I have too much stuff. It’s a direct consequence of me hating to throw things away that might still be useful (and in my imagination that applies to many, many things) and secondly I like to have options. In terms of fabric it means that I hold on to a large amount of scrap pieces (because it may still be useful for some project, and I will give examples for this in other posts) and whenever I come across a very nice fabric I get it and add it to my growing fabric stash (because it will be nice to have it right there, when I have the time and an idea for a new project).
To not deteriorate in chaos, I’m always interested in nice storage ideas. A few weeks ago, I came across a tutorial on purl soho, which shows how to make what they named a drawstring bucket tote. It’s essentially a large fabric bucket with two handles and a drawstring based closure. I thought that could be a nice alternative to buckets. Somehow, I’m very drawn to round shapes, even though they are not as practical for many purposes.
Anyway, before getting fabric to make large ones like in the purl soho tutorial, I thought I’ll do a test run with a smaller version. I used a light blue thick woven cotton fabric from IKEA for the outer shell, a simple light white cotton for the lining and for the drawstring closure a very pretty off-white fabric I got in Japan (it has an interesting droplet weave pattern).
Creating the outer bucket
The pattern pieces are straight forward, so I didn’t bother cutting them out of paper first. I traced out a circle for the bottom piece using a glass bowl . Then I measured the diameter and calculated from that what the necessary length of the rectangular piece (that would later become the bucket wall) needed to be. After cutting the pieces I carefully ironed everything . Then I sewed the two short sides of the rectangular piece together to form a cylinder (the bucket wall). Just for fun I added a small insert of the Japanese fabric (one of my scrap pieces) into the seam of the bucket wall . Then came the tricky bit: attaching the circular base to the bucket wall . To make sure that I pinned the pieces together correctly, I had previously made small “cut marks” on the base and the wall cylinder , indicating corresponding points along the arch of the base circle. Once the base was attached to the cylinder, I turned it inside out .
Adding the lining and drawing closure
I decided to line the bucket, to give it more stand and because I think having a white inside would make it easier to find stuff stored in the bucket later. The lining was sewn just like the outer bucket, leaving out the white insert . Next, I prepared the piece for the drawstring closure: A rectangle with the long edge matching the cylinder circumference and the short edge roughly as long as the cylinder diameter + about 1.5 inches. I created a tunnel for the draw string on one of the long edges of the rectangle by folding it over twice and fixing it with a seam about 1 inch away from the edge (this is why you need the additional 1.5 inches on the shorter edge). Then I closed the sides of this short cylinder and attached the piece to the outer bucket wall as shown in  (wrong side out). Finally, I added the lining to the outer bucket , leaving a small opening, through which the bucket could be turned inside out . After turning the bucket inside out, I carefully ironed it and fixed the upper edge with a single seam about 5 mm from the edge. This also closed up the small opening I had used to turn the bucket. For the closure I used an old, unused shoestring that I found in my stash.
The finished product
Overall I’m quite pleased with the final product. I might switch out the brown shoe string with a lighter colored string. Also, if I made it again from the same fabric, I would maybe add interfacing to increase the stiffness of the bucket wall. And if I come across some nice heavy canvas, I’m definitely going to try a larger version of this, maybe with handles like in the bucket tote tutorial.