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Kids' Round Storage Bins with Appliques & Side Handles: Fabulous Fall with Fabric.com

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Mary Poppins had a spoonful of sugar to work her magic on room organization. You have your sewing machine and today's project for super cute storage bins. We continue the Fabulous Fall series with our great round fabric baskets. They make picking up and putting away much more fun and colorful. Our foundation fabric is a classic canvas from series sponsor, Fabric.com. The accent fabrics for the exteriors, appliqués and linings are a mixture of décor weight and quilting weight cottons, which means the selection available to match your own decorating themes is huge. Fabric.com carries an inventory of over 500,000 yards!

We offer a pattern below for the round bottom of our storage bin as well as templates for the cute appliqués. These custom designs were created and sized to perfectly coordinate with the motifs of our chosen exterior accent fabrics. Use them as-is or as a basis from which to create your own appliqué.

Our thanks to Fabric.com for their continuing help to bring you this series as well as many others over the past months and years. We know some of you out there are still reluctant to order your fabric and notions via the internet. There's no denying the wonderful experience of seeing and feeling fabric for yourself, but ordering online opens up a wider selection and has an in-your-jammies convenience that's pretty darn nice as well. Fabric.com has great customer service every step of the way

Plus, ordering with Fabric.com means you have a one-stop-shop for a full range of fabric types: from faux fur to durable canvas to delicate voile and more. And if you are ever unsure of your selection, most of the available fabric can be ordered as a generously-sized swatch for around a dollar. 

Our bins are specifically styled to appeal to kids, but the design would work for anyone and in any room. If you use our pattern, send us a picture of your storage solution (to info@sew4home.com). We'll post some favorites as "Mary Poppins inspiration" for the rest of us! 

Each basket finishes at approximately 11" high x 9" in diameter.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: Inventory shifts constantly, and some fabric may not be in-stock when you first visit. However, there are other color options as well as re-stock dates listed when appropriate for each fabric at the Fabric.com site. 

Supplies shown are for ONE bin.

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the ONE pattern piece and TWO appliqué templates. Print TWO COPIES of Storage Bin Base pattern. Print ONE COPY of one or both appliqué templates: Floral Template and/or Guitar Template.
    NOTE: Our custom appliqués were designed to coordinate with our chosen exterior fabrics. If you chose a different fabric, you may want to search for a different appliqué motif or draw your own. 
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern and template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the two copies of the pattern along the solid line. 
  3. Match up the two Storage Bin Base pattern pieces, using the printed arrows as your guide. Butt together and tape; do not overlap.
  4. From the fabric for the top and bottom accent panels, the center appliqué panel, and the handles (White Brushed Canvas in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 5" x 10" rectangle for the front appliqué insert
    ONE 29¼" x 2½" strip for the bottom accent panel
    ONE 29¼" x 2" strip for the top accent panel
    TWO 4" x 6½" rectangles for the handles
  5. From the fabric for the exterior and base (Acoustic Guitars and Mod Pearl Stripe in our samples), fussy cut the following:
    ONE 25¼" wide x 10" high rectangle for the main body of the bin
    Using the pattern, cut ONE circle for the base
  6. From the fabric for the lining (Tiny Gingham in Green and Purple in our samples), cut the following:
    ONE 29" wide x 11½" high rectangle for the main body of the lining
    Using the pattern, cut ONE circle for the base
    You'll use the leftover scraps to cut the appliqués
  7. From the fusible fleece, cut the following:
    ONE 25¼" x 10" rectangle for the main body of the bin
    ONE 5" x 10" rectangle for the front appliqué insert
    Using the pattern, cut ONE circle for the base
  8. From the medium-weight fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 29¼" x 1½" strip for the bottom accent panel
    TWO 4" x 6½" rectangles for the handles
    Using the pattern, cut ONE circle for the base
  9. You'll end up with four circles total for the base.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Appliqué

