Beth Studley Project Basket
Posted on Wednesday the 30th January 2019 by Fiona @ The Sewing Directory
Have you ever had one of those projects where everything seems to go wrong? This was definitely one of them for me. I really love the look of these fabric baskets and was looking forward to making them but within a couple of hours I wished I had never started.
It went wrong early on, at the cutting stage, somehow I cut the exterior across the fabric the wrong way, so instead of ending up with one 40 inch strip, I ended up with two 20 inch strips. There wasn’t enough fabric left to cut it again so I had to join the two together with a very small seam and use that.
When cutting the circle bits for the base the instructions say to draw around the larger circle, then cut out the inner one to give you a ring. I was worried that would be a little fragile if I wanted to store it or make the pattern several times. So, I used some Swedish Tracing Paper to trace the circles off, and then draw around them with a chalk pen onto the fabric. I found it easier to cut them out with scissors rather than a rotary cutter (which I use for most my cutting).
I quilted the fabrics with Gutermann 4016 Variegated Thread as it has both blue and green so would match the lining and exterior fabric. I’m a total sucker for variegated thread, especially when quilting. I picked Laura Gunn fabrics for this basket, I really loved the colour of the blue print.
To shape the bowl you have to sew a lot of darts, which was very time consuming. Also, I got very confused because the instructions said to sew the darts with the fabric right sides together. So, I did a few then spotted the diagram which says sew with the right sides of the fabric facing out, so I unpicked them and started sewing them with the fabrics right sides out.
Only to get a few darts in and realise that left the fabric pleat on the outside of the bowl which didn’t look good. I examined the pictures of the finished bowl and saw the fabric pleats should be on the inside. I had to unpick yet again and re-sew the darts. By this point of was sick to death of darts!
The next stage, attaching the base was a nightmare. Trying to ensure you sewed through both layers, but without catching the excess lining fabric which kept flapping under the needle. I caught it a few times and had to unpick. At a few points I didn’t catch both layers properly, and the pins either slipped out or stabbed my hand whilst sewing.
Tip – Turn the bowl right sides out before hand sewing the base lining so you can make sure you have got all the exterior fabric in the seam.
I felt all around the base from the inside of the bowl to make sure there were no gaps, and them hand sewed the lining and turned the bowl right sides out as the pattern suggests. Then spotted there were a couple of places where the exterior fabric hadn’t properly caught into the seam (see above pic). There was no way I was unpicking all that hand sewing so I just had to live with it. The Vlieseline Stylevil did give the bowl really good body. It held its shape well.
The handles were an odd construction method that I haven’t seen before but did look good when done. Annoying just as I was on the home straight sewing the handles on I managed to catch the middle of a handle when attaching the end to the bowl and had to unpick and re-sew.
I feel like I spent an awful lot of time with my unpicker making this project and although the resulting project basket is big and looks good I don’t think it was worth the hassle of making it. I won’t be rushing to make it again, and scrapped my plan of making a couple of these as Mother’s Day gifts.