Saturday, September 6, 2014

Leaf 'N Linen Mini Basket Tutorial

Leaf  'n Linen Mini Basket Tutorial

At the beginning of the month, I made a little basket, and attached a fabric origami butterfly to it.  (This fabric butterfly is our Across The Pond Sew Along project for September.  

 fabric origami butterfly
I didn't show you the other side of this linen basket, until now...

Leaf 'n Linen Mini Basket     by Susie's Sunroom

If you would like to make this little basket, in linen or all quilting fabric, I made a tutorial to share with you.   And it's free.

For easy printing,  you can click  HERE  for a pdf file 

Leaf  'n Linen Mini Basket   tutorial -  for the pdf file  click  here

This  cute little basket can be a big helper around your sewing machine or cutting table or in other parts of your house ..

Finished  dimensions - 6 " w  x 4 1/2 " h x  2 1/2 " d

For easy printing,  you can click  HERE  for a pdf file 


Leaf ‘n Linen Mini Basket Tutorial   SS04
                                                      By Susie’s Sunroom   2014

Create a cute little basket that can be a big helper around your fabric cutting and sewing machine areas…    

Finished size:  approximately  6 “ wide  by  4 ½ “ high by 2 ½  “ deep
You will find this mini basket is FQ and “scrap friendly”.   You can easily piece scraps together to make the outer and lining fabric pieces.  I used leftover linen for my outer fabric.
Seam Allowance:  ¼ “  unless otherwise stated
Materials Needed:  
Main (linen) fabric- outer:   1 Fat Quarter linen material   or  cotton or scraps        (I use Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen blend)                 
Lining Fabric- inside:  1 Fat Quarter  or scraps
Leaf  or another embellishment:   Scrap fabric  ( 10 “ wide by 3 “ tall )
Fusible Interfacings (providing stiffness to basket) –
          ¼ Yard Pellon Shape-Flex Woven Fusible SF101
          ¼ Yard Pellon Fusible Fleece FF987
Leaf shape pattern - a simple leaf shape, for instance   ( approximately   3 ½ “ tall by 2 “ wide).  A  leaf template , for tracing, is on last page of tutorial. (page 9).  You could make any kind of leaf or  add a butterfly…
Denim/Jeans needle -    I use this needle on anything with several layers and fusible fleece.

Cutting The Fabrics:
Main fabric- outer:  Cut 2  linen  fabric-   8 “ wide by 5 “ tall
Lining fabric- inner:  Cut 2 lining fabric-  8 “ wide by 5 “ tall
Handles-               Cut 2  lining fabric-  1 ½ “ wide by 4 “ tall
Leaf/ embellishment -          Cut the leaf fabric-  2 – 5 ” wide  by 3 “ tall
Interfacing-  Cut 2 - ShapeFlex SF101 -    8 “ wide by 5 “ tall
                       Cut 4 – Fusible Fleece FF987 -  8” by 5 “ tall
**Interfacing note:  I put Fusible Fleece FF987 on all four pieces, to make the basket stiff for holding objects.  You may choose to use less **
Leaf template-  trace  the leaf shape onto freezer paper (or use the template of your choice).  Cut leaf shape out.
Step 1:   Iron the interfacings onto the fabric-
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, ironing to the wrong side of fabric :
Main fabric- outer piece:   iron 1 -  SF101 interfacing to each main linen fabric piece wrong side. (Note:   after these pieces cool, you will be ironing the FF987 fleece  on top of the SF101 interfacing.)
Then, secondly, iron   1- FF987 fleece piece on top of the SF101 interfacing, on the wrong side of fabric of each main fabric piece.
Lining fabric- inner piece:  iron 1 FF987 fleece piece on the back of each lining piece wrong side. 

Step 2:  Quilt the outer fabric and the lining-
Quilt these basket pieces… a little or a lot, according to your preference.  Quilting can help make the little basket a little  stiffer.  My suggestion:  
Quilt the outer main linen fabric with some simple straight lines on the diagonal.  ( I use a Clover Hera Marker to crease the lines before I sew them.  These lines show up well on the linen w/ interfaced backing.)

 Mark the center line… at 4 “ .  Find the 2 ½” center point on this line, and use a ruler and Clover Hera Marker to make a crease to the top corner.  Do the same on the opposite side.  Quilt lines about 1 “ apart  to make this “V” shape , that is, to   echo a  “V” shape.  Quilt down the center line first, from the top to the bottom.

 Next, quilt, as desired,  the outer main linen fabric pieces .