  1. If you are new to appliquéing, review our How To Appliqué tutorial prior to starting this section.
  2. Find the appliqué template, fusible transfer web, front appliqué insert panel, and appliqué fabric scraps.
  3. Trace the appliqué design(s) directly onto the paper side of the fusible web.
  4. As you can see in the finished images above, we used two different colors for our floral appliqué and so cut apart that traced design to fuse it in three sections. Two sections were fused to the wrong side of a scrap of the Lime Green Tiny Gingham...
  5. ... and one section was fused the the wrong side of a scrap of the Purple Tiny Gingham
  6. Trim around the shapes, then peel away the paper back to reveal the fusing material.
  7. Find the front appliqué insert panel. Press the appliqué shapes onto the right side of the panel in position for your design. We used placement pins to mark our placement points. You could also trace the design directly onto the panel with a fabric pen or pencil. 
  8. Once correctly positioned, follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse the appliqué(s) into place. 
  9. Thread your machine with thread to match the appliqué fabric in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin. Change thread color as needed as the fabric changes.
  10. Select the stitch for your appliqué. We used a traditional tight zig zag/satin stitch for our designs. The finished look is entirely up to you: use a loose to tight zig zag or choose a decorative stitch. Take the extra time to accurately set your stitch width and length, testing first on scraps. 
  11. Start your stitching on the straightest part of the design.
  12. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to appliqué. We like the Janome Satin Stitch foot, which is see-through and has a handy red arrow you can use as a guide to insure your stitching stays half in the appliqué and half in the base fabric. Don't be afraid to stop, with your needle in the down position, and adjust your fabric as you move around the curves.
  13. Hold on to the base fabric from both the front and back to keep it moving smoothly. Don't pull or force it through the needle, but be an active participant, guiding it at all times.
  14. Watch the edge of your appliqué as you turn, turn, turn. Pick a point on your presser foot (if you don't have an arrow like our Janome) so you can keep the appliqué's edge moving along the guide line at all times.
  15. Use a lock stitch or tie off your threads rather than back-tacking to lock your stitching. Much neater. 
    NOTE: If you need to remove appliqué stitches for any reason, always slip your seam ripper under the stitches on the back; you don't want to risk picking up the edge of the appliqué, causing it to fray.
  16. Press well once all your appliquéing is finished. 

Create the main body of the bin and the handles

  1. Find the main exterior panel, exterior base, center appliquéd panel, and the fusible fleece pieces to match these fabric pieces.
  2. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the fleece to the wrong side of each fabric piece. Set the fused pieces aside.
  3. Find the two handle pieces and the two matching pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing. 
  4. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each fabric piece. 
  5. Fold each handle piece in half lengthwise, right sides together (so the piece is now 2" x 6½"). Pin in place.
  6. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the handle fabric in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin. 
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around all three sides, pivoting at the corners and leaving a 2" opening on the long side for turning. Remember to lock your stitch at either side of the opening. 
  8. Trim the corners and grade the seam allowance to ¼" on side side and ⅜" on the other side. Press the seams open.
  9. Turn the handles right side out through the opening. Gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A long knitting needle or chopstick works well for this. 
  10. Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  11. Re-thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin. Lengthen your stitch for topstitching. 
  12. Edgestitch along the top and bottom of the handle. 
  13. Then add two additional lines of parallel stitching through the center of the handle, one ⅜" from the top edgestitching and the other ⅜" from the bottom edgestitching.
    NOTE: Opps - forgot to take an in-progress image of this step. So here's a handle close-up from the finished bin. 
  14. To mark the placement for the handles on the main exterior body, first fold the body panel in half to find the top center back. Place a pin at this point. From this first pin point, measure 2½" directly down and place a second pin. You can remove the first pin.
  15. From the second pin point, measure 7" to the left and place a third marking pin. 
  16. Finally, measure 7" to the right of the center point pin and place a fourth pin. 
  17. Find one of the finished handles. Fold it in half to find the center. Align this center point on the handle with the third pin point on the main panel (7" to the left of center). 
  18. Carefully unfold the handle, maintaining the center positioning, and pin to secure. 
  19. Repeat to position the second handle at the right pin point. Double check that the tops of the handles are perfectly parallel with and 2½" down from the top raw edge of the main panel. 
  20. Edgestitch each end of each handle in place, then run an additional parallel line of stitching ⅜" in from the edgestitching (both ends - both handles).
  21. Find the front appliqué panel. Place it right sides together along one 10" raw edge of the main body panel. Pin in place. If your appliqué is directional, such as our guitar, double check to make sure the motif is facing the correct direction. The top of the motif should be facing the top of the panel where you placed the handles. 
  22. Bring the remaining raw edge of the main body panel around, forming a tube, and pin it, right sides together, with the remaining raw edge of the center appliqué panel. 
  23. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin. 
  24. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both seams.
  25. Grade both seam allowances, trimming the print side to ¼". 
  26. Press the seam allowances toward the main body panel. 
  27. If necessary, re-thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
  28. Lengthen your stitch length and topstitch along each seam within the body panel. 

