Finished size : 8″ long × 8″ wide × 2½″ high
Years ago, I received a fabric tray from my best neighbor friend as a gift. It was made of a pretty canvas fabric that always got dirty and dusty, but man, did it work well at holding my makeup. This pattern is inspired by that tray; my version is a different shape and made with oilcloth. Cleaning this one will be a breeze. Just wipe it clean, and let it air dry. Voilà—it’s ready to use again
Materials and Supplies
- 2 fat quarters (18″ × 21″) oilcloth
- ½ yard nonfusible stiff interfacing, such as Timtex by C&T Publishing
- 1⅝ yards ½″-wide double-fold bias tape
- 4 buttons 1″ in diameter
1). On a large sheet or roll of paper, draw a 13″ × 13″ square, using your wide, clear ruler (a roll of wrapping paper is a good size if you don’t have pattern paper or craft paper); cut it out using paper-cutting scissors. Make sure that it’s square; true up the pattern if need be. Fold the square into quarters.
2). Trace a curve on the outer, unfolded corner of the folded square with a circle stencil or a pot lid that is about 3″ in diameter. Cut on the curved line. Unfold your pattern and label it A.
3). Repeat Step 1 to create a second square pattern. While it’s still folded in quarters, measure and cut out a 2½″ square on the outer corner, through all 4 layers. When you open the pattern, you will have a fat plus-sign shape. Label this pattern B.
cutting it out
- From oilcloth fat quarters: Trace and cut out 1 Pattern A from each of the 2 fat quarters of oilcloth.
- From interfacing: Trace and cut out 1 Pattern B.
sewing it up
1). Layer the A piece for the exterior of the tray right side down, then the B interfacing piece, centered, and then the A piece for the interior of the tray, right side up. Refer to pinning oilcloth (in Tips and Tricks) to pin the 3 pieces together along the outer ¼″ so you don’t end up with puncture marks in the middle of the finished tray.
2). Machine-baste the layers together ⅛″ away from the edge, using a long basting stitch so that the oilcloth will move freely along the feed dogs.
3). Use your fingers to find the inner corners of the interfacing and mark them with pins. Don’t pin through the interfacing—just catch the smallest amount of oilcloth that you can, so the pinholes will be incorporated into the stitches.
4). Place a strip of painter’s tape on the sewing machine 2½″ away from the needle as a seam guide. Sew from pin to pin to create an 8″ × 8″ square in the center of each tray, pivoting with the needle down at each pin.
5). Refer to Bias Tape to trim the outer edge of the tray with the ½″-wide cotton bias tape, finishing the ends as desired.
6). Place a pin where the interfacing stops on either side of a curved corner. Pinch the 2 adjacent sides of the tray together so the pins meet, pushing the uninterfaced corner inside the tray; this will create a pleat. Pin the corner together from the inside. Repeat until all 4 corners are pinned together.
7). Flip the tray inside out. Sew the top ½″ edge of each corner together at the pins, backstitching to secure.
8). Turn the tray right side out and slide your forefinger into the corner to round it out. Spread the bottom of each corner out slightly.
9). Hand stitch a button to each pleated corner so that it is centered on the bias trim. Hide the knot on the inside of the pleat by pushing the needle between the oilcloth and the button after your last stitch. Cut the thread leaving a 4″ tail; use this tail to create a knot, and snip it close.
at home with modern June
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