Pattern: Download HERE You will need Adobe Reader/Acrobat to open the PDF. Assembly instructions and the supply list are on the last page of the pattern.
8 Fat Quarters or Equivalent (2 yds)
Only 2 FQ will be visible so the remainder of the fabric can be scrap yardage, old/new sheets, muslin, etc.
Corrugated cardboard cut into five (5) 12.75" squares
Must be w/o creases or folds. I bought the Expedit shelves above and had enough cardboard from the packing boxes for all 8 bins.
15" Steam-A-Seam or other fusible web strip
1 Freezer baggie or 1 small piece of clear plastic/vinyl - cut to approximately 2" x 2.5".
1 Piece of scrap paper for label
Tape to hold baggie/plastic in place while sewing
Other sewing/cutting supplies:
Thread, scissors/rotary cutter & mat, ruler, sewing machine, iron & ironing board/mat
Note: If you are planning on these covers to be washable, you will need to pre-wash your fabrics before cutting, and then finish the seam allowances during construction so they don't fray in the laundry. I recommend pinking shears. You can use a serger/overlocker, but read through the instructions and visualize the entire process first so you'll know when/where to overlock.
1. Assemble pattern and lay out on fabric.
In the photo below, the green fabric on top is an actual Fat Quarter (18"x22"), the print underneath is a generous FQ and the plaid is just scrap yardage folded into 2 layers. 4 layers of fabric total. Each of these layers will be one side of the outside of the bin.
2. Cut the fabric. Be sure to save those strips as shown below to use for the cuff and the handle.
3. You'll have other scraps left and if you're a quilter, I'm sure you can find a use for them.
4. Using the same "house" pattern piece, cut out 4 lining pieces. I was doing assembly-line sewing for 4 bins, so I've got 12 lining pieces here from an unloved king-sized sheet, with plenty of leftover.
5. Next up is cutting out the cuff pieces (below left). The pattern is divided into 2 sections. If you're doing this on the cheap like me, you will use the shorter section for the "public" side of the bin and the longer piece for the sides that don't show, joining them up to form a 51" x 4.5" band.
If you're spendy :-), don't divide the cuff pattern and use it whole.
From my sheet used above for the lining pieces, I just cut random length 4.5" strips, joined the "public" cuff piece and trimmed them to 52" (52" includes 2 half-inch seam allowances. The finished tube will be 51" as noted above.)
6. Next up are the handles. From the strips used to cut the "public" cuff, you should have enough left to squeak out a 7"-7.5" x 2.5" strip. (See photo above.)
7. Fold the long edges toward the center, using the pattern markings as a guide. Apply Steam-A-Seam to each long raw edge and seal your handle closed.
8. Edgestitch along the long edges of the strip. Press the short raw ends under about 3/4"-1". If you're making more than one bin, note your finished handle length and use the same length for all handles if you want them all to match.
9. Pin your handle 5" - 5.5" inches down from the top edge of the front piece, leaving about 1" of "give" in the length so the handle is not flush against the front (see photo below). Stitch folded-under ends down in a square pattern to attach the handle to the front.
10. Using Scotch tape or whatever tape is handy, tape the baggie/plastic centered about 1/2" below the handle. Edgestitch the bottom and sides, as shown below, stitching through the tape. When finished, remove the tape.
Note: You will have to be careful when pressing once this plastic is in place so you may want to save this step for right before you insert the cardboard sides.
11. Press under the top edge of your cuff tube 1/2" and topstitch 3/8" down from the fold to create a finished hem. The short piece is my "public" cuff. The plaid is scrap. Remember, I was assembly-line sewing - the king sheet strips you saw in the above photos were used on other bins.
Set cuff aside for the moment.
