Tuesday, 16 March 2010

No-interfacing Storage Basket Tutorial


As promised, a recipe for making washable stand-up storage baskets:

You'll need to cut 2 of each of these pieces (click on the pic to enlarge it to a readable size).
The measurements are in centimetres because that's the way I was brought up (sorry). A seam allowance of 1cm is included in these measurements.

This basket's base is 15cm wide, but you could make any size using this slightly haphazard formula, where x is the width of the base and y is the height of the basket. And 2 is cm and seam allowance. (Edit: Remember to include seam allowance in the height.)


Pieces cut, sew right sides together along these seams:

Sew the boxed corners of the linings by folding the pieces open, matching the side seams with the bottom seams, and stitching across:


Zig-zag the top edge of the smaller lining piece. Turn the smaller one right side out, the bigger one wrong side out, and put the bigger one inside the smaller one. Match up the corners and the side seams, then stitch them together along the top edge of the smaller one.


Hem the bottom edge of the outer sleeve piece, turning up 1cm all round and stitching it down.

Turn the lining pieces so that their right side faces out, and slide the outer sleeve over. Stitch together (right sides together) along the top edge:

Almost done, except for the fiddly part! Turn the whole basket inside out, pull the outer sleeve out, fold it down along the seam line, and topstitch along the top edge. (This makes sense when you do it - not so much in your head, trying to imagine it.) The topstitching isn't crucial, but makes the next step easier.

Matching up the side seams, pin the outer sleeve to the lining. Now stitch from the top to as far as you can get towards the bottom, on each corner. This is the fiddly part, by the way. Mark and pin in any way that seems sane to you: disappearing pens or chalk are good.


See the stitching on the corner? It doesn't go all the way to the bottom, but close enough. Measure the pockets, cut 4 pieces of card to fit, and slide them in:

If you used the same measurements I did, the card should be about 14 or 15cm by 11cm; cut slightly bigger than you think, and trim down.

There's a way to avoid the fiddly sewing bit, of course! Instead of sewing corner seams, sew the lining to the outer sleeve along the side seam lines. Then the bits of card need to look like this:

Still a sturdy basket, and almost just as neat.


Play around with heights and widths for different uses; make the lining and outer from the same fabric, just doubling the height measurement for the larger lining piece.

Let me know if you try this and if it all works sensibly. And if you think of ways to simplify the pattern, please do let me know!

You're welcome to use this tutorial to make things to sell, too. A link back here or a mention would be appreciated, but I do realise this isn't rocket science or gene splicing and I can't claim any great originality, except perhaps for the extremely washable nature of these baskets. And even then.... my mom (of course) had something like this, made in China when that was still an exotic thing.

76 comments:

sonodesign said...

Oh wow. Thanks for blogging! I have just started a craft club with some creatively challenged friends here in Oslo and this looks like a great 2nd project for us!!

alamodestuff said...

Love these and will have to try making them. I've needed an odd size basket for a bookshelf and this is the perfect project! Thanks for sharing!

Masha said...

I might just try making one!
And by the way, well done on writing such a clear tutorial. Tutorial writing is a fine art. :)

Maria said...

Love it. I will definately try it. I was wondering how you would make one that does not have a square base but is wider than deep.

Meghan said...

oh, this is exactly what i've been looking for! i need to make some baskets for my nursery, and wanted to make them reversible and washable, and the interfacing kind didn't seem like they'd work. brilliant! thank you!

katie b. said...

*sigh* I wish we used the metric system here in the US! Who knows why we are holding out... stupid inches! ;]

Thanks for the tutorial. I will definitely be bookmarking this!

Karen said...

Thanks Jesse, I will definitely try this!
Funny how the wire sculpture in the first picture actually looks like a doodle made on the image.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

yay! I am so, so excited about this! Thanks so much for the very detailed details. =) You rock! I'll be linking.

Freshly Found said...

Thanks so much for this Jesse. I am very tempted to try it out!

june at noon said...

Thanks for sharing. Bookmarking!

Cristina said...

