We are (slowly) starting to prepare for baby girl by getting the house, and specifically, her room ready. I saw we had a need for a few modern and goodlooking baskets for a cabinet outside her room. Well, everything Anna Graham of Noodlehead creates is both modern and goodlooking. I’ve had my eye on the baskets in her book for a while, so I decided to take the plunge.
I’m not sure why I thought my provisions to her pattern and instructions were going to work out better…. I guess I was feeling confident.
I decided to make 3 baskets at once so it was a lot of cutting. The cutting went well, but I had trouble when it came to sewing the side panels to the wall. You are instructed to clip the long wall pattern where the side panel is curved, in order to ease it into a curve shape too. This was a pain in the ass. After much swearing, time and sweat, I ended up putting a pleat in the side panels at the curve. It worked out ok I think.
Next, I sewed the outside and lining all together as instructed, and then I came to my first modification. I decided to do my handles differently. I wanted 1 handle on the front, like a drawer, instead of 2 on the sides near the top. The instructions said to use the double sided interfacing to stablize the side panels, and then attach the handles. But since I wanted my handle on the front, I decided it would be better to stablize all the sides, and basically complete the basket, and then attach my handle.
Let me back up a little and warn you of how scratchy the SF101 interfacing is. It’s really really scratchy. I stuffed them in the way you stuff a pillow into a pillowcase (by grabbing the edge and stiffing your arm inside the case, pulling the pillow) so my arm looked like I had a battle with an angry cat after wrestling 3 long scratchy pieces into 3 baskets. Next, ironing the interfacing to the basket exterior and lining was… frustrating. The lining was a little smaller than the exterior (that was the cutting instructions) so it couldn’t adhere to the interfacing at the curves on the inside. She says in the book not to be fussy about perfection with the interfacing, so I moved on. I closed up the gaps but top stitching all the way around…. because I don’t like blind stitching much. I don’t feel like my hand stitches are very secure.
Side note: I did trim the interfacing a tad because the fit was so snug and was proving to make things even more difficult.
On to the part I saved for last: the handle. Well, the handle didn’t look good on the front, so I just decided do it like the original pattern looks since it was so cute. Now, I had already passed up the handle part of the instructions, but I thought: no biggie! Ummm big biggie. Now that the basket had all its structure and stiff shape, there was no way to sew around the rectangle handle! I couldn’t position the basket up nor down! After kicking myself for about 30 mins and going back and forth on whether I should just not put handles, I figured out a work around. I pinned the handles in place, traced the rectangle shape with my disappearing pen onto the inside lining, and then stitched it from the inside on the 2 long sides. (remember, I couldn’t stitch the short sides because the structured basket couldn’t fit under the sewing machine). Lastly about the handles, I used a soft and flexible leather strap and had no trouble at all sewing through it. Some of the thicker leather might be an issue, but it depends on your machine.
So, there you have it! I hope my descriptions made sense, and if not, hopefully the images helped. In conclusion, my notes on the Baskets in “Handmade Style” are this:
- FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
- That being said, I would choose to cut my lining fabric for the wall piece the same size as the exterior, which I hope would give the fabric more room to adhere to the interfacing at the curves. Its only about a 1″ difference, but might make all the difference.
- Wear something long sleeve when stuffing the interfacing in between the exterior and lining
I do really love the way the baskets came out and I think I would make them again. They look very modern and have a professional handmade look to them.