My 3 Monsters: Burlap Potato Basket Liners

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3.19.2012

Burlap Potato Basket Liners

As I was preparing my laundry baskets to plant potatoes on Saturday I decided that I needed to cute-ify them a little bit.  My thinking was that maybe people wouldn't think I was plum-crazy for having laundry baskets full of dirt next to my front door if they looked ruffly and fun.  They won't, right?  So I endured my husband's eye rolling and sewed up some burlap liners.

I used two yards of fabric for my two small laundry baskets.  The first thing you need to do is measure your basket -- around the top edge and the depth.  Mine were 48 inches around and 12 inches deep.  For each of my baskets I cut:
  • 1 piece of fabric for the liner sides 49 inches long by 13 inches wide {the top dimension + 1 inch by the depth + 1 inch}
  • 1 piece of fabric for the ruffle 72 inches long by 6 inches wide {these dimensions are completely arbitrary -- more length = more ruffle, more width = wider ruffle}
  • 1 round piece of fabric for the liner bottom  {just trace around the outside of your basket bottom onto your fabric and cut}
1.  Fold your side piece in half and sew the short edges together. Do the same for your ruffle piece.
2.  Fold your ruffle piece in half length-wise WRONG SIDES TOGETHER {the hot-dog way, if you speak 2nd grade} so the long raw edges are together.  NOTE:  Burlap doesn't really have a right or wrong side, but once you stitch the ends together the RIGHT SIDE becomes the side where the raw edges of your seam DON"T show and the WRONG SIDE is where they DO.  Make sense? 

You'll now have a loop of fabric 71-ish inches around and 3 inches wide.  Stitch around the raw edges with a long stitch length to gather the fabric up.  When I gather fabric, I crank the tension on my machine as high as it will go and set the stitch length as long as it will go and let the machine do all the work of gathering for you.  Soooo much faster!  {In the picture I didn't fold my fabric in half because I thought I might like the look of a wider, unfinished ruffle, but it was really a lot cuter when folded in half.} Pin your ruffle to the WRONG SIDE of the liner side fabric and sew all around the top edge.  {Don't forget to reset the stitch length and tension of your machine to normal before you sew it here!}
3.  Take your bottom fabric {the circle} and fold it into quarters.  Mark each fold with a pin.  If it were a clock face, you'd be putting a pin at 12, 3, 6, and 9.  Then mark each quarter of the bottom edge of the liner side fabric.  You could get all math-y and measure here, but I just fold the loop of  fabric in half with the seam on one side and mark the seam and the fold opposite it.  Then I bring those two pins together and lay the fabric flat again and mark each fold with a pin there, too.

With RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, match up the four pins around the bottom edge of your liner side fabric with the four pins at the quarters of your circle fabric.  You'll have a lot of extra fabric on the liner side since the top of your basket is probably wider than the base.  I just made it fit by making a large pleat in between each of the pins.  I tried to take a picture of that, but it's hard to hold the fabric with one hand and the camera with the other, y'all.  The important thing to remember is that this is a liner . . . for a potato basket . . . and it doesn't have to look too nice.
{Just push all that extra fabric down flat and stick a couple pins in it.}

4.  Once you have it all pinned, sew around the bottom edge.

5.  Turn it all right side out and stick it in the laundry basket, like so:
From here you just take it outside, fill it with soil and plant away!  It took a little extra time {like maybe half an hour to sew both liners}, but I think it's worth it in the long run since they're right next to my front door.  If I had a bigger yard and these weren't going to be so "on display"  I might not have bothered.  
I'll keep you all posted and show you what they look like as the potato plants start to grow.  Don't forget to enter the Miracle-Gro Expand-n-Gro giveaway I have going on right now to win some lovely planting mix for yourself.

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