Every now and then my dear husband comes to me with a very serious problem… there is a hole in the crutch of his jeans. This usually comes with a side comment that he was hoping to wear them the next day. I usually tell him to deposit them into the mending box, from which very few things return, though surprisingly they are often the only things that actually come out. This actually has nothing to do with how much I love him and much more to do with the fact that mending jeans reminds me of sashiko. Needless to say I have been known to eye off said jeans for months until they just get too worn to mend anymore. Poor jeans, poor husband, happy Mrs Winter.
Stitch detail – sashiko on old jeans
I was particularly happy to finally get a pair of grey jeans from him, where the inside is much darker than the stone-washed outside. I started stitching the front of one leg many months ago with no real idea of what it might become; then a few days ago I looked at it and it came to me, I wanted to make a cloth basket. I have seen them around made of canvas in neutral, gold and bright colours and I had been thinking how much I’d love to make one.
There are many tips, designs and tutorials online on how to do sashiko from what I can gather, so I’m not covering that here. Below is a tutorial for the basket itself. It is quite large, perfect for a medium sized knitting wool collection or a small bin. The best fabrics to use are stiff and fairly thick. This was so quick to make and I really look forward to making more.
Large cloth basket tutorial
You will need:
80cm (30in) x 20cm (7.8 in) of feature fabric – this is the sashiko stitched jeans in my case
80cm (30in) x 12cm (4.7in) of hessian
one hessian circle with a 24cm (9.4in) diameter
one strong cotton (calico/canvas) circle, also 24cm (9.4in) in diameter
1. Finish off all the edges of the hessian rectangle piece. Finish off the edges of the hessian circle by zig-zaging or overlocking (surging) together with the strong cotton circle.
Cloth basket tutorial – finishing off edges of hessian fabrics – circle detail
2. Pin the hessian and feature rectangle pieces together at the desired edge and sew together
Sewing together the hessian and feature rectangle pieces
3. Fold this out and refold lengthwise, right sides together. Sew together side seam
sewing side seam
4. Cut excess material from this side seam
Cloth basket tutorial – cutting off excess material from side seam
5. Turn right side out and sew the same seam again (making a french seam)
stitching a french seam
6. Turn inside out and pin in circle piece to bottom edge.
(If you find the circle is too big, pin down half and hold the basket upright to see how big it should be. Mark this size, cut the new circle, finish this edge and pin this correctly sized circle to the bottom edge.)
Pin circle piece to the bottom edge
7. Sew the circle to the feature piece using zig-zag for extra stiffness
8. Turn right side out and fold the lip down 1/3 and then 1/2 again. All done!
Folded down basket lip – here with a peg to keep lip and bin bag in place
The lip does not stay in place so easily, but I really wanted the option of folding the edge of a bin bag into it so that rubbish doesn’t fall into the actual basket. I’ve used pegs to keep it in place. Did you solve this problem differently?