Have you ever received a beautiful gift basket from a friend but didn't know what to do with the basket afterwards? Or maybe you won a gift basket at a tricky tray auction? Well, I guess you could say both of those things happened to me. My dear friend won me a beautiful basket at a tricky tray auction full of tea (my favorite!), a tea pot and mug but I wasn't sure what to do with said basket afterwards. It was too nice to throw it out though and I had already, regrettably, discarded a nice basket that a friend had used to wrap a gift in the past. So, in my attempt to be less wasteful, this time I decided to jazz this basket up and give it new life by making it picnic ready with a cute gingham liner and a matching reusable snack or sandwich bag. If you don't already have a basket you can use, you can probably find one at your local thrift store. Loaded up with your favorite foods and maybe some flowers and a bottle of wine to set the mood, I think this basket and matching bag would make a cute accessory for a fun date night out, or even in!
- 1 yard gingham fabric
- Pattern/craft paper
- Tape Measure
- Pencil or Sharpie
- Fabric Scissors
- Matching Thread
- 1" wide velcro
- Bias tape maker (optional)
LET'S GET STARTED!
- Wash and dry your fabric to pre-shrink it.
- Using a sharpie, trace the bottom of your basket onto your pattern or craft paper. With the curvy edges of my woven basket, I found it easier to stand it on its side to get a more accurate reading than just tracing it flat. If the shape you traced comes out wobbly like mine, don't worry, you will be correcting this in the next step.
- Go around the shape you traced in Step 2 and add a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around, this time making sure to draw a smoother shape.
- Using your tape measure, measure the circumference of your basket.
- Measure the height of your basket.
- Using the measurements from Steps 5-6, draft a rectangle onto your pattern paper. For my basket, the circumference was 42 1/2" and the height was 6". I divided the circumference by 2 and then added 1" for seam allowance. I also added 3 1/2" to the height- this is so that you have excess to go over the top edge of your basket. My final pattern piece was a rectangle that measured 21 3/4" x 9 1/2". You will need to cut two of these pieces out of your fabric.
- With right sides together, sew your two rectangular pieces at the side seams, stopping 4" from the top edge. Then, finish each side of your seam off separately with a serger or a zig zag stitch and press your seam open. This will make future steps easier rather than finishing them off together and pressing them to one side, like I did.
- Using the longest stitch on your machine, baste 1/4" away from the bottom edge of your rectangular pieces going all the way around. Baste again 1/2" away from the bottom edge going all the way around.
- Fold your bottom piece in half to find the points at which to match the side seams of your rectangular pieces to.
- Pin the bottom edge of your rectangular pieces to the bottom piece of your basket liner, lightly pulling on your gathering stitching from Step 8 to make it fit. Make sure to switch your machine's setting back to a medium length stitch and stitch all the way around.
- Finish your seam from Step 10 with a serger or a zig zag stitch.
*Now would be a good time to put your liner in your basket to check the fit and make any adjustments if necessary.*
- Fold down the edges of the 4" you left open in Step 7 and stitch them down.
- Fold your remaining fabric in half on the diagonal to find the bias.
- Now that you've found the bias, use this to cut 1 1/2" long strips of bias tape. *If you have a bias tape maker, this is where it will come in handy. Use your bias tape maker to press your bias tape into shape. Since I don't have a bias tape maker, I will be pressing mine free hand.*
- You will need bias strips that equal the length of the top edge of your liner plus at least 20" extra, this is so you have at least 10" extra on each side to act as the ties. I made my ties 18" long on each side and could probably have done with less. So in total, I made two bias strips that were about 57" in length. If the strips you cut don't add up to the length you need, cut multiple strips and sew them together. See picture for example.
- Find the center of your bias strip and pin it to the center of the top edge of your liner. Stitch 1/4" from the edge.
- Fold the edges of your excess bias strip that's hanging over the sides of your liner and press 1/4". Make sure your iron is set to low steam as to not burn yourself, like I did! *If you already pressed your bias tape using your bias tape maker, then your bias tape should already be pressed into place.*
- Fold your bias tape in half and pin. Then, stitch the folded edges together. When you come to the section of bias tape that is covering your liner, stitch in the ditch.
Your wicker basket liner is complete! Time to move onto the reusable snack/ sandwich bag.Reusable Snack/ Sandwich Bag
- Cut two rectangles measuring 20" x 8".
- Sew your two rectangles to each other all the way around, except for a gap big enough for you to turn it right side out.
- Clip your corners to reduce bulk.
- Turn your rectangle right side out and press all the way around. Then, top stitch all around. This will close up the gap you left open in Step 20.
- Cut a 1" piece of your male velcro and a 2" piece of your female velcro. Stitch them to the center top and bottom edges of your rectangle on opposing sides, lining up the edge of the velcro with your top stitching. See picture for example.
- Fold up the bottom edge of your rectangle 8" and top stitch again along the sides.
- Finite! Time to enjoy your new picnic set!