Thanks for this tutorial, it realy roks!!!
I'm certain i'll give a try :)

Jacqui Dodds said...

Thank you for this - these look great I must have a go at making one.

Lawre said...

I ENJOY YOUR BLOG EVERY MORNING WITH MY COFFEE. JUST ABOUT THE ONLY TIME DURING THE DAY I ACTUALLY SIT FOR A WHILE- THAT IS UNTIL I CRASH IN FRONT OF THE TV AND KNIT. LOVE THE BASKETS, THANKS FOR SHARING

Kat said...

I'm in awe at your incredibly neat step-by-step drawings.

Lisa said...

This is great! I keep meaning to make some fabric storage totes for my craft room

casserole said...

Love it!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://jezzeblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-interfacing-storage-basket-tutorial.html

--Anne

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the wonderful tutorial jezze!!!!

cant wait to make it soon. Lovely fabric too!

xoxox
chia

Nevaeh said...

I have been looking everywhere for a tute like this, thank you sooooo much. Now I can make some for my bookcase.

Amy said...

Ooooh I've been looking everywhere to BUY some of these, but couldn't find the exact shape. Now I'll be making a load, thanks! Xx

Chelsea Strong said...

LOVE this! Saw it on HowAboutOrange. I've been desperately wanting some baskets to hold all of my bathroom crap, but didn't want to go wicker or plastic. I see a project in my future!

Natasha Korff said...

so funky!! i love the print. maybe you can use the scizzor print on the box as well?

dit sal so cute lyk!! op die nate.

jana @ Weekend Vintage said...

Fantastic tutorial-now to get to sewing those fabric storage boxes :)
Jana

Kosmika said...

Thanks for measurements in cm.
Really: THANKS! :)

twiggypeasticks said...

Brilliant, thanks for this, I'm going to have a go this afternoon.
Twiggy x

Sewing Notebook said...

I love this! This tutorial is so timely and wonderful as I just bought new shelves to keep some of our ever increasing clutter and now fabric boxes to keep them in. Thank you for being so generous!!

mamela said...

I've been working on a fabric storage tote pattern- yours is so much better! I'll be trying it out very soon =*)
I linked to your tutorial on my little bloggette: http://mamela316.blogspot.com/2010/03/mals-closet-craft-tote.html (let me know if that's not okay) Thanks!

Dee said...

wow!! this is brilliant. thanks heaps for it. I am going to try it out right away. love your instructions, your pics and you have a new follower.
BTW NEVER apologise for using metric measurements, most of the world uses them and they are more logical oce you make the adjustment.

Anonymous said...

Hello, i really want to thank you, for showing your process of print making, and other crafting methods. I like your designs. I have one question if you kindly can answer. I have been meaning to do some stencil printing on cotton. In my country fabric paints are expensive and fabric mediums are much harder to find. Can i just use acrylic paint mixed with vinegar(as a mortar)? Do you think the colors survive machine-wash? Thank you so much for your time and answer in advance. Ezgi

Jesse said...

Hi Anonymous

I can't say with any certainty, so the best thing is going to be for you to experiment, I'm afraid. Acrylic paint doesn't wash out easily, but can make the fabric hard - and it's these hard bits that show wear and washing badly. Are there any silkscreening businesses near you? Small T-shirt printing companies might be willing to sell ink, and it's pretty similar to fabric paint.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your quick answer :) I will try it and let you know if it worked. Thanks for the silkscreen ink advice, though. I think I also might buy them online. They are much budgetable. Thank you so much again. Ezgi.

Fern @ CraftBlog said...

Great tutorial, I might whip some of these up for storage in my son's bedroom, thank you!

Jenny said...

Another great idea! These look much cleaner and more modern than the round variety. Thanks for sharing!

kristina said...

lovely illustrations you have!

Liesl said...

Thank you! And for making them in cm's especially! Nice to "meet" a fellow Capetonian, even though we're in NZ for a little while. I do miss CPT. Thanks for the tute. Can't wait to try it out!

Anonymous said...

