10 Tips For Making A Fabric Bowl

Sunday, August 2

OK, so I am not an expert in making these fabric bowls. Yet. But I have made five of them and think I have learned something from each one.

Tip 1. Take the time to cut fabric on the bias. Sure it will take a bit longer but the finished look will be cleaner. You can thank me later. 😀

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Tip 2. Cut strips 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ wide. Saves on wrapping time. You can cover more of the cord with wider strips and not worry about them slipping off and uncovering the cord as you work.

Tip 3. Don’t waste any fabric. Sew smaller strips together before wrapping.

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Tip 4. To save on wrapping “preparation” time, you can sew longer strips together. Wrap them around your hand to create a nice circle and secure with a paper clip or binding clip, as I have done. Unwrap when needed.

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Tip 5. Use a binding clip to hold fabric in place every 6 inches. Even if it looks tightly wound around the cord.

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Tip 6. For a different look, mix or match up the strips. Sew several rounds with the same fabric/color. Then change up and sew several rounds with a different fabric/color.

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Or sew every other strip with a different color/pattern. Change up to see how you like the outcome.

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Tip 7. Be creative when ending the coil and work it into the design so it doesn’t stand out. (Here I used a crochet flower and a button to hide the ending.)

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Tip 8. Not sure how much a clothes line costs but I have to think I am saving money by using 8mm (thick) macrame cord. I bought 100 yards on sale for $5 and this is how much is left after making 3 bowls. (Photo showing a full roll and the left over roll.)

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Tip 9. Wind 2 or 3 full bobbins before beginning to sew. You will use two for sure. It takes a lot of thread.

Tip 10. Experiment with your sewing machine’s zig zag stitch before beginning your fabric bowl. Length and width. Make a note of which setting you like best. So your stitches will be consistent. I am not positive but I believe I am saving a bit of thread by spacing the stitches farther apart. Plus I like the look rather than smaller tighter stitches.

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So… those are my 10. As you make your fabric bowl, please do come back and share yours with us.

Go here for instructions to make a fabric bowl.


24 comments on “10 Tips For Making A Fabric Bowl

  1. OMGosh! There really IS a Janome living at your house!

    • don_mae says:

      LOL!! Wait until you see what I am using to wind a bobbin. Since Janome just sits and hums when I try to use it. Got to take it in for repairs. Hard for me to let it go. Will be 2 weeks before I get her back, or so I was told.

  2. sisca says:

    Good Job,thanks for share.. 😀 😀 visit my Blog Ya

  3. tmhHoover says:

    I know this is an old post- but it is very helpful. Found on Pinterest!

    • don_mae says:

      Hi there, thanks so much for letting me know. I didn’t know it had been pinned. Glad my tips are helpful. I had fun making the bowls. I think I made about 10 of them.

  4. Moira says:

    another oldie found and a good idea which I will use. thanks for the tips.

  5. […] at This Year’s Dozen, suggests using binder clips to hold coiled fabric in place around the rope, shares frugal […]

  6. Love these basket/bowls!!! So fun!

  7. Anneliese says:

    Thank you for these 10 tips – I made already many of them with rising enthusiasm – but never tried strips on the bias. I will consider this for the next time.

  8. Alice says:

    Can you explain how you added the wood handles?

  9. LeeAnne P says:

    I find pinking the strips creates a better finished product. I bought a pinking wheel for my rotary cutter and it does an amazing job.

  10. Marsha Pennington says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your tips. I just made my first three bowls. Soooo addicting!

    • Tracey says:

      Do you wrap the coil and sew the coils together, like with a zig zag? Id like to try to make one! Is it hard for the needle to go through the coil? How much do you sell each one for?

      • Lucy Flores says:

        Tracey, March 1, 2019 this is sep t 1,2019 by now I hope you were told you need a heavy duty sewing machine with size 14 or 16 needle , heavy thread.
        Sewing machine timing will be a common repair per my repair man. You could buy a used zig zag sewing machine as a back up & no sewing fabric coiled baskets. I enjoy making fabric baskets. Best wishes, lucy

  11. Thankamani says:


  12. Donna says:

    I have tried to make a bowl and put it away was very frustrating after reading your tips I am excited to try again

  13. Loismargaret Dominique says:

    I have made about 50 bowls. I never use a clip to keep the fabric on my rope. I think you get slippage because you are using cord. I wrap very tightly, and I fold the fabric over (no raw edges). I cut my fabric however it gives me the most fabric to cover.
    Also, job lot has 200 ft of clothes line for 7.88.
    I also use a bobbin winding machine. I have two spools of each color thread I use. I use one for bobbins, one to thread in the machine. I only use one bobbin per bowl ( 8-10 inch diameter). I use 5.0 width, and 1.3 spacing.

  14. Sue says:

    Where did you get macrame cord?

  15. Lucy Flores says:

    Hobby Lobby stores or Wal-Mart or large craft stores. I haven’t tried macrame cord cause adding fabric will make difficult to see on my sewing machine but no see & wrap fabric should be ok. Lucy

  16. Lucy Flores says:

    Hobby Lobby stores or Wal-Mart or large craft stores. I haven’t tried macrame cord cause adding fabric will make difficult to sew on my sewing machine but no sew & wrap fabric should be ok. Sorry double post

  17. Lonnie Shaffer says:

    My Janice gem platinum 780 will not sew through clothesline rope. Will it woke with macrame cording?

  18. Christine Gilgannon says:

    You have inspired me! Can’t wait to try these fabric bowls. I’m into crocheting rope bowls at the moment using recycled cotton and t- shirt ‘ropes’. Thanks for the great instructions! Found on Pinterest.

  19. Sherry says:

    Wonderful tips! Thank you for sharing. I’ve only made one and was pleased with my first attempt. My question is that my basket seems a bit floppy. How do you get the upright section to be stiffer and hold the form? Thanks

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