Tutorial: Fabric Bucket/Basket
It’s been a long week! I meant to post this sooner, but other things kept getting in the way. Better late than never? Anyhow, please read through the entire tutorial before you start. I will have a few tips at the end, that may help you to make decisions on the materials that you use. You’ll know what I mean after you read through. Have fun!
This bucket/basket (I will refer to it as a bucket as we go through) is approximately 8″ wide x 6″ deep x 6″tall.
Approx. 1/2 yd each – fabric for outside and fabric for liner
Batting – 1/2 yd in length (please see notes at the end)
Matching thread for assembly (you can use a contrasting thread for final top stitching if you choose)
graph paper (or your choice of material to draw a pattern out on – see notes at the end)
walking foot for machine (not required, but it makes it a lot easier to sew with the batting)
First I am going to show you how to draw out a pattern. I have taken this approach so that you can make this bucket any size that works for you. I don’t know about you, but I get so frustrated trying to enlarge patterns on a copy machine and wasting the paper and ink without success! This pattern all one piece.
I start out drawing out what will be the base of the bucket first. I decided that I wanted this one to be 8″ x 6″. The measurement of the base should be the finished size that you want to end up with. The side ends need to end up 6″ wide (to match the sides of the base). You will need to add 1/4″ for seam allowances on each of the finished sides of the ends. (Does that make sense?) So each end needs to measure 6 1/2″ wide (1/4″ on each edge for seam allowance). Then add 1/4″ to what will be the top edge for the seam allowance. So to make the height 6″m that measurement will be 6 1/4″ .
You need to do the same for the front panels of the bucket:
Here is a larger view to help you see the entire pattern. You can just draw out these measurement for your first bucket, and I think that you will see what I mean. I hope that this is clear, it’s harder to type out and explain, than to actually do! If you have any problems with this, please contact me (I check my e-mail every morning and evening during the week, various times throughout the day on the weekend).
Now that you’ve done this part, you’re ready to start sewing!
You will need to cut one of the outside fabric, one of the batting, and one of the lining from your pattern piece.
Next cut 2 pieces of fabric 2″ x 5″ for the handles.
Lay the lining fabric face down, and lay the batting on top. Pin the batting at the corners, just to temporarily hold the pieces together to prepare to sew the sides:
Next, you will sew the lining sides. Putting the side seams, right right sides together, pin together. The batting will be on the outside.
You can remove the first pins that you put in to hold the batting at the corners, after you pin all four corners.
Sew the corners, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Start at the top edge, and make sure that you backstitch when you get to the end of the seam.
After you get all four seams sewn, it will look like this:
Next, stitch the corner seams of the outside piece of fabric, right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance:
Remember to backstitch when you get to the end of the inner corner seam.
Now you need to make the handles. Take the two 2″ x 5″ pieces of fabric that you cut and fold them in half.
Then press lightly:
Open them back up, and fold each edge in to the center:
Then fold in half again, with the outside edges still folded to the center. Press again:
Now sew along the edge of the handle, catching the top and bottom edges of each piece:
Next, pin each handle to the side ends of the outside fabric of the bucket:
Measure from the side seams over to the handle to make sure that each handle is evenly spaced:
Stitch each handle end close to the top of the bucket rim, within the 1/4″ seam allowance:
Next I like to see that the lining and outside shell are going to fit, so I can make any adjustments if I need to. Depending upon the loft of the batting you are using, you may need to cut down the lining to adjust. I just slip the lining into the outside shell:
Next, take the lining out, and place the outside shell inside the lining, with the right sides together:
Pin along the top edge. Make sure that the side seams are matching, open up the seams so that they will lie flat:
Sew around the top edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure that you leave an opening of about 3″ to turn the bucket right side out. Backstitch a few stitches at the beginning and end of the seam.
Turn right side out. Pull up the top edges of the bucket so that they are even, and press so that they lie flat.
Turn in the seam edges of the opening and press:
Pin along the top edge so that it lies flat. Stitch close to the outside edge, making sure that you catch the seams from the opening:
Congratulations! You’re done!
I just want to tell you about a few options that you have in making these buckets.
Materials for the pattern: You can use pattern paper, kraft paper or graph paper. I used graph paper because it is easier to make sure that the lines are straight, and it helps with the measurements. If you can get a large sheet of paper, that is helpful. I taped several 8 1/2″ x 11″ pieces together because that is what I have on hand.
You can also make a plastic template for the pattern, and draw around it with a washable or disappearing fabric marker. Then cut it out on the lines. The 1/4″ seam allowance is included in the measurements.
Batting: Cotton batting actually makes the sides of the bucket a little more stable than the polyester batting. If you don’t have cotton batting you can add more stability by using a fusible interfacing on either the lining or the outer shell. To make the larger bucket (see the picture above) I used two pieces of cotton batting and attached one to the lining and one to the outer shell.
I hope that you enjoy making these buckets! If you have any questions, please contact me. My e-mail address is on my about page.