Quilt the lining pieces -  simply making one big “X” , from corner to the  opposite corner.  (You can add more quilting, as desired.)

Step 3:  Make a leaf and handles:
For my leaf :
The leaf  embellishment inspiration for my basket : I love the look of a “Zakka Style” leaf.  My very basic  leaf shape and embroidery comes from the book, ” Zakka Style  “  (compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale.  ) The pattern design is in the Nesting Boxes design- by Laurraine Yuyama   page 108.)   

You can use the leaf template ( at the end of the tutorial p. 16  ), change  it , or  make your own embellishment shape for your basket. This leaf template  will give you the approximate size.  For example,  add a fabric butterfly.

To make a leaf applique:  Lay the 2 leaf fabric pieces  right sides together (RST).  Pin the leaf template on top of the fabric, on top of the fabric (wrong side up.)
Sew all around the leaf template, using small stitches . (Sew closely to the template’s edge without sewing on the paper.) 
Cut about  ¼” away from this stitching, creating the ¼” seam allowance. 
Separate one piece of fabric from the other, by “pinching” the fabrics apart in the center area.  Carefully, cut a little slit, just long enough for you to pull the Right Sides of the leaf fabric out through this slit.  I like to use a chop stick to help push the fabric out through the slit and to turn out the leaf shape.  Iron with steam to flatten out the leaf.  The slit will be the bottom, unseen side.
Pin leaf onto the front of one of the linen main fabric pieces. (Make sure the slit is face down on the linen.)  Place leaf so it is near the center, and at least 1 inch down from the top edge and at least 1 inch up from the bottom.

Now, have some fun!  Change your thread to a color that will contrast with  your fabrics , and create veins on your leaf.  I sewed a center line first, “up and down” the leaf, and then some added veins to the left and right sides of the leaf. 

To make the handles:   Iron both handle pieces-    fold  lengthwise Wrong Sides Together (WST) , creating a center fold line.  Open it up.
Fold one 4 “ raw  edge side to meet this center fold line .  Iron .
Fold the other 4” raw edge side to meet the center fold line .  Iron.
Now,  fold  both of the 4 “raw edge sides to meet at the center fold again, and then fold  one more time to make the handle strip.  There will be no raw edges, and it will now measure at  3/8” wide.    Sew along the  4 “  side (where the folded edges meet.) 


                          Sew along the 4 “ side  where the folded edges meet

Step 4:   Sew the outer linen pieces together, and the lining pieces together-
Outer linen basket pieces- Place one main linen fabric piece with the wrong side facing up.  With a pencil, mark off a 1”  by 1” square in the bottom left and bottom right corners  (on the wrong side. )  Cut a 1 “ by 1” square out of the left  bottom corner. Cut the right bottom corner square out ,as well.  Set this piece aside. Cut  the two   1” by 1” squares from the bottom corners  of the other main linen fabric piece in the same way. 
Place one main linen fabric piece right side up.  Place the other main linen piece right side down onto this piece.  (RST).  Pin together.  Set aside for now.

Lining pieces-    you will be cutting out the bottom corner  1” by 1” squares in the same way for the lining piece…
Place one lining piece with the wrong side facing up.  With a pencil, mark off a 1”  by 1” square in the bottom left and bottom right corners  (on the wrong side. )  Cut a 1 “ by 1” square out of the left  bottom corner. Cut the right bottom corner square out ,as well.  Set this piece aside. Cut  the two   1” by 1” squares from the bottom corners  of the other lining fabric piece in the same way. 
Place one main linen fabric piece right side up.  Place the other main linen piece right side down onto this piece.  (RST).  Pin together. 
Mark  approximately   3-  4 “, on the bottom seam of this lining piece.  We will not be sewing stitches here. This will be the turning out opening.  (See below  photo )

Sew on machine:    Outer main  linen fabric piece-  Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew  the left side seam , and then the right side seam of the outer  main linen fabric pieces.  (Don’t sew where the “box” used to be, yet.)   Reinforce the stitches at all of the edges .
Next,  sew the bottom edge on the outer main linen fabric piece .  Put this piece aside for now.
Lining piece- Sew the lining pieces together in the same manner….  Sew the left side seam , and then the right side seam.  When sewing the bottom seam, make sure to leave the opening for turning !   (see the diagram on bottom of page 8 .)

Shaping the basket:
Now we will be sewing the bottom open corners together, to make the bottom box-like in shape.  Separate the layers ( where the 1 “ square was cut out from ),  so that the side seam aligns with  the bottom seam,  and the corners line up.  Pin this, so that you can sew across this opening section. This will create a seam about 2 “ long .   Do the same for the other bottom lining corner.

