July 3, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

This week's tutorial has quickly become one of my favorite items to use. When I am on my bike, I have to be able to have quick access to my bike lock, water, keys, and sometimes a cell phone. Occasionally there's an impromptu stop at the Thursday Farmer's Market, and if I buy some fruit or flowers, I need somewhere to put them so they don't get crunched or bruised in my backpack. A basket helps out in that department, and now I have a cute bicycle basket liner to tote my items in.

My goal with these tutorials is to help you find unique and fun ways to infuse embroidery into different places, so I added some embroidery to this bike basket liner. You can add any image or words you like, but I used the word bicycle in French. If you would like to use my handwriting as a template it's available for you, here.

A note before we begin: My bike basket is sort of awkwardly shaped, it isn't round or oval, and it isn't square either, it's an odd combination of all of the above. If you have a completely oval basket, you may want to omit the sides and use the front, back, and bottom panels. If you have a square shaped basket, you may want to omit the angles I have here.

If you're up to trying this out, here's what you'll need for a double-sided/ reversible bike basket liner:
-Measuring tape
-Fabric (a yard and a half will be enough)
-Ribbon or seam binding (3 yards)
-Sewing machine with thread and needles
-Embroidery floss, hoop, and needle

I also used a rotary cutter and a cutting mat, but if you don't have one, make sure you protect the table or work surface you'll be cutting on.

** I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance for all sewing machine stitches, unless otherwise noted.**

Step 1: Create a pattern using the paper and your basket. Lay the basket directly on a piece of paper with the middle at the straight edge of the paper and draw along the angle of the outer edge. Cut it with the rotary cutter to create a straight line. You'll be placing this piece on the fold of the fabric in order to create the front and back panels. (My measurements are 7.5 inches across the top, 4.25 inches across the bottom, 11inches long on the straight side, and 11.5 inches long on the angled side).

Step 2: Create a pattern for the base by placing the basket on a piece of paper and trace completely around it. (My measurements are 10 inches across on the wider side, 6.5 inches across the shorter width, and 8 inches deep).

Step 3: Create the last pattern piece for the side of the basket. I biffed it a bit here and placed the basket directly on the fabric. I used the template I had cut from Step 1 to angle this piece.

Step 4: Now you can use your pattern pieces to cut the fabric.

**NOTE: Make sure to add 1-inch around each pattern piece you cut to account for seam allowances.**
For a double-sided basket, cut 4 of the front and back panels with the straight edge on the fold of the fabric.
Cut 2 of the bottom pieces.

Cut 4 of the side panels.

Step 5: Time to sew both sides of the bike basket liner. Stitch the front panel to each of the side panels, then stitch those to the back panel, right sides together. I laid this inside of the basket to make sure I got the overhang I wanted.

Step 6: Pin the bottom to the pieces you just sewed, making sure to line up the corners and sides, with right sides together. You can see from mine, that there were some gathers because of the extra inch I added to the pattern. I tried to make pleats at the corners so it wouldn't tug at the corners once I placed it in the basket. Once you have pinned this to your liking, sew it all the way around with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Your basket liner should look something like this now.

Step 7: Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the lining, but leave an opening at one of the seams between the back panel and side panel in order to turn the piece once you have connected the two basket liners.

Step 8: Now it's time to add your embroidery. You can add your embroidery prior to cutting your fabric, but I wanted to make sure I measured everything correctly, so I added stitchery at this step in the process. I used a pencil to sketch out the word on the fabric and stitched through with a split stitch.

Step 9: This is where we begin to finish the major part of the bike basket liner and its reverse side. Take one liner and place the other inside of it, right sides together and stitch all the way around. Flip it through the space you left in the side seam.

This is what the outer edge seam will look like after you flip it.

Sew that open seam shut with a stitch close to the edge of the fabric. You could also slip stitch this if you'd like to, I preferred to use the sewing machine for this.

Some baskets don't have handles, but mine does, so I needed to make an opening to account for the handle, and then this required ties. I cover this in the steps that follow.

Step 10: Place the basket liner in the basket and mark the length of the hardware with the basket handle. I cut through both layers of the liner in a squared off angle. Then created a hem all the way around that cut.

You can see that hemmed seam in this image.

Step 11: I used seam binding tape as the ties for liner. I cut the binding in exactly half and stitched the open end. I strung it through the basket liner, placed the liner in the basket and tied it over the basket handle.

Step 12: Enjoy your bike basket liner!

I know there are few steps here, but once you get started they go somewhat quickly. Hope you have a chance to try this out!

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a lover of all things stitchy and crafty. I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me how to sew Barbie clothes when I was young and I have been sewing ever since.

You can find me at Bobbypin Bandit, on Instagram, and my Etsy shop.


  1. Holy batman! That is the cutest basket liner ever! Way to go! Now i want a basket on my bike just to make this! Clever girl!

  2. It's lovely, and I love your fun fabric choices!

  3. Very good tutorial, I especially like that you showed the measuring and odd shape of your basket and hopefully those with other shapes will be able understand and adapt!!  Very cute fabrics by the way!!!

  4. Super cute and useful idea!

  5. Cute!  I have this same basket and was wondering how to create a pattern!  Thanks so much for sharing. ~~Robyne~~

  6. What a great idea with a cute embroirdered touch!  I tagged this so I can make one for my daughter once she gets a bike and has a little basket in the front to hold her favorite toy, snack, etc.  This would be great in oilcloth to to hold produce items from the farmers market and would be easy to wipe down.

  7. So cute, I'll do it asap for mine
    Thanks a lot for the pattern and the idea