This past weekend I was experimenting with various designs of fabric storage baskets. I have seen so many cute ones lately on Instagram, by people who are participating in 2017 Triangle Gatherings Sew Along, or the Moda BlockHeads Sew Along. They use the baskets to hold the fat quarters they are using for their sew along projects. So cute. Some folks actually used yardage of the collection they were sewing with to make their baskets. So cute and coordinated.
The first basket I made was from a tutorial on the blog St Louis Folk Victorian. I used four different fabrics from my stash and some fusible quilt batting. The result was not quite structured enough for me, and the basket seemed kind of floppy. The fabric packed inside helped hold its shape, but I would have liked a firmer interfacing.
The second basket was so stiff I could hardly work with it. I more or less used this tutorial from Birch Fabrics. I used an ultra firm interfacing called PelTex, which I bought at JoAnns. Oh my gosh, this stuff was so stiff! It was like what you would use to make a hat or something. It was so stiff I couldn't really sew it, but just kind of formed it inside the outer fabric and lining. It was impossible to top stitch, and I ended up gluing the lining fabric in place rather than sewing it (where it overlaps at the top). It was a proper little box, super stiff sided, but really hard to work with. The final size was a bit smaller than I wanted as well.
My third effort was kind of a combination of the previous patterns and materials, and was a bit closer to what I wanted in terms of size, but since I was still trying to use the PelTex interfacing, it was really hard to work with. I pretty much bent the heck out of the sides trying to wrestle it into shape.
So, do any of you know of an interfacing somewhere in between PelTex (which is more like cardboard) and the floppier fusible quilt batting we all know and love? I was so mystified when I was shopping at JoAnns. They had a ton of stuff in their interfacing section, but I had no idea really of what I was looking at. There was a numbering system that was incomprehensible to me: 71F, 70, 72F etc. Turns out the F stands for Fusible, which actually may have been useful, but who knows? There sure wasn't any store personnel available to advise me.
I can still use these little baskets, but they weren't exactly what I was aiming for in terms of structure/sturdiness. I'd love some recommendations from any of you who have made this type of fabric basket/bin.
By the way, I discovered a YouTube instructional video on making these little baskets. Here is the link for any of you who enjoy a real visual instruction.