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Molly's Sketchbook: Sewn Stash Baskets


To make one basket:


The bottom of this bag is a 12-inch circle. If you have a large compass or circular template feel free to cut your circles using them but if you don't here is a simple way to cut a 12-inch circle:

Using a pencil draw a center dot where the circle's center will be. Using a ruler draw a mark 6-inches from the center. Using the center dot as an axis move your ruler an inch to the right and draw another mark, 6-inches from the center. Keep turning the ruler like the hands of a clock and marking 6-inches from the center until you make it back to the first mark.

You will have a dotted 12-inch circle!

Cut out the circle.

In this manner cut out a 12-inch circle of the Amny Butler Quilting Solid, The Blockprinted Linen, and the interfacing.

In addition to the circles, cut a 12-inch by 36-inch strip from the solid, linen, and interfacing. You will have six pieces all together.

Sewing the Panels

Pin the three circles all together in the following order: interfacing, linen with its right side facing up, solid with its right side facing down. In other words, the linen and solid will have their right sides together and the interfacing will be on the bottom of the stack.

Pin all three of the long strips together in the same order.

With a 1/2-inch seam allowance sew the three circle pieces together, leaving a 4-inch gap unsewn. Backstitch at the beginning and end of this seam

With a 1/2-inch seam allowance sew the three long pieces together along three sides, leaving one of the short sides totally open as shown above. Backstitch at the beginning and end of every seam.

Turn the panels right sides out through their openings. The interfacing should be on the inside and the right sides of the fabrics should be on the outside.

Press the raw edges of the open side of the long piece a 1/2-inch to the inside of the panel.

Press the circular panel flat, tucking in and hiding the raw edges as you do this.


Pin the bottom long edge of the long panel all along the edge of the circle panel, right sides together.

When you are pinning make sure to go through all of the layers of the panels.

The long panel is longer than the diameter of the circle so you will have some extra at the beginning and end  as shown above.

Slip the sewn short side of the long panel into the open short side. Arrange the sewn side inside the open side so that they are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the bottom pinned edge. You may have to fold the corners of the sewn side to get it to fit neatly.

Pin these sides together as shown above.

Using the embroidery thread and a small running stitch sew all along the  edge of the pinned bottom.

The stitches should be small and even and will end up being fairly invisible.

Once you've sewn around the bottom sew the side seam together in the same manner.

You're all done! You can fold the top edge down if you want the solid color to peek through.

The basket should be stiff enough to stand up on its own but soft enough to fold.

Reader Comments (27)

I loe these baskets! And, thanks for the introduction to your new fabrics!!! they look fantastic
April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathie B
Wonderful! These are beautiful. And, with your tutorial, you've made it look like I could actually make one of these;) I can't wait to give it a try. Thank you!
April 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCami
Is there a reason why you did not machine-stitch the last seam ? Was it too thick to do by machine?
April 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamLaTricoteuse
Those are adorable! I love the idea that they can fold away when not being used. Those linens are lovely too.
April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
I totally love these! Thanks so much for the post. I can't wait to make these for myself!
May 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny G.
this is the cutest little basket ever! thanks for such a lovely tutorial :)
May 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralycia
So cute and simple directions. I am going to give it a try.
May 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercinderelish
Love it! Stored the tutorial for my lil stay-at-home-vacation where I intend to sew, sew, sew! :-)

Cheers, Julie
May 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMlle Julie
Why is there so much handstitching...I have time to sew by machine, but not to hand sew this (or make more than one, which I thought about when I saw the pictures). These would make awesome gifts--they are beautiful and useful, but given the instructions, I won't make them...I
May 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColleen
these are brilliant...i just spent the day cleaning and organising my sewing room and had a million little boxes with stuff. none the right size, but who would have thought of making my own containers! and they fold away when i don't need them! too cool.
May 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercindy
Thanks so much for the tutorial! I made a basket for my knitting supplies today, and it's perfect!
May 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremily b
Wonderful containers, I can't wait to try it! I can't figure out why you called for twice as much solid as print though - it looks like you use an equal amount of all 3 types of fabric. Thank you for sharing this great idea!
May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Hi Jessica-
The fabric amounts are correct but I see how it could be confusing- The print fabric is wider so you need less of it. Thanks so much for your comment!- Molly
May 9, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
i just finished making one of these cute baskets and have a couple comments to share:
yes, you can machine stitch the seams! i pinned it all together according to molly's diagram and carefully sewed the base seam followed by the side seam - no problem.
my basket barely stands up on it's own, but both fabrics i used were fairly lightweight. i'll use a heavier interfacing next time, or a heavier fabric.
thanks for the fun project!
June 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
Great tutorial....really simple to understand.Just an additional a Repurpose Crafter I have made these using recycled sweater material;, and they come out very nice. It gives them a more earthy, or if you'd like, a masculine appearance .....depending on if you're planning to gift them.

Thanks. I enjoyed this post.
June 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterK
Simple and quick to make (I also machine stitched mine)... With a stiffer upholstery weight fabric for outside and inside, I didn't bother with stabilizer. Perfect for managing the toy invasion of my living room (they're pretty enough to sit on qn open bookcase). Thank you!
July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFarrah
Thank you for the instructions on how to make these lovely fabric sacks. I can see them being useful for so many things!! I really want to make one!
December 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGardenOfDaisies
These instructions seem easy to follow... I think even a dummy like me could follow :)
December 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterartsy ant simona
Yeah, functionaly adorable, wish I could handstitch!
January 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkimberlee
Anyone know what the finished dimensions are? I want to make a bag for some baby alphabet blocks and this looks like a good idea. Thanks!
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMHC

These are 12-inches across and 11-inches tall. Thank you for your comment!

Thanks!- Molly
April 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Great tutorial! A question though about folding down the top edge: does it help get some stability as well?
Thanks for your answer.
January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLine
Hi Line-

It does! Thanks for the question!

January 24, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
These baskets are great - and look so easy to make too.

I like them so much I just linked you up in a blog post I wrote about Christmas gift ideas - hope that's ok with you.

October 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Thanks for inspiring me.
April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
I love this idea so much! I'm going to find some cute cloth and make these as a baby shower gift. I think I may use a canvas material so they can be extra durable, but still easy to fold up. Have you considered adding things like loops for wall hooks or handles for carrying? Thank you so much for sharing!
January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEleanor J
this pretty project is so easy and so simple! It's a wonderful basket!!
February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPiyiF

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