Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Baskets

Easter is this Sunday! As a kid I loved waking up on Easter to find a filled basket. I want to keep the tradition alive my kids.  My son is 4 and has a cheapo basket from the dollar store that he has used in years past and my 18 month old daughter doesn't have one at all. What else is there to do the week before Easter than to make baskets? I did a quick search for Easter baskets and quickly found one I liked. Liesl (of Oliver + S fame) over at disdressed had a great Easter basket she made a couple of years ago. I loved the bunny face and ears. The basket seemed a little too small so I combined Liesl's idea with a tutorial over at Whipstitch. I used the 7 inch basket pattern.  I wanted to find springy fabric, but something that would look clean and classic. Linen was my choice. Okay, a linen blend. When I got to the fabric store Linen and linen blends were on sale, but the linen blend was half the price of linen. I couldn't pass up that price, especially since these baskets will be used once a year.

Yellow for my son and pink for my daughter.
I made the pink version first. I had my husband enlarge the face and ears pattern to fit a 7 inch basket. I only lined the outer fabric with batting. I did use interfacing in the ears, but it was not stiff as Liesl suggests. The pink linen blend had some stretch to it and made it difficult to keep corners lined up. Perhaps an interfacing would have helped with that problem.  The ears turned out to be really long. They were the correct dimension, but gravity didn't agree. In the end having floppy ears worked. My husband even likes them better. They have grown on me. I did put a few stitches in behind the ears to have them stay open a little.

The yellow basket sewed quicker in the sense that I knew what to do, but had its own set of problems. I wanted to make the basket stiffer so I put interfacing on the back of the yellow linen blend. I wanted the ears to stand up for this one so I cut an inch off the bottom of the pattern and lined the ears with fusible fleece. This made the ears VERY thick and difficult to sew into the basket. The ears kept shifting while I sewed and I'm sure my machine didn't appreciate all of the extra bulk. I had to resew the one of the ears 3 times to get it right. BUT, the ears stand up! So in the end it was a success. The corners on this one matched up really well. Maybe the interfacing worked. I also thought the handles would be a little short for my son, so I added 3 inches to make them a little longer for him. 

Here comes Peter Cottontail!
For both baskets I embroidered the face and added the button eyes before sewing the basket together. These baskets sew up quickly and would be nice as organizers or decorations.  I recommend using a batting and lining the other piece of fabric. If making a regular basket you shouldn't have to worry about bulk.

Happy Easter!

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