Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Basket Liner: From Grandpa's Farm

Last summer, our family went to visit my dad on his farm--something we don't get to do nearly often enough. It's always enjoyable with the views of surrounding trees and fields, walks down to the bridge over Indian Creek, Maggie--the border collie--chasing after us, looking for a good head-scratch and best of all, Grandpa Dave telling his stories.

During our visit, I decided to brave the barn with all its inhabitants. I don't mean cows or pigs, I mean wasps and spiders and heaven knows what else. With my hubby's help, I managed to unearth all manner of amazing vintage farmhouse finds, including two metal baskets. They were primitive, rusty, not much to look at but bursting with potential, so I snagged them (along with several galvanized buckets, barnboards and other amazing junk).

They've been sitting in my house just waiting for a makeover, and today they finally got it! I decided what these little charmers needed to make them perfect were fabric liners. I've never sewn fabric liners before, but I figured it couldn't be that hard. Right?

Well, it wasn't, but it did take some trial-and-error. I'm not exactly a pro with the sewing machine. I usually limit myself to straight lines, like pillows. In the end, though, I managed to sew two dainty little liners that would make any blogger proud! (*Well, any blogger that isn't too worried about straight lines or the rules of sewing.)

Here's how I did it:

 I began with the basket, setting it onto my fabric and eye-balling the measurements.

 Next, I drew lines from the corners of each basket to show where I would need to cut the fabric. Once all four corners are cut, it makes a kind of cross shape.

 My first oops... I realized after making a small cut that I would need about 1/2 inch extra when I sewed the corners. So, I drew double lines to give me that extra little bit.

 I cut a small slit in the corner on a diagonal (where the lines meet). Then I sewed, good side to good side.

 I decided this needed a little embellishment, so I added a bow and a button and sewed a button hole, too. It's pretty primitive as far as buttonholes go. I'm sure Hubby is thankful I don't sew button up shirts. But it got the job done.

Ta-da! That's it! Perfect! Okay, not so much. Here's a little look into what went wrong and how I could improve:

  • I should probably learn math and measure all this instead of eye-balling it. But I'm lazy and bad at math.
  • Next time, I would draw my lines from the outside of the basket. I was oh-so-clever, thinking if I measured from the inside, the liner would be the perfect size. I was wrong. The liner is too small, and I can barely stretch it over the basket. But, like Cinderella's ugly stepsisters, I MADE it fit!
  • I was going to add a lace ruffle to the top, but I got lazy. I think I should have added it. Maybe I still will. But probably not.
  • Sewing the bow behind the button seemed like a good idea until I had to fish the ribbon through the button hole. It wasn't impossible but did make me a bit grouchy.

Other than those few items, I'm pretty happy with my handiwork. If you're thinking of making a basket liner, I say give it a go! If I can do it, anybody can.

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