Knarra baskets, lined with French General cotton

In setting up our new place, it has been tricky getting the right amount of storage in just the right places.  Like a small enough wardrobe to fit near a Juliet balcony without blocking it.  The child’s size Sundvik wardrobe fit the bill and it came in washed white. Perfect. Even though it is marketed for children’s clothing, it does hold full size adult clothes hangers. You can’t hang long garments like dresses, but it works quite well for skirts, blouses, and trousers. I especially like the nice deep drawer.

There was plenty of useable space both above and below the wardrobe, so I ordered baskets to keep smaller clothing items in. I like wicker baskets, always have, they are a simple and inexpensive way to keep necessary items close to hand.

The smaller size Knarra baskets were just right; white, crisp, clean. Only trouble was that the  painted finish on the natural woven wood was a bit too rough. Yarn and delicate fibres could snag and become damaged, so off I went to my new  local quilt shop, A Needle Pulling Thread, to find fabric to line the baskets. And here is how I made them…

k.liners.onwardrobe

To make these to fit exactly I made a pattern using Swedish tracing paper, seen in the photo below on the upper right. The fashion fabric I chose is ‘Belle Fleur’ from French General, made in Japan.

Basket liners for small Knarra basket from Ikea. Pretty white baskets, but too rough to store fabrics or yarn.

Basket liners for small Knarra basket from Ikea. Pretty white baskets, but too rough to store fabrics or yarn.

The basket liner is made of of three pieces of fabric:
– 1 main piece cut from white cotton – this insures no colour or print shows through the basket weave
– 1 main piece cut from my fashion fabric
– 1 upper band piece from the fashion fabric

And two notions:
– 31 inches of 1/4 inch elastic
– 18 inches of 1/4 inch satin ribbon

All the pieces you need to make the basket liners.

All the pieces you need to make the basket liners.

When cutting your fashion fabric, think about how the fabric will sit in the basket when it is completed especially if  your selected fabric is directional, like the print I used.

If I had wanted the birds to all be oriented correctly inside the basket, it would have been necessary to cut 5 pieces (plus seam allowances) instead of 1 large one. I was, however, careful to cut the bands so that my birds would be right side up!

Step 1. sew the seams on the white liner and the fashion fabric.

Step 1. sew the seams on the white liner and the fashion fabric.

First, sew the seams of the two main pieces. Finish the raw edges so they don’t fray when it comes time to wash the liners. I used a simple zig-zag stitch. No need to be too fancy!

Step.2. Set the fashion fabric inside the white cotton unfinished sides together.

Step.2. Set the fashion fabric inside the white cotton unfinished sides together.

Press the seams to they lay nice and flat, I pressed the seams in opposite directions on the white lining, so the seams would nest against each other and be less bulky.  Turn the pieces so  that the fashion fabric sits inside the white lining. Make sure the wrong sides are together – both pieces should be right side out.  Pin the pieces together at the top and baste them about 1/4 inch from the edge.

Prepare the band, fold up lower edge twice, fold in ends twice.  Stitch the lower edge 5/8 in. from the edge to form the casing, stich ends neatly.

Prepare the band, making sure the birds will end up right side up!

Next, prepare your upper band. This needs to be cut the perimeter of the basket measurement, plus  an extra 14 inches – 3 inches for each corner and one inch on either end for finishing. Fold  one long edge twice, and the ends once or twice. Shown below the short edges are folded once, since the fabric’s selvedge forms the edge  and will not fray.  Stitch the long edge  5/8 inch from the edge to form the casing for the elastic and the short ends 1/4 inch from the edge to neaten.

Attach the upper band to the base, right sides together. Leaving pleats at the corners.

Attach the upper band to the base, right sides together. Leaving pleats at the corners.

Pin the prepared upper band to the formed base. You can gather the corners if you like, but I found it just as easy to pin the edges, leaving the loops of fabric over the corners. These were then pleated as I came to them when stitching the pieces together. Attach the band using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Finish the raw edges using a zig-zag stitch or encase them in some bias tape for fancy Hong Kong seams!

Insert elastic, or you could use ribbon to gather in the top edge.

Insert elastic, or you could use ribbon to gather in the top edge. I was being very thrifty with my fabric so the selvedge edge complete with production details are visible on the inside edge. I don’t mind at all.

Next, press the seam so that it lays nicely. Insert the elastic and secure the ends.

Tie a length of ribbon to decorate if you like. Just thread it around the elastic.

Tie a length of ribbon to decorate if you like. Just thread it around the elastic.

Almost done! Set the liner in the basket, fold over the band and even out the gathers from the elastic. Finish with a satin ribbon if you like.Loop it over the elastic and tie in a simple bow.

basketliner.insideAll done!

All done, pretty and smooth lining. No rough edges to snag on hand or machine made socks.

All done, pretty and smooth lining. No rough edges to snag on hand or machine-made socks.

The basket now has a smooth cotton lining inside and along the outer edge. Delicate fabrics and textiles can now safely be stored. No rough edges to catch on hand knit socks or other textiles.

Set of 4 completed on and under the Sundvick wardrobe.

Set of four Knarra Baskets with lining. Two above and two below Sundvik wardrobe.

Two above, and two below; a pretty and practical storage solution.

I also made a few liners for my yarn storage baskets from this pretty floral print.

I also made a few liners for my yarn storage baskets from this pretty floral print.

I also made some liners for the baskets in my office area with a pretty floral print. I didn’t put bows on these as they are kept on the shelf sideways.  I could have oriented the opening to sit along one long side, but didn’t. For now the fabric is pretty enough as it is, as is the overflowing yarn!

Now I need to get onto making some quilted drawer liners..oh, and I have a kitchen island to paint!

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Coryna

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