Friday, January 20, 2012

Tutorial : How To Sew Pottery Barn Basket Liners

Fair warning, this is a LONG post with LOTS of photos...

When Bestie decided on her nursery design, she asked me to help her with a few sewing projects.  That I totally dragged my feet on it and then dragged my feet when it came to shipping to her.  But I digress.  Part of the project was to sew several liners for her Pottery Barn Baby changing table baskets.  She sent me an actual liner so that I could have the measurements, thankfully. 

I was actually surprised to see that the top was much larger than the bottom.  I mean, it makes sense as they have a drawstring.  But I guess I never gave basket liners much thought before this little project.  The PB liners are actually really well made.  They are fully lined and that totally impressed me.  Bestie said she didn't need hers lined though.  And I am guessing if you are making them for your home use, you won't care either.  You don't see the lining part anyway.  It's only real function is during washing/drying.  But I think if you just stick them in a laundry bag, they will probably be OK.  Plus, how often do you really wash a toy basket liner?

Step #1:
Cut fabric.  Piece 1, drawstring, 2" W x 62" L.  Piece 2, liner bottom, 10.25" H x 10.25" W .  Piece 3, liner body, 16.5" H x 48" W .

Step #2:
Iron fabric.  Piece 1, drawstring.  At each short end, iron down 1/4" to prevent fraying.  Then iron in half, lengthwise- so make the 2" width into 1" width.  Then iron both of those halves in half towards the inside fold, so no raw edges are showing, taking the 2" width to just 1/2" width.  I don't have a photo but take your two hands with palms together, forming a V.  That's like the first in half step.  Then take your fingers and bend down toward the palm/V.  That's like that second step.  Make sense? 

Step #3:
Sew drawstring.  I used a straight stitch but a zig zag is fine too. 

Step #4:
Take liner body, the largest piece #3, and place short ends together.  Measure 1 1/2" down from top and mark with pin (see photo).  Measure 1" down from that first pin and mark with a second pin (see photo).  Sew 1/4" seam, leaving the space between the two pins UNSEWN.  So you will need to start and finish above the first pin, then move your needle/fabric and start and finish again under the second pin down to the bottom.  The 1" between the two pins needs to remain open for the drawstring!!  This is seriously the most important step.  You will be so frustrated if you get to the end and realize you neglected this step.

Step #5:
Iron fabric.  Piece #3, liner body.  Iron open the seam so that the 1" you remembered to leave open and unsewn in step #4 is fully open.  Then iron down the top (the part closest to the 1" unsewn hole) 1/2" (see photo below).  Last, iron down 1" from the first fold (see measuring tape photo below).  This fold will be right at the start of the unsewn hole.  So you are making a crease at 1/2" and at the 1 1/2" point. 

Step #6:
Place drawstring in place, feeding ends through the unsewn hole.  This is a lot easier than trying to run the string through after you are finished.

Step #7:
Push drawstring up towards the top/crease.  Pin fabric down.  I pinned it (as shown in photo below) with the pins on the wrong side.  Then flipped it right side out and re-pinned.  I only put 5-6 pins in, just enough to keep the drawstring in place.  For me, this seemed to be easiest. 

Step #8:
Sew drawstring tube.  I just lined my foot up close to the drawstring (see photo below).  So I guess I sewed it about 3/4" down from the top.  I went back and forth an extra time or two when I came to the drawstring opening as I figured this area would get the most tugging.

Step #9:
Take piece #2, the liner bottom, and fold each side in half to find the centers (see photo below).  Mark with a pin on each of the four sides.

Step #10:
Fold the liner body in quarters and mark with a pin. So the seam gets a pin and the find the quarters from there by also doing my super technical fold in half method.  Mark the bottom (not the side with the sewn side and drawstring).

Step #11:
Match up the center pins on the base piece with the center pins on the body piece.  Pin together.  Add more pins to keep in place, leaving corners open.  (see photo below)

Step #12:
Sew the bottom to the body.  OK this gets a tiny tricky.  But not really.  So the corners are going to be open at the end of this step.  I promise we will close them up.  Because the body of the liner is longer than the base.  So start @1/2" down from the corner.  And end again @ 1/2" up from the corner.  Do that on all four sides.

Step #13:
At this point, all of your sides are sewn but your corners are left holey.  See photo below where I am Vanna White-ing it with the tiny scissors to point out the corner hole..

Step #14:
Place the liner on a flat surface.  At one corner, straighten out the fabric so that you are measuring straight up from the corner of the liner base.  Then measure up 6" and mark with a pin.  Do this on all four sides.

Step #15:
Position fabric on machine so that your needle is @ 3/4" from the corner of the bottom.  Basically you are sewing up those holes and making the liner fit better in the bottom of the basket.  Ah- this is why I don't write many tutorials- I am not as good at describing things in writing as I am in person.  OK...let me try to be clearer.  What you are doing is sewing from the point that you started/stopped sewing the bottom to the body.  If you started and stopped 1/2" in, that's about where you will start with this step.  So I overlapped a bit and started @ 3/4" in (see photo below).  Pull the bottom fabric out though so that you don't sew it all inside the base.  Then sew a straight line up that gradually angles inward and ends at the pin marking the 6" point.  You're making a dart I guess. 

You can leave the fabric as it- it will all be inside the basket so no one will see it. Or you can do what I did and use pinking shears to cut off the excess fabric. (See photo below.)

Step 16:
Open it up and you are ready to use!  Remember that the right side is on the inside as it will flap over the basket. 

Now you can make liners to perfectly match your nursery, playroom, den or office!

Thanks for the finished nursery pics Bestie (and Bob).  She said they fit perfectly - I hope she was telling the truth!

*Linked up to Tatertots and Jello and The Kurtz Corner and Rae Gun Ramblings  and Be Different Act Normal      


Stevie said...

I love their liners! Thanks a bunch for sharing a tutorial. Visiting from Tatortots and Jello.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I am super impressed! Learning to sew and getting a sewing machine has been on my 'to do list for a long time' - its such a skill! Have you ever made clothes?!

amy said...

Good morning! I was wondering if you still sell any of your wonderful burp cloth/onesie creations? I have ordered from you on Etsy in the past and you were always a favorite of mine! Will you please email me if you do? Thank you!
amyc.obrien at gmail

Jeannie said...

This is awesome!!!! I need to learn how to sew first, then I would love to get into projects like this. Imagine the possibilities!

Buford Betty said...

Of course I was telling the truth, haha! They look amazing! You always impress me. I had to sew one seam for our cornice board and it about gave me a heart attack!

Glitterista said...

What an awesome project! You are so talented and they look wonderful in the nursery. :)

Dr. Blondie said...

Amazing. My mom made some for baskets in Mason's room, and they didn't include a drawstring, and weren't nearly as nice. She saved me though--for some odd reason, I thought I had the skills to do it myself. (I didn't.) The ones you made look awesome. Great job!:)

Kate said...

Wow, love how they turned out! Very cute. She's lucky to have such a crafty friend!

The Quilt Ladies said...

Just wonderful and I love the fabric !

The Quilt Ladies said...

Just wonderful and I love the fabric, nice job !

Unknown said...

Learning how to sew is very easy. The only tricky part in learning this skill is learning how to draft a pattern as well as measuring your body. After you have learned these, everything else is easy.


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