Great idea, but I'm a little confused. You say to turn the lining pieces right side out, and then slip the cover over that, and sew wrong sides together. Not possible if the outer piece is placed over the right side out lining pieces. Seems like the outer piece should be placed inside the lining pieces, wrong sides together, then flipped out over the lining pieces, and topstitched down. The cardboard is placed up under the outer pieces, right?
Sorry if I'm totally off here, I'm trying to wrap my head around it! This is such a great idea for baskets and I want to try!

Jesse said...

Whoops! Looking at my drawings (which are much more accurate than my written instructions), I think you're right. It should read 'Right sides together' - I've fixed the text. Thank you!!!

Gaabriel said...

This is amazing. I'm going to have to make these for some clutter keepers! Appreciate it greatly!

miss said...

I've tried making this with paper, as a little practice run before trying with my precious fabric. I'm stuck at the part where you say this:
'Turn the lining pieces so that their right side faces out, and slide the outer sleeve over. Stitch together (right sides together) along the top edge'

I don't expect you to help me, but I was wondering if you'd consider taking more photos of your finished product to help us see the inside? My brain isn't functioning right now and I can't work out how it all comes together in the end :(

miss said...

OK I worked out the part I was confused about. I had forgotten about the 'outer sleeve' piece, so I thought I'd suggest something to make this tutorial even easier to understand :)
Maybe you could draw the diagrams in colour so that each piece of fabric is a different colour or pattern. So when people read the tutorial they can see which piece is where. Or maybe I'm just really stupid and I'm the only one who would benefit from that :)
It's really difficult to make this with paper by the way lol because it's not pliable like fabric. Anyways, thanks for the tutorial :)

Jesse said...

I'm glad you figured it out in the end! Adding colour to the pics is a skill I still need to learn, but it's a good idea, and I'll have to give it a try.

blueadt said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I'm going to have a go making these tonight, what weight of fabric would you recommend?

Jesse said...

Anything that's not very lightweight should be fine; I used a mediumweight cotton, and upholstery weight should work well too.

blueadt said...

Thanks for such a prompt reply! :)

Nicolette Dirks said...

These are super cute and I love the print you used! Amazing! :)

blueadt said...

I made 4 boxes using your pattern & they can be seen here:

http://blueadt.blogspot.com/2011/02/boxing-clever.html

Many thanks!

Josie Dean said...

Hi I have been going to make these for a few years now! And finally today made them! :) Will make some different sizes down the track! I found the instructions easy and I'm not a great sewer!! Thanks so much!! I hope to blog it tonight!!!

dayswithdesi said...

Hi! I just finished my first basket from this pattern, and I have to say I LOVE it! You did such a good job writing this tutorial! It only took me about 30 minutes from start to finish, so I KNOW that there are more of these in our future :)

Thanks again!

ozzykitten666 said...

I love this idea. It's super cute and super practical. I just have a major question... What do you mean by card? I'm not well versed in the fancy terminology for things when it comes to sewing and the only card I can think of is card stock paper or cardboard. (Neither of which seem washable in my opinion.) Can you clear this up for me please?

(And after I get my blog up and running, I would really like to feature this tutorial, if that's OK with you.)

Jesse said...

You can use any thickish cardboard - it doesn't have to be washable because you can take it out before washing. The card simply slips in and out of the pockets you make on the sides of the basket.

(I'd love it if you featured the tutorial - thank you!)

Gentry said...

Thank you for posting this. I have already made three of them. Really easy pattern, great directions. Thanks again

Kt said...

Ok, it took me a while to figure out some of the steps (I was confused as to what part was lining and what was outer sleeve, etc) but I LOVE this! Now that I've figured it out I will quickly make loads more! Thanks so much for posting such a useful tutorial!

Bed Sheet Sets said...

Fantastic tutorial-now to get to sewing those fabric storage boxes..
Thanks for sharing..

kukkarukkanen said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I made my own version from only two pieces. Visit my blog to see some pictures (my blog is in finnish).
http://kukkarukkanen.blogspot.com/2012/01/pikkuinen-sailytyslaatikko.html

Diane said...

