This post is in partnership with Janome America. I have been a Janome girl long before I teamed up with them, using both a Janome Serger and machine for years. You can check out their incredible line of sewing machines HERE.
One of my favorite things about living in a new country every few years is discovering local style and of course local shops. One of my favorites here is a home decor store called Adairs. They carry super cute on trend children and home decor and I love ducking in to be inspired. A few months ago (when it was summer down under) they had beautiful rope fruit baskets.
Being a normal crafter I of course picked it up and inspected it and knew I could make it. I was able to find several tutorials for bags and large baskets from cotton rope on pintrest and I used a little from each of them to tweak them into a fruit basket.
One package cotton clothesline rope: 5 mm X 25m
Thread in similar color to clothesline on both spoil and 2 bobbins (at least possibly more)
Thread in cordinating colors for ombre effect. This project takes a LOT of thread. Be prepared with several bobbins already prepped to make the process quicker AND less frustrating.
Fray check, scissors and pins
On the bottom of my basket I didn’t want to waste the more expensive and prettier thread so I purchased an inexpensive cone of beige thread. I made sure I had three bobbins prepped in this color as well as they will run out often. If you do not have beige or have plenty of your vivid colors you can absolutely go that route.
Unravel a meter of the rope. Remove the tape that is on the very end of the rope (unless you don’t mind having tape on the bottom center of your basket, in which case you can always just leave it) and use a good amount of fray check on the tip.
Pull out a few arm lengths of rope to work with. Start at the end and meausre to 18 cm. When you reach 18 cm loop the rope around back on itself. Pin in place with several pins.
Set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch that is WIDE and somewhat loose. The small the zig zag the more solid your stitch line will be AND the more thread you will burn through. My settings were as seen below:
Starting at the looped end align the needle with the center between the two pieces of rope. Complete a lock stitch then stitch all the way down to the other end. As you approach the end you are going to again bring the rope back around itself, pull the “tail” to either the right or left depending on your dominant hand. This will be tricky for the first 2-3 rounds but gets easier and easier as you have more of a surface to work with. I would suggest slowing your stitch speed down to the mid-range just for this beginning part so you can be sure to catch both sections of rope.
If you notice you didn’t catch a piece of the rope be sure to stop and unpick and fix it. I learned the hard way that if you fix it later it is usually quiet noticable. What IS nice is that if you miss little bits here and there it is not a big deal. The basket has so much stitching unless you miss heaps it will remain pretty sturdy.
The rope will really take any shape you force on it so be carefully not to accidentally push or pull too much.
Once you have reached 14 loops around you are going to start lifting and pushing UP the main piece of the basket base as you stitch. The more extreme the angle you push it the more severly the basket will raise vertically. If you want a WIDE basket do not push as virtically as you would if you would like a narrow and deep basket.
At round 15 switch over to your first thread color. Be sure to change your bobbin as this will be the more visible of the two. Continue to lift the basket bottom UP towards your presser foot as you stitch.
You will need to stitch 24 rounds to get to the height of the fruit basket. I changed my thread every 8 loops to get the ombre effect I was going for.
It does get a bit awkward pushing the sides up as you sew. Keep in mind that if you pull the basket farther away from the sewing machine as you go up, this will widen the top. I wanted mine fairly narrow to keep all the fruit in. But it is important to note for other possible projects.
When you are done trim off excess rope (I used pretty much all of mine). Again using your fray check, seal the raw end.
Once dry, tuck the end back into the basket and hand stitch into place. All done! Just add yummy fruit, set on the counter and enjoy! This method is also great for making cup holders (simply stitch in a tight circle) or even toy baskets if you have enough rope! I was really happy with how well my Skyline handled sewing through the rope.
It is almost silly how much I love seeing a basket I made on the kitchen counter ha! The kiddos were pretty darn impressed as well!