Attach the bottom accent panel to the exterior base circle

  1. Find the 29¼" x 2½" for bottom accent panel strip and the exterior base circle (to which you should have already fused the fleece), and the 29¼" x 1½" strip of medium weight fusible interfacing. 
  2. Place the interfacing down the center of the wrong side of the fabric strip (1" from the top and bottom). Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place. 
  3. Bring the short ends right sides together, forming a circle. Pin in place.
  4. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch this short seam. 
  6. Press open the seam allowance. 
  7. Find the exterior base circle. Fold it in half, top to bottom, and place a pin at each edge of the fold. 
  8. Open up and re-fold the opposite direction, again placing a pin at the edge of the fold. 
  9. You are creating quadrant pins around the circle, like the points on the face of a clock: 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00.
  10. Repeat this process with the bottom accent panel loop. The seam of the loop is your 6:00 point. 
  11. Set the base into the loop so the two pieces are right sides together. Align the quadrant pins of the panel loop with the quadrant pins of the base circle. Pin at these points first, then fill in around the circle. 
  12. This technique is the same as any project where you are inserting a flat circle into a tube. In this case, we simply have a very narrow tube. If you are new to this process, check out our full, step-by-step tutorial
  13. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch all the way around the circle.
  14. Grade the seam allowance. To do this, press open the seam allowance, then trim back the panel side of the seam to ¼".  Cut the fleece out of the seam allowance on the base fabric and trim it back to about ⅜". 
  15. Press the seam allowance up towards the accent panel as best you can. 
  16. If necessary, re-thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
  17. Lengthen your stitch length, and topstitch around the bottom edge within the accent panel.

Attach the bottom section to the main body section

  1. Find the main exterior body, which is a loop. Turn it wrong side out.
  2. Fold the loop in half to mark the front and back center points along the bottom raw edge. The front center point will be the exact center of the appliqué panel and the back center point will be directly opposite. Place a pin at each point. 
  3. Find the base unit. It should be right side out. The seam of the accent panel is the center back point on this unit. Fold in half to find and mark the center front point directly opposite this seam. 
  4. Slip the main body loop over the base unit so the two pieces are right sides together. Align the bottom edge of the main body with the top edge of the bottom accent panel, matching up the front and back center-point pins of each piece. Pin in place all around. 
  5. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch all the way around the circle.
  7. Grade the seam allowance as above and press the seam allowance down towards the bottom accent panel. 
  8. If necessary, re-thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
  9. Lengthen your stitch length, and topstitch all the way around along the top edge of  the accent panel. As best you can, match the distance from the edge of the panel to the topstitching seam top and bottom. 

Lining 

  1. Find the main lining rectangle, base circle, and the circle of medium weight fusible interfacing. 
  2. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining base circle. 
  3. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin thread in the bobbin.
  4. Fold the lining in half, aligning the 11½" sides. Pin in place. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance, creating a tube.
  5. Mark and insert the circle into the tube, following the same steps as above and/or referring to our tutorial.
  6. Grade the seam allowance as above. 

Attach the top accent panel to finish

  1. Find the 29¼" x 2" top accent panel strip. 
  2. Fold back one 29¼" edge ½" and press well
  3. Open up the fold in order to align the 2" ends. Pin in place.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch this short seam, creating a loop. Press open the seam allowance. 
  5. Align the top raw edge of this accent loop (the unfolded edge) with the top raw edge of the lining, right sides together. Pin in place all around.
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch all around. Grade the seam allowance.
  7. Press the accent panel up and away from the lining. 
  8. Turn the lining wrong side out. Turn the exterior right side out. Slip the lining inside the exterior so the two pieces are now wrong sides together. The top raw edge of the exterior should butt up against the folded edge of the top accent panel. 
  9. The center back seam of the lining should align with the center back of the exterior. Push the lining down so the base sits as flat as possible. 
  10. Bring the folded edge of the accent panel up and over the top raw edge of the exterior panel, pinning the folded edge in place against the exterior panel to create the finished top edge. 
  11. If necessary, re-thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and thread to match the accent panel in the bobbin.
  12. Topstitch around the entire perimeter, running the seam close to the folded edge.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

We received compensation from Fabric.com, and some of the materials featured here or used in this project were provided free of charge by Fabric.com. All opinions are our own.

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Comments (1)

nalini bhat said:
nalini bhat's picture

I have some polka dot canvas fabric in yellow and red that would be perfect for this tote.

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