I love it that you said the pattern was marked in cm, because that's the way you were brought up. It made me smile. Here in the US, over 40 years ago, they were telling us were going to use it too. They should have switched then and made it easier for all in the world. Shouldn't be a problem if we know how to use a ruler.

kathi said...

i made your boxes yesterday and loved them. i will try and make some different sizes tomorrow . will let you know how they came out . cannot post pictures as printer and camera on the trash pile

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for posting up this tute! I am a newbie at crafting, so am gonna try this out soon.

Just wanted to ask a question about the linings; is there an intended purpose for the shorter lining of the two? Am trying to get my head around that.. :)

Jesse said...

The idea is that there should be no raw edges left exposed, so the shorter lining is for the inside of the basket and the longer one for the outside, if I remember correctly. It has been a while since I made this - but give it a go with a paper mock-up, and you'll soon get your head around it!

Didee May said...

Thanks for the great idea!

Anonymous said...

I just made one with old used fabric to try and the instructions are perfect! Thank you so much for such wonderful instructions!

Anonymous said...

This is a great tutorial cannot find storage for all the toys in the right size! so why not make them... one question though the sides of this are stiff but not the base? Can a fabric covered insert just be stuck in there or have you got some sneaky way of adding another pocket for the bottom too that I missed?
I am going to use stiff foam from a craft store instead (I've used it before to make dolls furniture) because I don't think cardboard will withstand the wrath of a child at play! Am loving the washableness!
Rose

Jesse said...

I'm afraid I don't have a sneaky way to add a pocket to the base! I didn't think of stiffening the bottom, as mine just stand on a table, and don't get moved around a lot. But I think just popping a fabric covered insert in the bottom should work. If you come up with a nifty way of doing it, please let me know!

Joy said...

I made your basket and I love it! I also used your formula to make a bigger one and I found that there is an error. On the sides of the linings you have "y" but it should be "y + 2" to also account for the seam allowances. I noticed that before I cut my pattern out so not a problem for me.
Thanks for this tutorial.

Holly U said...

This seems simpler than a couple of other fabric box tutes I've seen, so I'm going to Pin it and try it. I have some plastic canvas that I got at a garage sale or something to use instead of cards. A little stiff and totally washable!

Jesse said...

Joy: Thanks for that! I've edited the tutorial with a note about seam allowance.

Holly U: Plastic canvas will be perfect!

Holly U said...

Okay, I made one last night from scraps as a test. Having cut my fabric wrong, I can clarify for those who have a specific look in mind: The smaller liner is the base, and only seen from underneath. The larger liner lines the entire inside of the box and the rectangle is seen on the outside. So you could even use three separate fabrics, depending on the look you want. And if you do use plastic canvas, whipstitch the bottom of the opening so the canvas stays secure and you can just throw the whole thing in the laundry when needed.

Jesse said...

Thanks for posting this follow-up, and for clarifying how the bits fit together.

Anonymous said...

Just finished making this!!!!
only took a few hours! what a great little project! so happy with it :)

Christmas Gift Baskets said...

Love these baskets and think I will make a few for teacher gifts this year. Thanks!

day eight said...

this is a really nice idea. I wonder how if I want to make a rectangle basket. your pattern was for a square basket right? what if i want to make a basket with a different width. ex: the size of the basket will be 11cm x 5 cm wide with 5cm height. how should I measure the pattern size? thanks a bunch!! :)

Jesse said...

Mine was square, but it's essentially the same as making a bag.... I might be confusing things here, but if you look at my first diagram, you'd replace 17cm with 11cm, and 7.5cm with 2.5cm, and 32cm with 13.5cm. Then don't forget to add seam allowance!

Does that sound as if it will work?

Maria Wallin said...

Love this tutorial so much, thank you so much for sharing it! <3

Made my first version yesterday and I love it! I also found a way to insert a bottom piece of cardboard without additional sewing in case anyone else like me want a ridigd bottom with minimal work =) http://www.notonlyquilts.com/2013/03/interfacing-free-storage-basket.html

Can't wait to make more in other sizes! =D

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The instructions are clear and very easy to follow. I'm starting this project now.

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