Monday, 15 October 2012

Simple gifts from fabric scraps. Pretty basket

Fabric-edging to an old basket. You can fill with a plant, or maybe pop in some home-made cookies (biscuits as they are called in the UK), or  'hot chocolate themed items - a pretty cup from a charity/thrift store with a sachet of hot chocolate. Any other ideas ladies?

Do you look at the beautiful craft creations on talented people's blogs, and instead of feeling inspired, you feel overwhelmed or intimidated? Their creators seem to whizz up and down with their sewing machines at a rate of knots, or have whole rooms dedicated to fabrics, cutting tables and 'mood boards'.

They are 'the talented ones', and 'we' are the 'cack-handed' individuals who can't even sew in a straight line. We remember with shame the clay pots we made at school. (me). They were the only ones that were lop-sided. Or we were left-handed (me) and have to do things in the opposite direction to the righties, and we simply got confused and gave up. (me again) We may not even own a sewing-machine and wouldn't dare to use it even if we did have one! (used to be me).

If you can identify with any of the above, I hope you will join me as I use simple ideas and  simple sewing to make useful and attractive gifts. I will try and post a variety of ideas with photos which I hope you will enjoy. It is very important to bear in mind that it is OK to make mistakes as you go along. Even the most talented, creative people do this. They just don't show you! I remember a famous chef once say. 'For every recipe I create, dozens of disasters have ended up in the bin'.

Some ideas will require nothing but fabric, but I thought you might like to see one I made recently using a little basket that once had a plant in.

Begin with a basket that used to have flowers or a plant inside. You can often find them in sheds, outhouses or being thrown out from the plants section of the supermarket. 
Find a little scrap of fabric.Kind of wrap it around the rim of your basket to make sure it goes around. Add a little bit extra to the width just to be on the safe side

Fold it in half lengthwise with the right sides of the fabric together. The side you don't want people to see is facing you. Don't worry about the rough edges at the top there. It won't be seen!
Get a needle and thread and sew along just inside the rough edge. If you are left-handed you will be going the same way as the picture. Right-handers will be going in the opposite direction. Don't worry. It doesn't matter at all

When you get to the end, do the same down one side of the fabric. This will leave you with one open end

Turn the whole thing inside out, so the seam is on the inside and you have the nice side outside.

Give it a little press with the iron, then bit by bit, fold it round the basket and secure it with sewing. Fold some of the material over the edge so that when you sew, you are catching fabric both inside and outside. Just push the needle and thread through the convenient holes in the basket. The large stitches can be on the inside of the basket. You are just catching the outside with small stitches. If my instructions sound confusing, have a go and you will see more easily what I mean.

When you get to the handles,(if your basket has handles). just tuck the fabric in a bit and secure around the outside of the handle at that point. When you get to the end, tidily fold your fabric over and secure with some neat stitches.

The home-maker's small home-made gifts are more beautiful than anything that can be bought in a shop or store. However amateur they may appear to your own critical eye, they have been crafted with love. They will be treasured by the family. Every time they look at these loving creations, made especially for them, they will remember how you love and cherish them. Of course, you know that your creations cost little or nothing in money, but by your resourcefulness, your family will always feel 'rich'.

I would welcome any courteous comments and ideas, so please let me know if you enjoyed this little post. Thank you



  1. I found your blog via a link at Lady Lydia's and boy am I glad that she linked to you....I LOVE your blog.

    In a previous post you asked which subjects your readers might be interested in and I would say a hearty 'all of them'!

    Blessings to you,

  2. Hello!

    I'm also here from Lady Lydia's blog, and I'm grateful to have found you. The basket-fabric tutorial is a great idea; my husband smashed one of my baskets, and you've given me an idea of how to cover the damage! :)

    I'll add you to my sidebar, too.



    1. Welcome Marqueta, Comments are moderated so sometimes there is a wait while I read and publish them.
      Thank you so much.I would love to see a picture of your basket when it's done too.

  3. Hello again!

    I think I signed in as my daughters' account; here's mine now~

  4. Hello Michele

    Thank you so much for your encouraging comments and feedback. I have just visited your blog and it's so nice too. I'm following on Google Reader, so we've both benefited!

    1. I'm following your blog in Google Reader too. :o)

  5. Hello! Another visitor sent here by the lovely Lady Lydia. I have to say, your blog is beautiful and useful and I will be reading it from the start!

    Thank you for sharing with us!

    Donna H. from USA

  6. I also came here via Lady Lydia's blog. I love your site and look forward to many more posts! Our children are also grown and on their own. I love craft things and your basket idea looks great! - carol

  7. I also found your blog via Lady Lydia's blog. I love your basket project!
    I also am left handed and have been told that that is why I'm clutzy.
    I look forward to reading more!

  8. Thank you all for taking the time to visit and leave comments. It is so encouraging.

  9. I love your blog,also learned about from Lady Lydia, and look forward to reading it regularly.

  10. What a beautiful blog. I look forward to future posts.