Saturday, March 03, 2018

Easy rope basket tutorial

Here's a great basket making tutorial! You can make them in an array of colours and sizes, just experiment a little and see how they turn out.

You can also make placemats and pot mats as well. They make for fabulous original gifts!

So gather up those scraps and let's get started!

You will need:

Fabric scrap strips - approximately 1-1.5cm wide (1/4''-3/4'') in a variety of colours
Rope - no wider than 6mm (1/8'')  as it needs to fit under your sewing machine foot

Step 1:Prepare your strips of fabrics. I divide mine into colours and keep them in zip lock bags. I like to have more linen and hemp strips as I use these the most. This way whenever you are sewing something and have some scraps you can just put them directly in a bag.

Step 2: Decide whether you are going to do a mixed colour baskets or just blue etc.

Step 3: Put your machine on the zig zag stitch. I have mine set on a 2.5 stitch size. You don't want the stitches to be too small as they need hold the basket together.

Step 4: Take the end of the rope and your first strip, wrap it twice around the end, pin. Please note I do not cut my rope at this point I cut it at the end when I feel what I'm making is large enough.

Proceed to wrap slightly diagonally along the rope until the length of the strip is finished.

When you arrive to the end take your next strip and start wrapping where the last one ended. Make sure you overlap them and place a pin where they join.

Proceed in this manner until you have covered a large amount of rope. I normally sit and wrap the rope for 30-60 minutes and then start sewing. This way I don't have to start and stop sewing all the time. It's quite a long, boring job so I put on my favourite TV program (My Kitchen Rules Aust) and watch that. It makes it a little less painful!!! I ended up wrapping nearly 7 meters for this basket.

If I find I need to wrap more I will do so whilst my project is still in the sewing machine.

Step 5: Take the end and start to wrap into a coil as shown in the photo. Place a pin through it to hold.

Place it under the sewing machine foot, remove the pin and zig zag back and forth to hold.

Start to sew around catching both pieces of rope with the zig zag stitch. As you can see in the photo the center of the foot travels in the center between the rope so the stitches catch both sides.

Continue going around until the base is the size you would like. Please note with my left hand I guide the piece in a circle and with my right hand I hold the loose rope close so the machine catches it.

My base was approximately 14.5cm (6'').

Step 6: Building up the sides. Now hold the base up at a 90° angle and continue sewing around as before. 

Your left hand will hold the base up and the righthand will continue holding the loose rope close so the machine catches it.

 As you continue around you'll see the sides slowly build up. It's pretty cool and fun!

When you decide your sides are high enough cut off the rope, make sure the end is wrapped and covered with fabric, hold it as close to the basket as possible and stitch backwards and forwards to secure it.
My 6.8m of wrapped rope made a basket with a base 14.5cm (6'') diameter and sides 6cm (2.25'') high.

Please note: if you run out of wrapped rope in the middle of stitching. Just stop and wrap some more the same way you did in the beginning. I don't even remove my project from the machine. I just stop sewing and start wrapping.

To make placemats or pot mats you start as before following steps 1 to 5. I used about 4m of wrapped rope to create a decent sized pot mat.

Towards the end cut the rope.

If you want to create a loop, tuck the end in between your 2 layers and hold firmly.

First I stitch back and forth towards the loop. Just a little way to make it strong.

Then I stitch a little way to attach is to the rest of the mat.

To make a place mat you will probaby need 8-10m of wrapped rope depending on how large you want it.

When you come to the end just end it off the same way you did the basket. To finish mine off I just randomly stitched some fabrics around the edges.
As you can see even though the rope wrapping part is a little boring I love making them and now have quite a collection!!!!

I would love to hear your thoughts about this and how you go should you decide to make some sweet baskets!

Lastly, I am not an expert basket maker but I thought I'd share how I make mine!

Thanks for reading! Best wishes Rachel

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  2. love this.....what kind of thread did you use?

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  4. Do you use poly solid core rope or clothesline rope? I would like a hop plate table protector. My sister n law just introduced me to this.

  5. Just gorgeous and thorough tutorial, thanks very much 😁