Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fabric Bin Tutorial

This bin came about because my son ripped apart the wicker basket we were using for the dog toys. It's far from perfect (I was in a rush because I couldn't stand the toys to be all over the place and having nowhere to put them) but it does the job. I'm sure if you took more time it would look much better!

Fabric Bin Tutorial
(With optional lettering and handles)
1 1/2 yards fabric (or 3/4 yards for exterior and 3/4 yards for interior)*
1 1/2 yards fusible peltex*
1 yard lightweight fusible interfacing**
Small amount black felt (optional)
Rotary Cutter and mat
Pressing Cloth
* You can make the bin bigger. All steps are the same, just increase your measurements and the amount of fabric, peltex, and interfacing you purchase.
**I did not remember to get the interfacing (oops). I will describe how to use it in the project, but note that I ended up having to sew my peltex in place rather than using the (much easier) interfacing method.

Step 1: Out of your fabric, cut:
                     2 strips 3 1/2" X 11" (optional...for handles)
                     2 pieces 12" X 7"
                     4 pieces 7" X 17"
                     4 pieces 7" X 13"

              From your peltex, cut:
                     2 strips 3/4" X 8 1/2" (optional...for handles)
                     2 pieces 11" X 16"
                     4 pieces 6" X 16"
                     4 pieces 6" X 12"

              From your interfacing, cut:
                     1 piece 12" X 7"
                     2 pieces 7" X 17"
                     2 pieces 7" X 13"

Step 2: Fold each 7" X 17" piece of fabric in half. Using a straight edge and your rotary cutter, cut the fabric so that the top edge measures 8.5" and the bottom edge measures 6". Repeat for remaining 3 pieces. *The picture shows the top edge measuring 9 inches...I had to re-cut it later. 
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 with the 7" X 13" pieces, with the top edge measuring 6.5" and the bottom edge measuring 3.5". Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the interfacing.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the peltex pieces....the longer pieces measure 8" on the top and 5.5" on the bottom (when folded in half) and the shorter pieces measure 6" on the top and 3" on the bottom.

Step 5:  Fuse the two 11" X 16" peltex pieces together using pressing cloth and following manufacturer's directions. 

Step 6: Fuse 2 of the 6" X 12" peltex pieces together. Repeat with remaining two 6" X 12" pieces

Step 7: Repeat step 6 with the 6" X 16" peltex pieces. If you would like lettering on the outside of your bin, continue to Step 8. If not, skip to Step 10.

Step 8: Letters. Choose a font in your favorite word processing program. Make it bold, and then make it as large as possible while still fitting into an 11" width and 5" height. I used the Showcard Gothic font and made it 135 for size. When satisfied, print it out and cut out your letters.

Step 9: Trace your letters onto the black felt.

Step 10: Cut out your letters, place them on the exterior piece of fabric, pin and stitch in place (the exterior pieces of fabric are what you will be fusing your peltex and interfacing to). 
Step 11: Center the fused 11" X 16" peltex pieces on the wrong side of the 12" X 17" fabric piece (make sure that one of these fabric pieces has the lettering on it, if you chose to place lettering on your bin). Place the 12" X 17" piece of interfacing on top of the peltex, fusible side down. Fuse in place using pressing cloth and manufacturer's instructions. Make sure that the interfacing's edges match up with the fabric's raw edges, and that the peltex is secured in place by the interfacing fusing to the fabric around the edge.
Step 12: Repeat Step 11 with the short and long sides of the bin. Remember that you will only be using 2 short side pieces and 2 long side pieces at this point, and that the peltex pieces should be 1/2" shorter on all sides than the fabric and interfacing.

Step 13: Take one short side piece and one long side piece (both with peltex). Match up one short edge of both pieces, with wider section at the top (on both pieces) and pin in place Stitch in place, using 1/2" seam (you should be sewing right next to the peltex).
Step 14: Repeat on other short edge of the long side using other short side piece. Finish by attaching remaining long side piece to the free edges of the short side pieces, leaving you with a "ring."

Step 15: Attach the bottom piece (with peltex). This part can be a bit tricky. With the right side of the bottom piece facing the right sides of your peltex/fabric "ring," pin in place. Then CAREFULLY sew in place, making sure there are no holes at the corners. You should end up with a "basket" with a top of raw edges, the interior being the right side of the fabric and the exterior being the fused peltex side. Repeat steps 9-11 with the plain fabric pieces...leaving you with 2 "baskets." If you are making straps, continue to Step 16. If not, go to Step 19.
Step 16: Make your straps. Taking your 3 1/2" X 11" pieces of fabric, fold in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch long edge (I mistakenly stitched a short edge as well, it's not necessary. Repeat with other strap piece.
Step 17: Turn straps right side out. Press.
Step 18: Carefully slide one 3/4" X 8 1/2" piece of peltex into each strap, centering them.
Step 19: Putting it all together. Turn the peltex "basket" right side out. Place the plain fabric "basket" inside of it, wrong sides together, matching short and long sides and corner seams.
Step 20: Carefully turn the raw edges of both "baskets inward and pin in place. On the short sides, place your straps (if you chose to add straps) 2" from either side.

Step 21: Carefully top stitch around top of bin, removing pins as you go. Make sure the straps are caught in this top stitching so that they have been secured. And that's it, you're done! If you're really good and you matched your corner seams exceptionally well you may be able to stitch in a ditch down the corner seams, which will further secure your interior to your exterior. As for's just for dog toys, I didn't care enough to do that step!


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