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Archive for November 29th, 2011

For Christmas, I wanted to make some small baskets with pockets to hold little gifts.  I bought a pattern  and made three baskets, but they were very time-consuming and labor-intensive.  They turned out well, but I didn’t want to put that much time and work into the 8 additional baskets I needed.

I drafted my own pattern that made a 5-½ x 5-½ inch basket with a handle and pockets on the inside for the gifts.  It turned out to be just what I wanted and took about an hour to complete each one which included 15 minutes of hand-sewing, as opposed to about 3 hours for the first pattern and an hour of hand-sewing.  I also liked that I could use up fabric scraps to make them.  The basket is not difficult to make – basically two cubes joined with binding and handles.

I thought they turned out very cute and can be used after the Christmas treats are gone.

My daughter wrote on her blog about the three baskets I donated as craft table items at our favorite dog shelter, along with the items my two daughters donated.

LITTLE POCKET GIFT BASKET

Following are the materials I used to make one basket.  The fabric can be different or coordinating for any of the sections.  It’s fun to see how different each one can be.

Basket Outside fabric:

Cut four 5-1/2 x 6-½ inch pieces (note direction of fabric) for sides
Cut two 6-½ x 6-½ inch pieces for bottom (outside and lining)

Lining fabric:

Cut four 5-½ x 6-½ inch pieces for sides

Pocket Fabric:

Cut four 7-½ inch wide x 5-½ inch long pieces for pockets.

Binding Fabric:

Cut one 2-¼ inch strip 24-1/2 inches long

Handle Fabric

Cut two pieces 2-¼ wide x 8-½ inches long.

Stiff Fusible Interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz – A strip 28 inches x 5-¾ inches wide

Cut four 4-¾ x 5-3/4 inch pieces for sides

Cut one 5-¾ x 5-3/4 inch piece for bottom


SEWING – ¼ inch seams unless otherwise noted

  • Outside fabric sides and bottom:  Center the fusible interfacing on the wrong sides of the four sides and bottom of outside fabric.

  • Flip over and press according to manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Pockets and lining:  On the pocket tops (7-½ inch side) turn under ¼ inch and then another ¼ inch.  Stitch in place.
  • Finger press the center of each pocket and each lining piece along the wide edge.  Match up lining sides and pockets at the bottom edge – wrong side of pocket to right side of lining – stitch on the center mark from the top of the pocket to the bottom edge of the pocket/lining, back stitching at the top of the pocket.

  • Pin pocket to lining at bottom corners and at pocket hems on the sides.  Pin a small pleat on either side of the center stitching.

  • Baste along the sides and bottom of the pocket/lining 1/8 inch from the edge.  Make four of these pocket/lining sections.

  • To assemble outside of basket:  With RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, stitch a side panel to two opposite sides of the bottom, press.  Be careful that fabric is going in the right direction.  The design should be facing toward the bottom panel.
  • Place another side panel beside the panel on the left hand side of the center.  Be sure pattern is going in the same direction.

  • Flip the second side panel over on top of the previously sewn panel on the left hand side of the center – RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, matching raw edges at the side and top.

  • Stitch along the top, stopping ¼ inch from the point where the corner of the block meets the seam of the panel.

  • At this point, keeping the needle down, raise the foot, pivot, and turn the side panel and sew to the next pivot point.

  • Once again, pivot, turn panel and sew around to the top edge.  Back stitch at the beginning and ending and at each pivot point.  Don’t be afraid to fold or scrunch the basket to get it in the proper position to sew.

This is how the basket will look at this point.

  • Repeat with the remaining side panel on the other side of the basket.

  • Turn basket and press into corners with finger to shape basket.

  • To assemble lining:   In the same manner, sew together the lining/pocket sections to the remaining bottom piece.  Be sure the tops of the pockets are facing up.  Add the remaining two panels to form a lining/pocket cube.

  • Place the lining inside the fabric basket, matching up side seams, pinning at the top and pressing lining into place with your fingers.
  • Handles:  Fold sides of handle straps until they meet in the center, press, fold again lining up pressed edges.

  • Press and top-stitch on both sides of the handle
  • Pin a handle on opposite sides of the basket, 1 inch from the seam edge on each side.

  • Baste 1/8 inch from the raw edge, sewing from the inside of the basket.  Be sure all layers have been basted.  Note:  If pins are inserted with the points toward the top of the basket, they will be easy to remove as you sew.
  • Binding: Join ends with ¼ inch seam and press seam open.  Press in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
  • Place binding on top portion of basket, matching raw edges, and pin.  Stitch RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER to the outside of the basket.  Sew from the inside of the basket.

  • Turn the binding to the inside of the basket, allowing about 1/8 inch to show at the top edge.  Hand stitch the binding in place.

Here are the rest of the pocket gift baskets I made.

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