Jessica Ween from A Making Life shows you how to prepare for the best picnic ever with a Playful Picnic Set! Make a set for your own family adventures, or give a set as a wedding or hostess gift this season. You’ll want to settle right in on the beach or in a park, sandwich in hand and summer in the air! Find more from Jessica in her pattern design shop, Facebook and Instagram. You can also learn more in her introduction.
There is one thing guaranteed to make peanut butter sandwiches special, and that’s a beautiful picnic basket!
Whether you want to head to the park and feed the whole family or send your little ones out into the garden for a special snack this tutorial will help you make some lovely up-cycled and easy to sew picnic gear. I found my baskets and blanket at my local op shops but you might have something perfect already in the cupboard!
- Woolen blanket
- Two basket lining fabrics
- Two 2″ strips for draw strings
- 10″ strip for napkin backing fabric
- 10″ strip plain napkin fabric
- Scraps of contrast fabric
- Large rectangles of fabric (enough to cover your blanket)
Note: it is best to find your basket and blanket before fabric so you can ensure you have enough!
Making the Basket Liner Pattern
Start by measuring your basket across the top edge, down one side, across the bottom, up the other side and across the rim. Do this for both width and depth. Add 3 inches and halve each measurement.
Fold a large piece of paper into quarters. It must be large enough to fit your measurements before you halved them. Mark the halved measurements on the two folded edges. Draw perpendicular lines out from marks. Curve the corner where they intersect. If you basket is a circle then make the curve large. If it is quite rectangular then make a small curve. If it is oval make it somewhere in between. Along the longer length (where the handle is) mark out a 2″ x ¾” notch for the handle. Curve the corner. If your basket has very wide handles you might need this to be wider.
Sewing the Basket Liner
Cut out pattern piece. Place your two basket lining fabrics right sides together and pin pattern on and cut out.
Mark sewing start and stop points with pins. Place pins 1 1/4″ from edges of the handle slot.
Sew around liner where indicated leaving a 3″ opening on one side for turning. Clip the concave curves in the handle slot and turn through.
Iron flat, top stitch very close along the outside edge and then again 1″ from the edge.
Cut out two strips of fabric for the draw strings, 2″ by measurement from one end of the handle to the other plus 16″. Iron in half right sides together along the length.
Open up, fold the end in ¼” and then fold both long edges in to the center. Close up again and stitch along the length to secure.
Attach a safety pin or bodkin to one end of the draw string and thread through the edge of the basket lining. Repeat for the other side.
Place on basket and evenly pull on draw strings until the lining is snug and the ties bows to secure.
Cut out four 10″ x 10″ squares of backing fabric. Cut four 2″ x 10″ strips of contrast fabric. Cut four 8 1/3″ x 10″ rectangles of plain fabric. Sew strips and rectangles together. Iron the seams open.
With right sides together sew all the way around the napkins leaving a 2″ opening for turning. Clip corners, turn through, iron and stop stitch close to the edge.
Cut enough 2″ strips from contrast fabric to extend the length of your blanket. Sew together end on end and press seams open. Sew two large rectangles to either side of the contrast strip and press seams open. Place pieced top right side down on woolen blanket. Pin the edges and trim blanket to size if needed. Sew around edges with 1″ seam allowance leaving an 8″ opening for turning. Trim the blanket in the seam to about ¼” from sewn line. Clip corners and turn through.
Top stitch ¼” from the edge. Stitch along either side of the contrast strip and several times on the larger rectangle to secure.
Enjoy your picnic!