Today we will attach the handles and make the pockets for our basket. Let’s do the handles first – so grab those, and the exterior Side Panels (B & C). At the top edge of each Side Panel, measure and mark 4″ in from the side edges and 3″ down from the top edge. Pin each end of a handle to the inside these marks. Now we are going to mark the handle for where we are going to stitch them on. Measure and draw a line 1/4″ up from the end of the handle and then draw another line 1″ up from the first. It occurs to me as I am writing this that marking this handle would be easier before you pin it to the Side Panel – how many of these have I made? I guess there is always room for improvement! In any case, repeat that the handle ends. Now, stitch a rectangle between the 1/4″ and 1″ lines. It’s a good idea to sew over the seams that are already there along the vertical sides. Then, sew an X in the center. If you are going to make pockets – read on. If not, you are done for the day and we’ll see you next time!
For all those pocket-lovers, here’s what you do: Grab all 6 of your pocket pieces: 3- J pieces and 3-E pieces, and your elastic. Cut 3 – 13″ strips from the elastic. Take one pocket piece each fabric and, with right sides facing, align the top and side edges. The pocket in your main fabric should be shorter than those in the lining fabric. Sew along the top edge. Open and then, with wrong side together, align the long bottom edges of both panels. You should see about an inch of the lining fabric peeking up over the primary fabric. Press that fold. Repeat these steps for all three pockets, here are mine: Now we are going to put our elastic in. You can create a casing and then put your elastic in using a safety pin, but that seems like an unnecessary step to me since we are using a pretty wide casing here, so this is how I do it: Open the fold of one of your pockets and center your elastic so it’s snuggled up to the fold and then refold the pocket. You might want to pin the elastic so it doesn’t inch down from the fold: Then you can stitch in the ditch or, sew a little ways up from the seam that joins the primary and lining pocket pieces (the later is what I decided to do on mine). It’s probably a good idea to baste the bottom edge of the pocket. Now lay your pocket right side up on the right side one of the Side Panels (I am using Side Panel C in this step). You want to align the bottom edges and the side edge of the pocket with the inner side edge of the cut-out. Sew the casing/elastic portion of the pocket with a regular stitch and then you can baste the rest of the pocket to the Side Panel. Now pull on the free edge of the elastic a little and gather the fabric onto it until it is the same width as the Side Panel and you see about 5 1/2″ of elastic – yes, that means your elastic won’t be completely relaxed in the casing – that’s what we want. Baste that down; being sure to backstitch over the casing area to hold your elastic good and tight. (BTW, I know this seems like an odd way to elastic and is a little wasteful – but it’s the best way I have found to get the perfect amount of tension). As you can see at the bottom of the pocket, there are a bunch of little hills and valleys. If you are a perfectionist, you can make these into perfect pleats… If you are like me, you just slap a hot iron on them and let them fall where they may… both work…baste them down along the bottom edge. Repeat all these steps to apply the pockets on the second Side Panel and the Front Panel. When you put the pocket on the Front Panel be sure you are putting it on the bottom half of the panel. When you are done, you will have this: Well, that’s it for today. Can you see it starting to take shape? See you next time! Sarah