Take the main linen outer piece, and sew the corners closed  in the same manner, creating the box-like shape in both bottom corners.  Now your little basket will sit flat.

Check that the lining fits into the outer linen basket piece:
Now is a good time  insert the lining piece inside of the outer linen piece , as a “test” to see that the top edges are the same size.  Match up the raw edges, and pin roughly in place.  (It doesn’t matter if the pieces are right side out or not in this test step.)    If the lining is too large, you can simply make the adjustments needed so that the seams match up exactly.
 (A wider seam allowance sewn at the top of the bigger piece may be needed to even the pieces up.)   

Sew the handles onto the outer linen basket:
Turn the outer linen  piece right side out.  Pin one end of handle  (RST) ½ “ to the right of one  side seam.  Pin the other end of this handle (RST) ½” to the left of this  side seam. (They are pinned 1 “ apart, and will extend about ¼” over the raw edge .)  Baste in place with  1/8” seam allowance.

Now pin the other handle in the same manner on the other side of the basket.  Baste in place with 1/8” seam allowance.

Sew the outer and lining basket pieces together:



Turn the outer linen basket piece wrong side out again.  The handles should be now  inside, laying flat  against the linen.   Turn the lining piece right side out now.   Place the lining piece  inside the outer linen piece, so that they are facing right sides together.  The handles will be sandwiched in between the outer and inner pieces.  Align the seams and raw edges around the top edge, and pin in place.
Sew together the inner and outer basket  along the top edge with  ¼” seam allowance. 

Turn  basket inside out,  so you can see the opening in the lining piece, and pull the bag out through this opening.   

Keep pulling until the right sides are all out.


Now we need to close the opening in the bottom of the  lining.  Turn under the seam allowances at the opening and  pin this opening shut . I press this seams to make it easy to sew  by machine.  You can sew by hand as well.  Neatly sew right sides together along this opening.

Topstitch along the top edge of basket:
Push the lining into the basket, so it lays flat against the bottom and all sides.  You may need to gently “coax out” the box corners in the bottom a little.  Press along the top edge  , and pin in place, making a  crisp, neat edge for the top of the basket.  Topstich all around with 1/8” seam allowance. Start at a side seam , at the handle. Take your time and go slowly in the thick areas, to make it neat. 

Your “Leaf ‘n Linen Mini Basket” is all ready to use! 

Leaf Shape Template:


              “  Leaf ‘n Linen Mini Basket Tutorial SS04 ”   is an tutorial 
                                              by Susie’s Sunrooom  2014

      For easy printing,  you can click  HERE  for a pdf file 

There are many ways you can find to  put a cute little basket to work for you ...

Leaf 'n Linen Mini Basket      Susie's Sunroom

Leaf 'n Linen Mini Basket            by Susie's Sunroom

This mini basket can hold more than you think ....  Susie's Sunroom
This is it's favorite job.... holding Aurifil thread spools!   Susie's Sunroom

I would love to see any  Leaf  'n Linen Mini  Baskets  that you make with my tutorial!
You can send them to   .  Let me know if I can post your picture  on my blog!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Linking up at:   Threading Your  Way @ Threading My Way  and
                         Can I Get a Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict  and
                       Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio  and
                       TGIFF !  @ Quokka Quilts  and
                        Sew Cute Tuesday @Blossom Heart Quilts


  1. I love this little basket and will be making some I love this little basket and will be making some as they look so useful Thankyou quilty hugs xx

    1. Thanks so much, Anne! I saw on email that you'll be making some napkins for the basket to hold! Such a cute idea!!

  2. Thank you for this tutorial, Susie. I pinned as soon as I saw it because I am definitely going to try it out soon!

  3. These are cute! I need to check on hera marker as I seen it so many time and everyone loves it :)

  4. Thanks for a very thorough tutorial! This looks like the same size basket you made me. I use mine in my sewing room to hold the gorgeous matching strawberry pin cushion and strawberry scissor keeper and some ribbons I recycle and use again :). I really love that you you included a PDF to print out!!!

  5. Such a comprehensive tutorial, Susie and a fabulous basket. The fabric origami butterfly is such a unique idea!!!

    1. Hi Susie, I've featured your leaf 'n linen basket today...

  6. Hi, Susie! I saw your project linked over @ Threading My Way so I came over for a peek - your basket with the leaf is adorable - I love the 3D applique you've added - it's such a fun idea!

  7. Cute basket, Susie! And so handy! I love it! Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial.



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