Pam’s Fabric Basket with Drawstring Top

Fabric Basket with Drawstring Top

We have a small tradition, in our house: when Epiphany comes, Befana (an old poor lady, flying on her sorghum broom, usually with broken shoes) comes and leaves some markers and a pencil case.

If you still don’t catch it, I’m The Befana (at least for my daughter, not for all the kids around the world).

This year, I’ve decided to stay on the frugal side: no zippers, no buttons, repurposed fabrics and strings plus one of the easiest to follow tutorials from one of the most talented blogger, sewist and refashioner I know: Pam, from Threading My Way!

… what? You don’t know Pam @ Threading My Way? Wait… where have you lived until now??? Under a rock? (((Just kidding))) Please go and pay her a visit, you’ll be delighted, promise!

You can find:

Here’s my version:

Serger Pepper - Fabric Basket with Drawstring top


Here’s last year’s one, that now is getting old and stained…

Serger Pepper - Fabric Basket with Drawstring top

I have sewn together with some scraps of denim and a piece of a bed sheet I’ve already used in one of my daughter’s summer dresses I didn’t post about last year… ooops! Will do, promise!

This was my first time quilting: I used a nonwoven (and non-conventional) air filter material (prewashed to be sure it won’t shrink): I have a big roll of it and I think it will be my bag-making batting for a while!
It gives a nice structure, it’s easy to sew and… it’s FREE… and you know how frugal am I.

Maybe you don’t have exactly the same material on tap, but this is to remember you to think outside the box: always look at things for what they can be used for, not (only) for the purpose for which they were designed!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Basket with Drawstring top

For the quilting, I used a contrasting (red) thread, to match with drawstring and lining!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Basket with Drawstring top

This basket went together in maybe 2 hours, from A to Z: really fast and easy (thanks to Pam’s detailed instructions – you can’t go wrong!)
I only forgot to topstitch denim’s upper edge… but it was my fault! I had to finish before LilPotato was coming back home (just to discover I’m the Befana) and simply skimmed instructions instead of reading…

As you can see, the upper drawstring makes this basket really roomy and, when you pull cords, nothing can fall out of it, so it’s perfect for a little girl who goes wandering through the house without paying attention to what she has in her hands!

The only change I would do is make handles a little bit longer: I feel like it would be easier to carry it around!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Basket with Drawstring top




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About the Author:

Hi there! I love sewing, creating my own patterns and refashioning pre-loved clothes... If you love the same things, why not be friends? See you on Pinterest


  1. Beatriz Azuara January 7, 2014 at 15:59 - Reply

    A wonderful idea, I’m thinking of doing as storage boxes for toys for my daughter adding the closure so they are not all out of the boxes. 🙂

  2. vickymyerscreations January 7, 2014 at 19:46 - Reply

    Brilliant, what a wonderful tradition. I am a fan of Pam’s blog too:)

    • Mamma Nene January 7, 2014 at 21:43 - Reply

      Well, she loves to draw, it came out naturally 😉

  3. Pam @Threading My Way January 7, 2014 at 22:20 - Reply

    Great going making your basket with scraps and a bed sheet, Irene. Love the red against the denim. Thanks for all the link backs and your kind words.

    • Mamma Nene January 8, 2014 at 20:41 - Reply

      Thanks Pam! You know, The Befana is frugal hehehe… and you deserve Any Single Word <3

  4. Kristina & Millie January 10, 2014 at 14:24 - Reply

    Very pretty and very thrifty! I love this, love it’s jeans and love it’s upcycled! I will have to make a few!

    • Mamma Nene January 10, 2014 at 21:51 - Reply

      Thanks Kristina & Millie! Try Pam’s tute, it is really easy – well explained and fast to be realized – you can’t go wrong, indeed!

  5. Carolyn Michelle January 10, 2014 at 20:53 - Reply

    Very cute!! I will definitely have to try this tutorial out!!

    • Mamma Nene January 10, 2014 at 22:08 - Reply

      I’d really suggest you to try it Carolyn. you’ll see it’s really easy to put together, and fast too… Plus, you can use some scraps layin’ around… Thanks for visiting 🙂

      • Carolyn Zick January 12, 2014 at 18:00 - Reply

        For sure!! Maybe I’ll make a bigger version to use to stow yarn. Hehe, so versatile!!

        • Mamma Nene January 12, 2014 at 18:52 - Reply

          That’s a great idea!
          Can’t wait to see your huge version… I’d suggest you to add it to Pam’s flickr group, I bet she would be happy 🙂

        • Carolyn Zick January 16, 2014 at 18:23 - Reply

          It might be a while before I finish it, as we are moving soonish. But I certainly will once I get to it!!

          • Mamma Nene January 17, 2014 at 15:05

            No matter how much it takes, you’ll end with the perfect yarn storage ever seen, Carolyn, I’m sure about that 🙂

  6. jillinamillion January 12, 2014 at 01:03 - Reply

    What a lovely tradition Irene! And I love your take on Pam’s bag, looks great!

    • Mamma Nene January 12, 2014 at 15:50 - Reply

      Thanks Jill! my daughter loves to draw so we always run out of pencils and markers… so I add a touch of personality sewing something for her 🙂

  7. Slizzy Greensleeves January 13, 2014 at 16:48 - Reply

    Frugality and a Befana who flies in on a broom and leaves presents at Epiphany. I love it.

    • Mamma Nene January 14, 2014 at 14:53 - Reply

      Thanks Su!
      Isn’t there any Befana tradition where you live?

      • Slizzy Greensleeves January 14, 2014 at 21:09 - Reply

        No the nearest we have to the Bafana tradition is Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. Maybe I should adopt Befana.

  8. Diane @ Vintage Zest January 14, 2014 at 22:26 - Reply

    What a fantastic basket! Thanks for sharing at Do Tell Tuesday, and I hope you have a chance to link up again this week!

    Diane @ Vintage Zest

  9. madebychrissied January 15, 2014 at 04:04 - Reply

    I’m a huge fan of Pam’s blog, she’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing this 😀

    • Mamma Nene January 17, 2014 at 15:02 - Reply

      Thanks ChrissieD for your lovely comment – I suppose it’s not possible not to love Pam: she’s SO nice and crystal clear… And her blog is her perfect image!

  10. Maz Kwok January 18, 2014 at 18:15 - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this fab upcycle project! You made a cute bag 🙂

    • Mamma Nene January 18, 2014 at 18:30 - Reply

      Thanks for featuring my little cute bag, Maz! It was a surprise for me discover I was the most clicked link!

  11. […] good tutorial from See more on Nice tutorial on Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page […]

  12. Pam @Threading My Way February 11, 2017 at 07:05 - Reply

    Hi Irene, I hope this finds you well. Just letting you know I’ve shared your fab pencil case with my readers in a roundup of Drawstring Fabric Baskets…

    • Irene // Serger Pepper Designs February 11, 2017 at 10:13 - Reply

      Hi Pam!
      Nice to hear of you ????
      Thanks for featuring me.
      We are still using this basket, it’s one of our favorites!
      Thanks for the feature and the sweet words,
      Irene //Serger Pepper Designs

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