Friday, April 18, 2008

Doll's Basket Tutorial

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This doll's basket is very easy to make. I've used the pattern from an old Family Circle sewing book ("Family Circle Treasury of Dolls & Cuddly Toys"). The instructions weren't very clear and caused me to make a jumbled mess before I realised where I was going wrong. I've now re-written the instructions and taken lots of photos while making the basket and I hope someone might find it useful. If you do use it, please drop me a line and show me your basket!

Materials:
I used denim and the book recommends garbardine.

Cut 1, 136 X 30cm piece of material for basket sides & matching interfacing
Cut 1, 136 X 4.5cm piece of material for reinforcing strip
Cut 2, 30 X 10cm handles
Cut 2, 52 X 27cm rectangles of material to form the base of the basket. The material base will have a 1cm seam allowance bigger then the masonite/cardboard base. The corners need to be curved.
Cut 1, 50 X 25 rectangle of heavy cardboard or masonite to use as the base of the basket. You will need to round the edges.

Step 1 - Cut out the basket pieces. Use heavy-weight interfacing on the basket panel as you will want the basket sides to be strong enough to stand up on their own.

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Step 2 - Fold the handles in half and then fold each edge into the middle to create a casing. Iron these edges. Sew along the length of each handle a number of times to reinforce them.

Step 3 - Fold the basket side in half and iron it to mark a line that we will work off for the rest of the tutorial. Unfold the basket side panel and lay it flat on your work area. Allow for a 1 cm seam line at each end of your length of fabric, then mark half and quarter markings along the length of the fabric.

Step 4 - Sew the handles 6 cm on either side of the quarter markings and 1 cm below the fold line. Reinforce the handle stitches as you see fit.

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Step 5 - Take the reinforcing strip and fold it in 1 cm on either side. Lay the strip right sides facing onto the basket side and match the upper reinforcing fold line with the basket side fold line. Sew this edge to the basket so that it will then fold down and meet up with the basket side fold line (and hence the top of the basket edge when everything is folded down later on).

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Step 6 - Turn the reinforcing strip down and then sew the bottom edge of the reinforcing strip to the main basket.

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The unit should look as follows:

Basket layout

Step 7 - Pin the edges of the basket panel together to form a large circle. With right sides together, sew 1cm from the seam.

Basket layout2

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Step 8 - You will work with everything inside out for the next few steps. Open the basket panel and place upright on the table to create a circular shape. Take one of the basket bases and pin it to the bottom part of the basket panel (the handles will point to the top of the basket, so the other end is the bottom). I marked quarter marks around the basket sides and around the basket base to help me distribute the base evenly. Sew all the way around - right sides are facing. Use a 1cm seam allowance. This part will become the basket's "outer" wall and base.

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Step 9 - Turn the unit over and pin the other basket base to the top part of the basket wall. Only sew half way around this end. This part will become the basket's "inner" wall.

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Step 10 - Turn the basket inside out by pulling the fabric through the hole you have left while sewing the base. Do you remember how we put a fold in the basket walls at the very beginning? Now you can use this fold to create the sides of the basket. You now have an outer and inner part to the basket.

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Step 11 - Insert your piece of cardboard or masonite into the base of the basket. Hand stitch the opening in the inside of the basket closed.

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Step 12 - Well done! You have finished your doll's basket!

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16 comments:

AJ said...

Oh Lovely....I remember having one as a child....will definatley be making one of those!!

Kylie said...

That is lovely - well done. I have also recently seen something similar in a handmade magazine - I love how all of the old things are becoming new again!

ingrid said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial. It will come in handy for gifts for all the little girls I know.

Kat said...

Thanks for posting this tutorial! I can't wait to try it!
Kat

saffiertje said...

poh this is sooooo cute!!! Think I will make these for the girls for santa clause at 5 th of december the dutch prensent night...

Love Miranda

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to have found this tutorial. I will be making this very soon for my precious daughter's baby doll that Santa is bringing. I'm wondering....can you tell me how much fabric it takes? I need to buy fabric and I need to know an estimate on the amount to buy! Thanks so much!

Juni said...

Hiya anon - in reply to your question on how much fabric you'll need, you'll want a piece of material 70cm by 140cm to make sure you can fit all the pieces in.

Anonymous said...

I want to use your tutorial to make a doll basket for my 3 year old daughter for Christmas. I can't see the pictures that go with the text. Is there a way to repost the pictures? Thank you so much! I was up past 1 am looking for on-line directions to make one of these and your's is the best!

Anonymous said...

I also would love to see the pictures - they aren't showing up for me - thanks!

Katie said...

I just made one of these for my little's girls 2nd birthday. It looks super and the instructions were easy, pictures great! Thankyou!
Now just have to make the doll blankets, etc! :-D

Anonymous said...

I have made a carrier for my daughters dollies. I couldn't find a pattern either and just made up what i thought looked real. Yours looks A LOT less complicated! Wish i had seen this before attempting to make one! Well done :)

Pat said...

I have spent ages looking for a pattern like this. It looks fantastic many thanks for ending my search I will be trying the tutorial very soon

Anonymous said...

Well done tutorial.Easy to follow directions. I used plastic canvas as the support in case it needs to be washed. I encourage you to rename this tutorial to include the words doll bassinet in your title. I came across this by sheer luck while doing a search for a bassinet. This is the best one on line. Thanks!

Donna Barclay said...

Thanks so much- I have just made one for my daughter who becomes a big sister tomorrow. I used some heavy duty rubber on the bottom and denim. I actually had the book, but was so confused by it, I started googling for others! You made is so much easier to understand.

I tried to include a pic but it wont let me. I used denim that had blue, red and white flowers printed on it and then a heavy red material inside. The book had a liner but thought that was unneccesary.

Juni said...

Thank you so much for all the feedback. I'm so glad these instructions are helping people. Think of all the kids receiving a hand made bassinette/basket! :)
Donna - I reckon that a plain coloured basket and then a more decorative colour on a mattress or blanket inside would be the best look.

Jmarsh f said...

Thank you for the great tutorial!