First Time’s a Charm – Coiled Rope and Fabric Basket

I’ve wanted to make one of these coiled rope bowls for some time now, so I figured this cold winter weekend was the time to start.

IMG_0856

We were supposed to wake up to several inches of snow yesterday, so I was ready to hunker down in the house for the weekend. I woke up to only a dusting of snow, so I decided to hit the stores and get the rope I needed for this project. I tried a couple of different craft stores, and no luck. I ended up at Home Depot and purchased 200 feet of polyester 3.8 inch clothesline rope. I was worried the polyester would make it difficult to sew, but it didn’t.

I started out this morning by digging into my stash, and went to my pre-cuts bin. I had batik fat quarters in bright colors, and decided to use them. I’m glad I went with larger pieced rather than scraps, because this took about 1.5 yards of fabric total.

I cut the fabric into one-inch strips, and decided what order I wanted them in the bowl.

IMG_0835

I decided to put the darkest fabrics on the bottom of the bowl, thinking it would hide dirt better. Then I went to the lighter greens, then into the oranges and pinks. I added the purple later when the bowl ended up too small with what I had cut.

I had watched several different video tutorials on making these bowls, so I felt pretty confident to just dig in. I started by wrapping the fabric around the end of the rope, then spiraled it down the length of the rope. then I coiled it pretty tight, and started sewing.

IMG_0837

I set the zig zag stitch as wide as I could make it, and started sewing from the center, turning the coiled rope as I went.

IMG_0838

Once I got the very center stitched into place, I continued to wrap fabric around the rope, and zig zag it onto the coiled piece.

I had set my zig zag stitch length too short at the beginning, and I was not happy with how much the thread showed. So after a few rows, I lengthened the stitch, and it looked much better as the thread was hidden a little more on the dark fabrics. Once I got into the colorful fabrics, the thread blended in really well.

IMG_0841

You can clearly see in this photo where I lengthened the stitch. The center is really showing all the stitches. It looked much better once I lengthened the stitch.

After the flat piece got to the size I wanted, I started to tip the flat piece as I sewed to start making the sides go up.

IMG_0845

The hardest part about making this was wrapping the fabric around the rope and joining the fabric pieces together. It took me a few rounds to get it figured out, but once I got it, it was smooth sailing.

IMG_0842

I wanted the wraps to be as smooth as possible, and I wanted to minimize overlap so that I could use less fabric. I used my fabric clips liberally… using one on top of each fabric join so that i would hold in place until I got it stitched into place. I would wrap several pieces of fabric around the rope, with each join clipped, so that I could sew more once I sat down at the machine. The sewing went really fast. The wrapping is what took time, so I wanted to be as efficient as possible and take fewer breaks to wrap.

IMG_0843

The clip above is holding the piece secure where the second piece of fabric was wrapped around the end of the previous piece.

Then I just continued to wrap and sew, wrap and sew, maintaining the slant of the side of the bowl.

IMG_0849

IMG_0850

IMG_0853

Until it was all done.

I’m really happy with how this turned out! I love all the bright colors, and I like the shape… even though it wasn’t quite what I was going for. It will take some time to figure out how to manage the slant!

But I will definitely make more of these!

IMG_0854IMG_0857IMG_0859IMG_0860

2 Replies to “First Time’s a Charm – Coiled Rope and Fabric Basket”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s