How To Sew: Fabric Storage Boxes

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This great little project solves two problems at once – what to do with all the odds and ends of fabric you have leftover, AND where to keep the ones you don’t use to make it! Fabric baskets are a great way to put a pop of colour into your storage, and a quick and easy project anyone can manage.

Getting ready

Supplies

Fabric of choice (a stiffer fabric works best for the outside)
Interfacing (if your outer fabric will need some support!)
Thread
Card for template if required
Any decorative supplies you wish to use

Tools

Sewing machines
Scissors or rotary cutter
Ruler
Pins
Pen or pencil

Preparing the fabric

First, you’ll want to cut out your basic pieces. To make the box, simply find yourself something square, and draw around it. Add another box next to each of the 4 sides, and you’re done! 4 edges connected to the base – it should look like a big plus sign. Cut out one for your outer fabric and your inner fabric, as well as one of your interfacing if your fabrics aren’t sturdy. As I’m using quite a plain outer material, I’ve appliquéd a square of patterned fabric onto each of my box sides, for a faux patchwork feel – but you can decorate them however you like. Make sure to do it at the beginning while the fabric is flat, before you start sewing everything together!
I’ve also ironed some creases into my thicker outer fabric, to make it easier to shape later. I’ve simple folded each of the 4 outer side over the base square, and ironed along the fold.

the outside fabric with the patches sewn on, and the lining

 

To add some texture to the lining, and extend my quilt/patchwork theme, I’ve added a small flower motif scattered around the inside fabric. I’ve created these using and thread colour that closely matches the main colour of the fabric, and the flower stitch attachment foot. For this shape, I’ve set my sewing machine to a long wavy stitch on the largest circle, which produces a simple 5 petal flower.

 

embroidered detail made with the flower foot attachment

 

Sewing them up

Once your two fabrics are cut out and decorated, take them one at a time and fold it in half diagonally across the middle square. It should turn into an L-shape, with the right sides of the fabric facing each other. If you’re using interfacing, work it at the same time as the outer lining. Pin the L-shape together, and sew along the two edges that lead up to the diagonal line. Once they’re secure, open the fabric up as much as you can, and then fold the fabric again in the same manner – but diagonally between the two corners you haven’t sewn up to yet.

 

the two edges to sew after folding

 

Congratulations, you should now have two boxes to work with! Place the outer fabric box inside the lining fabric box, with the right side facing each other (so the outer fabric box has RS facing out, the lining fabric box has RS facing in). Use a pencil or the ends of your scissors to poke the corner down into each other and ensure seams all line up, then pin along the top edge of the boxes. Sew a seam long 3 of the 4 edges, leaving the 4th one open to allow you to turn the box inside out.

 

leave one side open to turn the basket out

 

pulling the lining out through the open edge

 

Finishing off

Once you’ve pulled the lining out through the open top edge, iron down the 3 edges you have already sewn to flatten them out, and iron down the outer and lining fabrics of the open edge. This will make it easier to sew them together!  Slip stitch the open edge closed, and iron it out flat. It’s worth working the tip of iron right down into the bottom corners and along all the seamed edges to really bring out the shape nicely.

 

slip stitch open edge closed to finish

 

If you make one, tow, or a whole host of these, we’d love to hear about them. Why not show us some photos on our Facebook page or tweet them at our Twitter account!