I completed this handy little basket today, which is a project I have had on my to do list for quite some time. I found the tutorial on Janome's website/blog, Sew4home, which is stock full of free adorable sewing projects. Every post is a new tutorial.
I found this website when I first bought my Janome Horizon. I was looking for sewing tips and instructions to help me use my new machine and found Sew4home. (This is not a paid or solicited advertisement, I just really love this site!)
The fabrics I chose for this project are:
Made with Love Tape Measure in Aqua by Moda - lightweight cotton duck
Snaps in Black from the Mama Said Sew collection by Sweetwater
Lock and Key Midnight from the Secret Garden collection by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller
...and lace that I have had for a really long time.
The instructions call for using Pellon Peltex 71F to line the interior and exterior fabrics. This stuff is hardcore. It is awesome for providing structure and support to your project, but a pain to manipulate around a sewing machine needle. They should include "requires a great deal of patience" to the label.
Below are the exterior panels with the pockets added. The instructions call for decor weight fabric for the interior and exterior fabrics. I used regular quilting fabric for the pockets, so I added a lightweight (one side fusible) interfacing to give them a little stiffness.
The tutorial instructs you to make two baskets, one for the outside and one for the inside lining. The only adjustment that I would make next time is make the interior basket slightly smaller than the exterior basket. The instructions direct you to make them the same size and it makes things a little difficult when putting the two together.
I would also suggest using a stiff lace. I picked a delicate, stretchy lace that made it difficult to sew neatly to the edge of the basket. It kept wanting to slip. If you pick a stiff lace, it will be so much easier, but I couldn't help myself. I chose pretty over convenience.
This project is really easy, it just gets a little hairy at the very end when it comes to putting the two baskets together. If you give this basket a try, just take your time, go slow, and if your machine has a needle down feature... use it.
That way you can sew a small section, stop, and the needle will keep your place while you maneuver your basket in place, sew another section, stop, maneuver some more... until you get all the way around the top of the basket. It is quite a forearm workout. I was building some muscles!