I’ve had my eye on this project for a long while. I bookmarked a site I found months ago, hoping that I’d find the motivation and time to make these baskets and I finally got around to starting. Finishing is another story, I completed two out of five baskets for my shelves so far and think I’ll have the final three done by the weekend.
The tutorial on Sew 4 Home is fantastic: http://sew4home.com/projects/storage-solutions/370-stylish-baby-nursery-collapsible-storage-baskets I never would have dreamed this up without finding their instructions first. I took a few shortcuts and will share those here. Please stop by their site for full details. Their graphics and clear instructions gave me the confidence to try these baskets, even with my extremely average sewing skills.
My sewing abilities are limited. I have a sewing machine and know the basics which, for me, consists of sticking with projects that only require sewing in (relatively) straight lines. If one mistake in the sewing directions might lead to failure of the entire project, then I usually don’t even begin. I need some wiggle room when it comes to seam width, measurements and the like. This basket project started out on the intimidating side for me but working through it has given me more confidence and satisfaction in my sewing abilities. And let’s face it, some stapling and glue gunning didn’t hurt either! Give it a try, if it doesn’t work out all you’ve lost is a yard of fabric and some cardboard. You might surprise yourself and end up with these baskets all over your house!
Let me first say that if you follow Sew 4 Home’s directions step by step you should end up with a beautiful result. I took the liberty of a few shortcuts. First, I found it easier to use the same fabric for the inside and the outside of the basket. That way I didn’t have to keep straight which side was facing which direction. To begin you cut two lengths of fabric that will wrap around the four sides of your basket. Once you sew these together and add the seams for the corners you then add the bottom piece. The directions suggest putting a binding around the bottom edge. That proved to be complicated for me, so instead I sewed the bottom piece on and then turned it inside out, thus hiding that seam inside the basket. When you later insert the cardboard base you conceal that seam completely.
The second area that I cut corners was in regards to the binding on the top of the basket. It is shown that you can sew it into place, but the thought of me guiding the sewing machine needle around the edge of the box, sewing through the cardboard, and still ending up with a presentable result sounded unlikely. I got out my handy stapler and stapled the top edges to the cardboard, pulling them tightly upwards as I went around the box so I ended up with four smooth sides firmly secured to the upper edge of cardboard. From there I made a quick binding by folding the edges of a long strip of fabric into the middle then folding those two halves upon themselves again, ironing as I went. (see photos). Rather than sewing this material to the box I used a glue gun which resulted in a nicely finished product.
These baskets bring a much-needed burst of color to my wall of white shelves. More importantly they are functional and organize toys, folders and all sorts of other bits that found their way to the shelves. I am looking forward to seeing where else similar baskets will pop up around my home. Thanks to Sew 4 Home for the excellent idea and directions.