Wednesday 24 June 2020

Easy Fabric Box Sewing Pattern - Free Tutorial!

I've been after some storage boxes for my Ikea Billy bookcase in my sewing room since the day we put it together, but after much searching I had no luck in finding the right size or style (and spoiler alert, I'm incredibly fussy...). I also wanted to use up some spare fabric I had from a recently reupholstered chair - ok, ok, I bought extra so everything would match... 

So I decided to make some fabric boxes, after a quick google I came across a bunch of tutorials and patterns to make different variations but they either used supplies I didn't have access to, or I couldn't make head nor tail of the instructions, or more importantly I then couldn't work out how to re-work the pattern to re-size them for the size I needed.

So, if you're looking for a really easy-peasy fabric box for storage, which keeps its shape, really sturdy and a simple way of making with minimal pieces to cut you've come to the right place! I've tried to make this particular box as simple as possible, so while there will be better patterns out there which will give you a super neat interior, here you have simplicity. You do have the option of adding bound edges to the interior but I have omitted that in several of my versions for speed (I mean, who has time for that really? Plus it's not noticeable once they're stuffed to the brim, which is a likely ending to this particular shove-it-all-in-until-it's-tidy project).

Example box shown measures approx; 13-1/2" wide x 9-1/2" deep x 8" tall.
To make one box to the dimensions above;

1m Exterior fabric (Liberty Emilia's Blooms B Augusta Linen)
1m Interior fabric (Essex Linen, Natural)
1 yard Bosal Craf-Tex Plus, or other heavyweight double-sided fusible stabiliser
Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips
Gutermann Textile Fabric Glue
Optional: 1m Iron-on Interfacing, Firm

From exterior fabric;
Cut (1) Piece A = 25" x 14"
Cut (2) Piece B = 10-1/2" x 8"

From interior fabric;
Cut (1) Piece A = 25" x 14"
Cut (2) Piece B = 10-1/2" x 8"

From heavyweight fusible Stabiliser;
Cut (2) Piece A = 9" x 13"
Cut (2) Piece B = 9-1/2" x 7"

Use a 1/2" seam allowance.
If your fabrics are particularly lightweight you may want to use some medium or firm-weight fusible interfacing to strengthen up your fabrics, before you begin (my example shown used interfacing on exterior pieces).

Step 1.
Fuse stabiliser between an exterior and interior side piece B. Repeat for both side piece B's. Set to one side.

Step 2.
Place exterior fabric piece A right sides down, place both stabiliser A pieces on top, 1/2" (approx) from the edges. Place the interior fabric piece A on top. Press well to fuse everything together.
Excuse my patched-together interfacing shown here, I didn't have one piece large enough!

Step 3. 
Fold piece A in half along (along the longer side) mark the centre point.

Step 4.
Measure to find the centre point of your side piece B's, mark the point. Place the two marked points together (right sides together). Sew the side piece B to the main piece A.

Step 5. 
Repeat the step above and sew the other side piece B to the main piece A. You will have something that resembles a cross shape now.

Step 6.
You can visualise how this comes together now, so begin sewing the sides together so you have all 4 sides joined. The Jumbo Clover Wonder Clips really work a treat for this part. Before you tackle sewing a side, you can carefully cut into the join of the fabric so it eases out the very corner (as shown in final photo).

Step 7.
At this point you can make your box look neater on the interior side by sewing 2" wide binding strips to the sides. I added it to the 4 vertical seams, but you can choose to omit this step or be cover even more of the raw seams.

Step 8. 
Work out how much binding length you need to finish the top edge of the box. Cut 2" wide strips and sew together in one continuous strip. Use Wonder Clips to position the binding strip right sides together to the exterior side of the box.

Step 9.
Leave a good length of binding tail loose before your starting point, about 7", sew around the edge carefully. This step can be quite tough depending on the box size, but the clips help and so does moving your sewing machine right off the edge of your table, I found you can hook the box round the machine so there is a little less wrangling!

Once you are about that same distance away from the start, stop sewing.

Find where the binding pieces meet, finger press. Pin and sew along the pressed line. Trim off the excess binding and finish sewing the binding to the box.

Step 10.
Fold the binding raw edge inside, and then fold down neatly to the interior side of the box. Use Wonder Clips to hold in place and glue down the edge to finish. Leave to dry with clips in place.

Measure Your Own Box
Work out the finished width, depth and height of the box you want to make.

Use the below as a guide for how big to cut your fabric pieces.

Box Height x 2 + Box Diameter - 1/2" = ?
width + 1/2" = ?
= Fabric Piece A

My example; 8x2=16 + 9.5-0.5=25
= 25 x 14 Fabric Piece A

Box Depth + 1" = ?
Box Height
= Fabric Piece B

My example; 9.5+1=10.5
= 10.5 x 8 Fabric Piece B

For the stabiliser pieces.
Piece A = Box Depth - 0.5 x Box Width - 0.5
Piece B = Box Depth x Box Height - 0.5

I'm up to 9 boxes so far, in 3 different sizes! Be sure to tag me (@messyjesse1 or the shop account @sewandquilt) on Instagram if you make some yourself, I would love to see your organised sewing spaces! Mine is well underway now ;-) I'll share some snaps once I'm finished.


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