12. As per the pattern, mark dots as shown below on the wrong sides of your 4 cover and 4 lining pieces.
13. Sew 2 of the 4 cover pieces right sides together, as shown. Pivot at the side dot and be sure to stop 1/2" from the bottom point on the dot mark. Be careful to not sew over any of the other pieces' points/seam allowances when you are at the point. You can feel them through the fabric, so just move them out of the path of the needle if necessary. It's OK to stop a little short of the point — it won't show. ;-) Also, remember that the points are on the bias and take care not to stretch the bias edges.
14. Repeat so that all 4 cover pieces are joined right sides together. You will end up with a cover that looks like this on the bottom, where the 4 points come together to form an X.
15. Repeat steps 13 & 14 for the 4 lining pieces.
16. Clip up to but NOT INTO the stitching at all corners on both cover and lining. See photo and drawing below. Do not clip the bottom point.
17. Press all seams open. Press the intersections at the point as flat as possible.
18. On the cover only, press the top raw edge under 1/2". Topstitch 3/8" in from the top to close the hem.
19. Back to the cuff tube you set aside earlier. Match the raw edge of the cuff tube to the top raw edge of the lining, right sides together. Center the "public" cuff section, if you have one, across one of the lining panels. You are trying to avoid a seam-to-seam match up at the corners for less bulk when assembling the bin later.
20. Press the joined cuff and lining flat, with the seam allowance pressed toward the lining.
21. This next part is tricky to describe and almost impossible to show intelligible photos through all the steps so follow along carefully and exactly.
a. Turn the cover right side out.
b. Turn the lining wrong side out.
c. Place lining inside the cover so that wrong sides face each other and each piece's side seam allowances are roughly matched up across from each other. (The cuff will extend at the top.)
Be sure to match your "public" cuff lining section with the "public" front face fabric of the cover.
d. Reach in between the cover and lining pieces and pick one pair of seam allowances (1 from the cover, 1 from the lining) and pin them together from the snip at the corner to the hem at the top of the cover. Sew the seam allowances together outside the existing seam in the existing seam allowance. Your new stitching should be 1/16" to 1/8" outside of the previous sideseam stitching.
In the photo below, the blue line is the existing stitching and the red line is the stitching you are doing in this step. Stitch starting about 3/4" below the cover's hem and stitch to the snips in the corner, keeping the seam allowance raw edges aligned and flat.
e. DO NOT pin more than one pair of seam allowances together at a time or you will end up with a twisted bunch of fabric you can't turn. Trust me. It is a lot easier to rearrange the cover and lining between each step of joining them together. So, when you have finished joining one pair of seam allowances, start from step 21(a) above for the next pair. Continue until all four seam allowances are joined and turn everything so the right sides are out on both cover and lining.
22. At this point, your bin cover should resemble this:
23. If you haven't cut your cardboard squares, do that now. I use my 60 mm rotary cutter and it's a breeze! Plus my sons think it sounds pretty cool, and I haven't noticed the cardboard dulling the blade at all.
(Add your plastic label holder now if you deferred this step from above.)
Slide 1 cardboard square into each of the 4 pockets between cover and lining you created in step 21. Go slow — the pockets will be snug and if you force the cardboard, you'll bend it.
24. With 4 cardboard panels in place, your bin is starting to take shape and will resemble this:
25. Fold the cuff over the cardboard edge and cover, to resemble this:
26. Almost there!
Right now, the bottom of your bin is still floppy fabric, like this:
27. If you're industrious and care about unseen details, you can cover the last cardboard square with some fabric and stitching or even glue, but I know no one will ever see the bottom of these bins but me, so I just …
28. … pushed the uncovered square inside as-is.
Start with the square on edge against one side of the bin and then lower it like a drawbridge until it's flat across the bottom.
This is the back view of the above bin. You can see how easily they can be turnable-reversible with a different print on each cover panel. These fabrics may not look like scraps, but trust me — they've all been used a lot and are definitely leftovers.
These bins use more "traditional" scraps and old sheets. Really bad cutting on that plaid - no way that side will ever see the light of day again. ;-)
If you use this tutorial to make your own bins, I'd love to see a photo!