Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Basket Liner Tutorial

All right here's my first tutorial completely from scratch. Most of the time, I tweek and pull from 2 or more tutorials to make whatever it is that I'm making. Unfortunately, after looking at 20+ blogs that featured basket liner tuts, I came away very disappointed. Even the "good" ones seemed to be incomplete. So I decided to just wing it and make it up as I went. Fortunately for me, and my baskets, it turned out exactly as I had hoped!

The baskets are the BRANAS baskets from IKEA in white. I have several of them in Jonah's room and decided that they'd be great in my laundry/craft/sewing room make-over. I got 2 and am kinda kicking myself already that I didn't get 3. Oh, well, I'll make do.
What you'll need:
3/4 yard fabric/basket
coordinating thread
20" ribbon/basket
enough elastic to encircle your basket + 2" overlap for stitching

rotary cutter and clear rule are very helpful, but scissors are sufficient!

First, I measured. Then measured a few more times to make sure I was getting everything straight. It's the old carpenter's line, "measure twice, cut once." Only in sewing I've learned to measure 3 or 4 times if you really want to be sure!
I cute my base piece first.
And because my sides are almost the same, but yet not, I marked the longer sides.
Using a 1/4" seam allowance, I sewed the four side pieces to the base. To ensure pretty corners, start sewing 1/4" (or your chosen seam allowance) in from the start and end points.
Iron all seams toward center base piece once all four sides are attached.

Then, back to the sewing machine. Line up aligning sides and sew a seam from the top of the basket liner in towards the base (makes for a prettier and much more even hem at the top).
Press seams open when all four side have been sewn.
I used my hem measure to then turn under one inch of the top to create a casing for my elastic. I pinned and ironed each side, allowing for ease where necessary.
After stitching my hem/casing seam, I trimmed the raw edge with pinking shears. I don't foresee these liners ever needing to be washed, so I didn't bother turning the edge under, though there was plenty of fabric to do that if you'd like.

I added button holes... which might seem contrary to the casing I just made, but I didn't plan on finishing the basket the way I did until it was too late to sew the button holes first then hem. I'll show you in a minute how I cheated! Also, I have an automatic button-holer now - it is fabulous!!!
Here is what I did. Sliced my buttonholes open, slid in a bit of ribbon and pinned it (after heat-sealing the edge with a lighter. Then I slit the inside piece of the hem with my seam ripper and fray-checked the raw edges so that I could still run my elastic through.
I decided to dun elastic instead of running ribbon all the way around because elastic is cheaper than ribbon and I had more on hand than of the ribbon.

Stitched my elastic together using a stretch stitch, and evenly distributed the gathers.
Slipped it on my basket and tied a bow with the end of my ribbon. When I had them tied I cut them evenly and heat sealed the ends.

And then I made another one...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

J's First Easter Basket

A tisket, a tasket, I made Jonah his first Easter basket:

I followed this tutorial. Amazingly, I followed pretty close to the tutorial this time, with one minor exception: I used ribbon to thread and attach my basket instead of using fabric cording.

I found the basket at Hobby Lobby on sale for only $5.85 (that includes tax) and I used fabric and ribbon from my stash. The basket's handle is hinged so it folds down for easier storage.

I'm really happy with the finished product, and happier that it only took me about 20 minutes to whip up (that doesn't include the time embroidering it though, that added maybe 10 more minutes),

Friday, March 9, 2012

Not Sew Much: Chair Redux

I didn't have to sew on this project, but I did use fabric! I am in the process of redecorating my sewing/laundry room and the easiest and fastest project in there is re-doing my sewing table chair. This is the chair. My sewing table originally came with a rolling stool, but it fell apart a couple years ago (one of the casters split) and it did not have any kind of back support. I found this one at Wal-Mart during their big college dorm sale one fall.
It's a great little chair and served it's purpose. It's in great shape, and office-like chairs can get a little pricey (even at WM it was $30), so I wanted to update it instead of replace it.

I have decided to paint my room a pale aquamarine with accents of orange and lime green. I looked around Etsy for fabric and found a few that I really liked, but they were a little more expensive then I really wanted to spend on this project. Then I remember seeing this color scheme in a fabric over at Hancock's - and! - it was a laminated cotton.

Measured my chair, grabbed a coupon and headed over there today. Lo and behold if they didn't still have the fabric I thought I remembered seeing! Yay! It was $19.99, I only had them cut 3/4 a yard for me, and then I had a 50% off coupon; my total came to $8.19. I was also able to pick up a couple of coordinating fabrics for a curtain valance and basket liners for the room.

For the back support I was able to disassemble it from the chair frame so that I could cover it easily. Staple gun to the rescue! I attempted to remove the original fabric, but the industrial grade staples were firmly planted, so I abandoned that and simply covered over it.
I eyeballed how far out I needed to go to be able to get a good wrap. I did end up cutting about an 1/1.5" off from this once it was stapled though.
I stapled top and bottom centers first, checking to make sure my pattern was centered and straight. and then moved out and then did both sides, then corners.
Completed back support! It took me about 10 minutes once I located the tools to unscrew the back from its support (some sort of hex screw thingamajig).

I briefly considered detaching the seat from the chair base, but decided against it. So I just covered the chair upside-down.
And the finished product:

I'm thrilled with how it turned out and very excited about getting the rest of the room re-done!