Project: Baskets

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I like the idea of giving gifts in a reusable bag that I’ve made. I mentioned this to my sister, Jess and she told me that she’s done the same, but has used baskets. Jess shared a basket tutorial from sew4home that I decided to use for both my mom’s Mother’s day gift and a bridal shower gift.

I used the following supplies (2 different baskets):

Pink Basket:

Total Materials Cost: $17.86

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Bridal Basket:

Total Materials Cost: $15.52

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The baskets took about 4 hours to make. Each basket has 4 layers of fabric, interfacing, and batting so assembly took a bit of time. I found the stiff interfacing to be quite difficult to work with. Especially at the seams, it was tough to sew through. I ended up hand turning my machine so that I could go slow. When I didn’t go slowly through this part, the thread broke on me.

Pinning with the stiff interfacing was also a challenge. I ended up weaponizing the basket to hold the pieces in place.

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Look at those amazing pins of stabbing!

I also didn’t really like the look that the stiff interfacing gave to the basket. It made the slantedness of the basket very obvious, in addition to being more rigid than I thought was required for a gift basket. So I decided to try medium interfacing for the bridal basket. That worked well – the basket sides didn’t cave in and it was much easier to pin and sew.

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Pins go right through the medium interfacing. No more weapons!

The lining fabric for the bridal basket was a bit difficult to work with. When I first tried to sew the batting, I found that the needle wasn’t passing through the fabric at all. I switched to a stretch needle and everything was better from there on out.

It was important to use a walking foot in both baskets. This helped to keep all of the layers of fabric together, especially at the thick seams.

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Rigid sides had the benefit of supporting a bottle of wine.

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I was happy with the look of each basket when they were filled with the rest of the gifts. I was especially happy with the look and feel of the bridal basket.

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Project: Relaxing Eye Mask

Deborah Moebes’s Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time* includes a relaxing eye mask project. The project has you create an eye mask filled with lentils and your choice of pretty smelling things.

I used the following supplies:

Total Materials Cost (1 mask): $15.41

A second mask only incurred the cost of a second fat quarter.

Total Materials Cost (2 masks): $17.72

Time Spent: About 2 hours

The first order of business in this project is making the mask’s ties. The ties are challenging because they are tiny and need to be turned inside out after sewing. I pulled the first tie inside out using only my fingers (pulling a tiny bit up at a time) with much frustration. Deborah recommends using a knitting needle to assist with this step. Unfortunately the ball on mine was too big to be of help. So I tried to use the point of my knitting needle and successfully poked a hole in the fabric (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻.  My fingers were cramped after I finished the first one. I still had the longer of the two ties to invert!

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Not another!

I found a crochet hook to help me out. The longer tie was a bit too long for my crochet hook to be entirely effective though. At my complaints, Alek found me a drink stirrer with a ball on the bottom – I had the second tie inverted in no time flat!

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The ties and the tools for the job

Stitching this piece wasn’t very difficult, I just went slowly to take care with the curves. I made the lentil, rose petal, and orange peel mixture to fill it with. I asked Alek to hold the mask while I filled it, I’m pretty sure that filling required two people. Finally I hand stitched the seam where I left the opening for filling.

The finished product has a nice romantic scent and feels nice and cool! Its a great mother’s day gift!

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The finished product!

I had enough of the lentil, rose petal, orange peel mixture to make a second one of these. I choose a white and grey fat quarter from the Massdrop Modern Summer Anapola Fat Quarter Bundle. This one made a wonderful bridal shower gift.

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Angry bird calms down while modeling a relaxing eye mask.

*These are Amazon Associate links