Tutorial: Picnic basket liner with pockets

Hello, Delia asked me to participate in Color My Summer this month and I am super excited to share my tutorial with you!  
I am going to show you how to make this cute picnic basket liner. :) I'd had this idea for a long time and I'm happy to finally have it come to fruition! For more on why I chose yellow, check out my intro over on Delia's blog.
One of my favorite parts about this picnic basket liner is that it has huge pockets!  Seriously, the largest pocket is big enough to hold an entire loaf of bread! :) The smallest pocket is just the right size for silverware, and I made sure the rest of the pockets were big enough to fit our cups.
Here is a list of everything I fit in the basket for our little picnic.
  • 2 plates, but it could easily fit four. (in center of basket)
  • Bag of spinach (on op of plates)
  • Salad dressing
  • Silverware
  • Bread loaf
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Bag of baby carrots
  • 2 glass cups 
Now that's a heck of a lot of stuff! I am so excited that I'm already planning our next picnic!
     Lets get started.
    Here is what I used:
    • 1 bushel basket.
    • 1 piece of 60in x 17in piece of yellow gingham for the liner.
    • 1 piece of 60in x 10in piece of vintage floral for the pockets.
    • 14in x 14in  piece of yellow gingham for the bottom. (this will eventually be cut into a circle)
    • Bias tape. (Made from left over fabric from another project. I used Dana's tutorial.)
    • Yellow thread.
    Step 1: Okay, the first thing you want to do is sew a zigzag stitch on all the raw edges of your fabric.
    I didn't do this at first and I had fraying and threads everywhere, so I did it at the end, which ended up being a little difficult; so I recommend doing it before you start anything else. 
    (Also don't forget to zigzag around the bottom piece after you cut it into a circle.)

    Step 2: Hem the top of the entire 60"x10" pocket piece and sew it at the bottom to the gingham liner piece. (see illustration below) (Remember don't sew at the top of the pocket piece or you won't be able to use the pockets. )
      Step 3: Sew the dividing lines for the pockets. I made my pockets different sizes, but you can make them any way you want. (To make sure I was sewing straight I flipped it over and followed lines in the gingham fabric.)

    Step 4:  Fold fabric in half with right sides together, and sew the raw edges together to make a tube shape. (see illustration below)

    Step 5: Cut 2 rounded notches on opposite sides of the top of the liner, to accommodate the handles on the basket. (see illustration below) These should measure about 5in deep and 4in wide.
    Step 6: Sew bias tape around the top straight edges.

    Next, sew bias tape around the handle cut outs leaving long strands for ties (see below). I cut two 40in lengths of bias tape and made sure the ties were equal length on both sides of the cut-out. 
    (If you are new to bias tape see Dana's post on how to sew it on.)

     Step 7: Cut the 14x14in piece of fabric into a circle by folding it into fourths and cutting off the corners. I drew a dotted line, (see illustration below) staying 7 inches from the center corner, and cut along the line. Super easy :) (Remember to zigzag the edges of the circle before you move on.)

    Step 8: Gather bottom of tube piece in preparation to sew it to the circle...here's how: Without back-stitching, straight stitch along the bottom of the entire tube piece, leaving enough thread at the end to grab onto.

    Next, pin the circle to the tube on four opposite sides (see illustration below). The idea is to equally distribute the extra fabric on the tube piece between the pins.

    The next thing is to simply pull on one of the threads, and you will see it magically gather like a ruffle. Only pull until it's about the same size as the circle piece. (see illustration below)

    Finally, finish pinning the gathered piece onto the circle piece, and straight-stitch them together like normal.
    It's finished!  Put it in the basket and look at your glorious creation!
     There you go! Now go pack up all your deliciousness, pick the best sunny spot, and have a picnic! You don't even have to go very far to have an adventure; we had our picnic in the front yard!
    We had a blast! It was such a nice day too! In fact we all got a little too much sun, so don't forget to pack the sun block! There's plenty of room for it in the basket thats for sure! :)
    Thanks everyone for stopping by, (and thanks for inviting me, Delia)! This was so fun! :) Summer is the best, and I can't wait till it's here for real!! It is raining and cold right this very moment, and I just got freaked out by some seriously loud thunder!
    Have a great rest of the week everyone, and have an awesome picnicking weekend ! :)

    (The sticky tape and old photo frames I used are free downloads from fuzzimo.com)


    Anneliese said…
    Lorajean this is just fabulous!Your drawings are perfection! Wish there was a "making of" video for thius post! :-)
    Delia said…
    I know the thunder your talking about. Shook the house yesterday!

    I love this tutorial. The gathered bottom is so smart! Thank you for being my guest Lorajean. You're the best!
    What a fabulous project! I love your blog - I'm a new follower!
    Forever Young said…
    Love this and love your blog. Such a fun and creative idea. I will be making one for my family now.

    mer said…
    cute LJ. now where to find a picnic basket like that!
    I saw this on FPTFY and I just had to come visit...this is absolutely gorgeous and so, so, so clever! Love your blog! Thank you so much for sharing this...it is just wonderful! Hugs!
    Leslie said…
    So pretty! I very well may have to make something like this for my daughter’s party in August! Thanks for the tips!
    Connie said…
    What a super cute idea! Your tutorial was great too!
    Anonymous said…
    Thank you for this post!
    Anonymous said…
    Oh my gosh!This might be the cutest thing I've ever seen!

    Popular Posts