Project

Fabric Basket Fun

Project Description

What was your source for this sewing project? Improvisational What are you most proud of? I was inspired by Susan Breier's book, "It's a Wrap" loaded with inspirational photos of baskets made from wrapping cotton strips around 1/4" cotton clothesline rope, and sewing the fabric wrapped rope together round and round with a zig-zag stitch. Be prepared to use a heavy duty sewing machine needle 16/100. I use serger thread in both the upper and bobbin because this project is a thread eating monster. I used a dab of glue stick to join one strip of fabric to the next strip as I wrapped and zig-zagged round and round. To begin, you wrap fabric around 5-6 inches of rope and coil it into the size of a silver dollar. medallion. Straight stitch across the diameter. Rotate 90 degrees and straight stitch across the diameter. These two straight stitch lines form an "X" across the coiled fabric medallion--holding it secure. Change to zig-zag stitch, and continue wrapping fabric around the rope about 6 inches, then zig-zag and you will watch it grow larger and larger. Once you are satisfied with the size of the base of the basket, begin to lift the base upward as you continue to wrap rope and zig-zag (see photos). It's----it's magical! This basket was made from a 100 ft. roll of 1/4" cotton clothesline rope that I purchased at a farm and fleet store here in Wisconsin. The 100 ft. roll was under $6. This type of project can be a scrap buster with a little bit of effort. I'm going to continue to sew baskets this week and experiment. The finished basket I made has a base diameter of 10" and the height of the basket is 8". I made a coil decorative handle and handsewed it to the basket with heavy duty upholstery thread $2.79 at Hancock Fabric. What advice would you give someone starting this project? I don't have a sewing machine tabletop extension, so I improvised using magazines, and a roll of fabricfor support as I started to lift the base and build the side walls. Works like a dream. By the way, 2 strips of fabric = one drink coaster. I made lots of coasters and love them. I also made some huge table platters. Great gifts. Hmmmmmm, I wonder if I could make a rug???????

What you will need

  • 1/4" Cotton Clothesline Rope
  • 1" strips of fabric.

Q&A with Shoestring

4bird2 asked:
Hi shoestring, I also have made a couple of baskets. My hands got very sore weaving the basket. I was wrapping all the cord first, then I tried to sew the wrapped cord into shape. I see that you are wrapping the fabric to the clothesline as you secure it with sewing stitches through it. Is this how the entire basket was made? You are incredible, love all you products, wish I was in Wild Rose, I'd pop up there to meet you.
Shoestring answered:
Hi there 4bird2. Yes, I agree--these baskets are fun to make. I machine sewed the floor and sidewalls as you described. I made the decorative coiled medallion independently, first with machine stitch down the center to hold wrap fabric to a very long length of rope, then coiled and hand-stitched it. I am experimenting and learned I would do it differently next time. My right hand middle finger is really sore from needle picks---ouch! I constructed another basket today and this time I use a thimble for the hand stitching of decorative parts. My husband brought me 2 more 100 ft. bundles of rope today. Yippee! By the way----WILD ROSE??? How often are you in WILD ROSE??? That's just 20 miles from my door. Let me know when you'll be in the neighborhood. We'll get together in the studio and play! I'll get the spare bedroom ready.
Bagabon asked:
Love the Basket was wondering what setting your zig-zag was and how many time did you have to change needle?
Shoestring answered:
ZIG ZAG SETTING: it easier to hit the mark (joining rope to rope) by increasing the width of the zig-zag stitch. My machine is really old and it is difficult to see the digital screen. But as I increase the default width a notch my old machine makes a little beep, so I increase the width by 6-8 beeps. Funny, eh? Each basket you make you'll want to change to a new 16/100 needle. Regarding changing the heavy duty jeans needle size 16/100
Bagabon asked:
Yes.. I do like it and thank you for replying. I've loved these basket for awhile now and want to make some. My sewing room is all packed up right now and I'm hoping that we get it done soon!!! maybe after the holidays I'll be able to sew again. Love to look at your things in the mean time!!!!
Shoestring answered:
Hi Bagabon. You are such a dear. I'm cheering you on--to get your sewing room ready. Go Bagabon. Go Bagabon.
4bird2 asked:
I don't get to Wild Rose often, a couple of years ago I went for a wedding. I love the area and of course all the wild roses that bloom along the roads. I made a basket yesterday, your way. So much easier. I used hand dyed fabric and today I get to embellish it with some fun things. Do you sell your buttons? I would love to get some. These baskets are so fun. I want to use them in the bathroom for rolled wash rags. How do you use yours. I'll post it when complete.
Shoestring answered:
Hi 4bird2. Great to hear from you. I am excited about seeing your basket with hand dyed fabric. Way cool stuff. I plan to sell them at an event last part of November. However I love love your idea to use them in the bathroom for rolled wash rags. Clever, very clever idea.