Stacy here! By the time I show you how to line these berry baskets into girly giftables, I will have highlighted MANY of my personality flaws along the way. Let’s just agree to embrace imperfection, ok?
As Catherine has pointed out, there is so much good food here on earth for us to enjoy:
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
Genesis 1:29 KJV
In order to experience what local farmers and food artisans are producing, I participate in a weekly market bag from the Greener Grocer. I’m not nearly the chef or foodie that Catherine is, but I do enjoy a ripe juicy tomato or apple that was grown right here in Central Ohio. In the meantime, though… I’m also trying to be aware of the waste we produce at our house. We recycle a lot and try to buy items that generally have less packaging. So as we finish off basket after basket of berries, I’ve been setting them aside with a project in mind. Flaw #1: I have a lot of piles around. Projects don’t materialize as quickly as the ideas!
Some of those piles are of clothes to which I have formed an emotional attachment. I’m better than I used to be though. I can now part with too-small or damaged clothes by moving them to my “fabric stash”. Yep! It’s another reuse pile! That’s where I found this skirt that I wore about 8 years ago. I adore the fabric: a soft cotton of texture, print, and colors so much like the feedsack fabric my Grandma loved. (While we’re on the topic, can we bring back feedsacks?! So much cooler than plastic bags!)
Before cutting into the skirt, I measured the baskets. They’re irregular in size, so I measured each of them and made note of the actual basket measurements: each side, top to bottom, across the bottom of the basket, and the circumference of the outer edge of the basket. The main piece should start at the top edge of one side, go into the bottom, across to the other side, and back up to the top edge. This will leave two small sides that need attached. For any side that will have a seam, allow an extra 1/4 inch seam allowance. Flaw #2: I’m not that great with math or 3D mental images. I could have used an extra half inch around the top of my lining to allow for folding over the edge. Consider as you make your own… another alternative would be to make a shorter ruffle that stands up, eliminating the need to fold over. What I lack in arithmetic, I make up for in creativity! Ha!
Now, nothing here needs to be perfect. With that in mind, and to avoid more measuring, I folded my pieces in half to find the middle and line them up for pinning. To do this, fold the larger piece in half and mark the center (I simply centered it on my cutting mat.) Then fold the smaller piece and place the fold on the same mark. Unfold the small piece so it is now front sides facing, ready to pin. Repeat for the other side… unfold to see your handiwork.
From here, I ditched the pins. Simply pinch together the sides that remain and sew a 1/4 inch seam. After sewing up all 4 sides, see how it fits in your basket. (I need continual reinforcement that things are turning out ok…) Iron down a small hem (about 1/4 inch) around the top of your liner. Again, remember we don’t need perfection here. No one will notice a wavy hem! They also won’t notice the raw edges sticking out the open side of your basket. Flaw #3: The seamstress has an ugly, stained, and dilapidated ironing board cover. It’d be easier to wash it or make a new one than to photoshop the water stains every time I show you guys something, huh?
Now for the ruffle, or as Takako calls it, the frill. (I love it!) You can refer again to the gathering tutorial over at Make it and love it. I cut about a 3 inch strip of fabric the width of the fabric (about 44 inches). I sewed a long basting stitch along one side (at 3/8th inch or so). Then I pulled the bobbin thread to gather the ruffle. I gathered until I had a length of ruffle to match the circumference measurement for each basket.
Pin your ruffle to the iron-hemmed lining. On the right side of the lining and ruffle, sew the lining over top the ruffle. You’ll have some unfinished business on the back side, but no one will see that if you’re going for a folded-down ruffle. Flaw #4: I was really tempted to try the basket lining on my head as a bonnet and take a picture. I spared you that sight. You’re welcome. If you can’t resist, please share your photo!
Place your lining into the basket, folding the ruffle over the edge. Ooh and ah at how your creative reuse of otherwise disposable items has become a vessel for a beloved gift or other treasure. I used one of the baskets to share this magnetic dress-up doll that I thrifted for my niece. Another one is on its way to bearing a birthday gift and I just may keep one for myself to organize some scrapbooking goodies. Flaw #5: Having lots of containers does not make one a great organizer!
Good luck with your own berry baskets… send pictures!