if you're like me, you leave things laying around on about every surface rather than finding them a home and keeping them there. it's terrible, but i've always been like this. luckily, there are lots of pretty options in the way of bowls, trays, baskets, etc. to catch all of the things that never get put away! one of my favorites to make is fabric bowls or baskets because they're easy, cheap, and pretty!
what you'll need for this project: clothesline or cotton cord (i use nylon clothesline because it comes in about 100' packages for just a few dollars), fabric, thread, scissors, sewing machine (or you can do it by hand but it will take a lot longer).
first, cut your fabric into strips about an inch wide or a little more. the number of strips you'll need for your bowl or basket depends on the size you want and on the length of your strips, so start of with fewer than you know you'll need, that way you don't waste fabric!
to start your bowl or basket, fold one end of your fabric over the end of your clothesline. keep that pinched and start wrapping your strip around the clothesline at an angle.
once you've gotten a few inches of your fabric wrapped around the clothesline, pin it in place because you're almost ready to sew! fold your fabric-wrapped clothesline so that you make a coil. start sewing at the end, in a circular pattern, so that your line of stitched radiates out from the end. use a zigzag stitch and be sure you're getting both sides of the clothesline. continue wrapping your fabric and sewing. once you get to the end of a piece of fabric, just wrap a new piece over that end and keep on sewing!
once you've gotten the base as large as you want, it's time to make the sides. to make sides, simply fold your bottom up (with the foot still down and the needle still through your clothesline). to get walls that are straight up, fold your base so that it is perpendicular to the table. if you want tapered sides like i did, fold your base up at about a 45 degree angle. then keep sewing round and round just like before! (sorry, i got a little ahead of myself before i thought to take the picture).
continue sewing until you've gotten the walls of your bowl or basket as high as you want them. now it's time to decide if this will be a bowl or a basket. for a bowl, you don't need to do anything. for a basket, it's time to make little handles. all you do is pull up a part of your fabric-wrapped clothesline and don't sew that to the body. backstitch what you've sewn, then move onto the other side of the handle and start sewing again. repeat that step for a handle on the opposite side.
take a break if you need. when i make large bowl or baskets like this one, there's no way i can do it all in one sitting. so i get a glass of tea and flojo and i enjoy craft talk over a few whole wheat noodles.
now you're ready to finish off your bowl or basket! just cut your clothesline a little shorter than your fabric and wrap so that the end of your clothesline is hidden in the fabric. then just keep sewing like you have been until the end is sewn down.
and now you have a pretty and handmade place to keep little bits and pieces, and no one has to know that this isn't where they really belong! if you decide to try this out, i'd love to see your final product, or hear what you thought!