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!

Bucket

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.

Materials:

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)

ruler

pencil

pins

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.

Pattern Drawn Out

Pattern Drawn Out

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″ .

Side Ends

Side Ends

You need to do the same for the front panels of the bucket:

Side Measurement

Side Measurement for Front and Back

Entire Pattern

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.

Batting, lining & outside

Batting, lining & outside

Next cut 2 pieces of fabric 2″ x 5″ for the handles.

2 pieces 2" x 5" for handles

2 pieces 2″ x 5″ for handles

Assembly:

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:

Pin the batting on the wrong side of lining

Pin the batting on the wrong side of lining

Next, you will sew the lining sides.  Putting the side seams, right right sides together, pin together. The batting will be on the outside.

Pin Lining Side Seams

Pin Lining Side Seams

You can remove the first pins that you put in to hold the batting at the corners, after you pin all four corners.

All four lining corners pinned.

All four lining corners pinned.

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.

Backstitch when you get to the end of the inner corner seam.

Backstitch when you get to the end of the inner corner seam.

After you get all four seams sewn, it will look like this:

Lining & batting after stitching.

Lining & batting after stitching.

Next, stitch the corner seams of the outside piece of fabric, right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance:

Pin right sides together to sew outside seams.

Pin right sides together to sew outside seams.

1/4" seam, backstitch at inner corners

1/4″ seam, backstitch at inner corners

Remember to backstitch when you get to the end of the inner corner seam.

Outside seams sewn

Outside seams sewn

Now you need to make the handles.  Take the two 2″ x 5″ pieces of fabric that you cut and fold them in half.

Fold in half

Fold in half

Then press lightly:

Press Lightly

Press Lightly

Open them back up, and fold each edge in to the center:

Fold each edge to the center

Fold each edge to the center

Press:

Press

Press

Then fold in half again, with the outside edges still folded to the center.  Press again:

Fold again and press

Fold again and press

Now sew along the edge of the handle, catching the top and bottom edges of each piece:

Sew along the edge to form the handle piece

Sew along the edge to form the handle piece

Finished handle piece

Next, pin each handle to the side ends of the outside fabric of the bucket:

Pin a handle piece on each side end.

Pin a handle piece on each side end.

Measure from the side seams over to the handle to make sure that each handle is evenly spaced:

Measure handle distance

Measure handle distance

Stitch each handle end close to the top of the bucket rim, within the 1/4″ seam allowance:

Stitch close to the edge.

Stitch close to the edge.

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:

Check for fit

Check for fit

Next, take the lining out, and place the outside shell inside the lining, with the right sides together:

Place outer shell inside lining, right sides together

Place outer shell inside lining, 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:

Match up the side seams

Match up the side seams

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.

Sew top 1/4" from the edge

Sew top 1/4″ from the edge

Turn right side out.  Pull up the top edges of the bucket so that they are even, and press so that they lie flat.

Press the edge

Press the edge

Turn in the seam edges of the opening and press:

Turn in seam of opening and press.

Turn in seam of 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:

Pin outside top edge

Pin outside top edge

Stitch close to outside edge

Stitch close to outside edge

Finished!

Finished!

Congratulations!  You’re done!

Buckets

Buckets

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.

4 responses to “Tutorial: Fabric Bucket/Basket

  1. Yay, what a great tutorial! And adorable sample buckets too. Thanks so much for sharing this. It looks pretty easy to follow and modify for different sizes. I am going to add this to my sidebar of tutorials. Great job with the extra tips too! You should submit this to Sew,Mama,Sew for their next round of tutorials/projects.

  2. Thank you! I’m putting this on my to-do list for July!

  3. great tutorial! I can’t wait to try it. i am teaching my sister in law to quilt and i think I’ll make this for her to put all of her new quilting goodies in.

  4. That looks like an “extry” fun project. YAY!