last picture.

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10. Sew around your piece with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving an opening on one side in the center to turn.

11. Pull your piece right side out.

12. Press along the top edge.

13. Edge stitch along top edge, approximately 1/8”.


You’re done! So after writing all of that out, it seems like a lot of directions for something really easy…but sometimes explaining takes a bit of time. I hope you’ll give it a try and share your creations in my Flickr group.

**EDITED** See this post for info on pressing it to get a nice, crisp, boxy shape.

IMG_0091As an aside to my Fabric Scrap Basket tutorial, I thought I would talk about how I get my sides so crisp and square. I press. A lot.

IMG_0064 When I first finish sewing the basket together, this is what it looks like. Very rounded from the top. Not very “basket” like in the boxy sense.

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First I start by folding the sides in toward the center and pressing with the iron along what would be the bottom edge. When I’m pushing the side into the center, I make sure to push it in only so much as to have the end of my sewing of the side be where the bottom edge is. I know, sounds confusing. Blow up the picture and see what I mean.

IMG_0070 Then I fold the sides to each other and press the corner seam. Really well. On all four corners.

IMG_0076Finally, I lay it on its side and iron the sides to help with any wrinkles. This helps to give it a nice, crisp look. Some of it of course has to do with my using a stiff sew-in interfacing, but even with softer batting you should be able to have it sit a little more like a box with square edges, instead of round. Cause then that wouldn’t really be a box, would it.


Then of course you’re suppose to stuff it with all sorts of fun stuff.

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