Sweater Basket Tutorial

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In our house, we have this couch that swallows. everything. Seriously! It is super deep, squishy, and is the kind of couch that hugs you and then robs you of anything you had in your pockets. This couch is amazing and terrible all at once. Kevin (my hubby) is constantly battling with the couch to retrieve clickers (“remotes” for anyone under 30) that have crossed the barrier and are deep in the recesses of the couch belly. We have gone so far as to cut the lining under the couch (that weird gauzy stuff that collects dust bunnies) and stand the couch on its side to shake loose all the treasures it has stolen. Needless to say, many a clicker, cellphone, goldfish cracker, and wallet has been lost. Enter the¬†Sweater Basket Tutorial!

You see, even though there is a designated space in our home for the clickers, no child is capable of putting said clickers in their spot. Here’s hoping a visual reference (the basket) will help make everyone happy and no one turning the couch on its side.

Supplies:

One sweater
Lining fabric
Leather, faux leather, canvas, something sturdy for the bottom
Stiff interfacing (I used tailors interfacing used for hat brims)
Normal sewing supplies

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Start by getting your sweater all laid out. The size of the basket you make will be entirely determined by the sweater. I rolled up the cuff on mine and cut five inches up from the roll of the cuff.

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Here’s what my cut sweater looked like.
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Next, cut the interfacing to match your sweater cut. Mine was cut to five inches by the length of my sweater fabric (again, determined by the sweater and how big you want your basket). Stitch the short ends of the interfacing to make a ring. I serged, but you could easily straight stitch and get good results.
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Grab a marker and place your ring on the wrong side of your leather or bottom fabric. Draw a circle around your ring about an inch bigger all the way around.
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I wanted my basket a little smaller than my sweater, so I cut down my sweater loop a bit and serged it.
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Lining
You will repeat the above steps to make the lining. I used a quilting cotton in a bold geometric pattern to offset the creamy tan sweater knit.

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You should now have pieces like this:
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Serge your five inch lining right sides together to make a ring. Using pins, place the circle bottom right sides together to the lining ring. It’s tricky, but with patience, it’s possible!
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Carefully serge them together.
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You’ve just made the lining! Woo! ūüôā
Now, you have to construct the outside. You will do the same thing with the sweater knit and the leather circle. I flipped my sweater ring inside out so my serged stitches were showing. Then, I pinned it to the right side of the leather. If it helps, pin a few places and then flip it right side out to make sure you are not sewing anything backwards!
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Serge the leather to the sweater ring.
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It should look like this.
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Now comes the fun part of assembling your basket! You’ll be putting wrong sides together…stick with me here! Your liner is going to be right side out. Your sweater is going to be right side in. Tuck the sweater into the liner.
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layers
You’ll have that overlap of your sweater that you need to keep out of the way. Pin the top of the liner to the sweater below your overlap and stitch all the way around.
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Now flip it right side out. You’re nearly there! Fold the flap down toward the liner and stitch about an inch below the stitching you just completed. Be careful. The knit is stretchy and if has a tendency to pull and gather. I went with it and embraced the gather, but if you don’t like that look, you have to go super slow and make sure your knit doesn’t stretch.
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Now all we have to do is make some handles! I used a strip of the leather scrap about 2″x8″. Fold it in half and stitch it down both long sides to give a rustic look. Cut it into half to make two handles.
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Stitch your handles to your basket making sure to sew through all the layers. I used an X type stitch to really secure the handles.
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Now admire your handiwork and find that missing clicker to put in your sweater basket!!!

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xoxo
b.

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