Let’s get crafty with kraft-tex! This unique material is used to make this fun woven basket. In this BERNINA Community Studio lesson, learn how to use overlock stitches to construct and embellish this quick and fun project.
I will be using the BERNINA L 860 Overlocker, but any 4-thread overlock machine can be used to make this project. A little about kraft-tex, if you haven’t used this product yet, it feels and wears like leather, but cuts, sews and washes like fabric. You can sew, embroider, paint, stamp, and emboss all sorts of things with this fiber product.
Other BERNINA models that may be used for this project include:
I love the new L 860 Overlocker—this machine has the one-step BERNINA Air Threader making threading a breeze. It also has a touch screen that makes it easy to navigate from one stitch to another, to customize and save stitches, and it offers on-screen guidance through Creative Consultant that will help to set up the perfect stitch for my project. This machine differs from the BERNINA L 890 Overlocker in that it does not do a coverstitch or a chainstitch. We are going to use the 3-thread Overlock Stich and some decorative threads to embellish strips of kraft-tex. Then we are going to weave the strips into a basket.
Feet and Accessories
- kraft tex– 3/4 yd – any color, 18 1/2” -20” wide
- One spool of 12 wt cotton decorative thread (WonderFil Spagetti or Fruitti recommended)
- Two spools of coordinating thread (Isacord, Mettler, Seracor, etc.)
- 90/14 ELX705 needle
- Rotary cutter and mat
- 20” rotary ruler
- Wonder Clips
- Thread snips
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Marking pencil
- Hera Marker or other scoring tool
- Roll & Press
Steps to Make Overlocker Woven Basket
Step 1. Prepare Kraft-tex
Cut 12 strips of Kraft-tex
- 2” x WOF (18 1/2” or 19” long, depending on your Kraft-tex piece).
Note: For this basket, you will only use 11 strips, but it’s nice to have an extra…just in case. Use the leftovers for testing.
Step 2. Sewing Kraft-tex Strips
Using the Hera Marker (or other scoring tool) and ruler, score lengthwise down the center of each strip.
Fold each strip in half lengthwise along the score line. Use the Roll & Press to make a sharp crease.
On the L 860 or L 890 machines, select the 3-thread Wide Overlock Stitch #3. For other overlockers, consult your owner’s manual for setup instructions.
Thread the machine with the 12 wt. thread in the Upper Looper.
Thread the Left Needle and Lower Looper with regular thread.
Install the Right Seam Guide and adjust so that the guide is even with the blade and the kraft-tex is riding next to the blade, but not being cut.
These settings worked well for me, but you will want to test on your machine:
Test the stitch on a folded piece of scrap Kraft-tex. Adjust as needed. When you find your balanced stitch, save it to your L 860 or L 890, using the Personal Memory and call it “Kraft-tex”.
Stitch the long raw edges together on all of the strips.
After making eight strips, mark the center of each strip on the wrong side (non-decorative thread side).
Step 3. Constructing the Basket
Place four strips horizontally on the table in front of you with the decorative thread facing down and all stitched ends facing in the same direction.
Place one strip on either side of the center marks of the horizontal strips, right side down. Weave and glue to hold. Use a Wonder Clip to hold a moment until dry, if you like.
Place one strip on either side of the first two and repeat. This is the base of your basket.
Building Up the Sides
Place the beginning end in the “under” position and glue in place. Make sure that the thread is facing up and the folded edge of the strip is at the base of your basket. Add a clip to hold. Weave the strip over and under till you reach the point where you started.
Snug the strip down to the base. It may be helpful to use clips to hold together the tops of the vertical strips. Trim any excess at the end of the woven strip and glue in place.
Repeat with two more strips.
Weave the top ends of the vertical strips back down to the inside. Use glue to hold in place where you can’t tuck in.
Every other strip folds onto itself to the inside and tucks into the second row. Glue at the top to hold.
Step 4. Serger Cord & Beads
To make serger cording, we are going to use the 3-thread Rolled Hem Stitch #8. (For other machines, consult you machine’s manual to set up a rolled hem stitch.) All we need to do in this case is move the left needle to the right needle position and re-thread.
Here are settings that worked for me.
The secret to a nice serger cord is to use slight tension to pull the thread to the back of the machine as you press on the foot control. If you pull too fast, the cord will look loopy. Some people turn their machine around so that they are facing the back while doing this!
I would say about 3 yards is enough for just about any embellishment. When adding beads, I found that a dental flosser was really helpful in pulling the thread through the beads. Then tie a knot at the bottom of the cord to keep the bead from falling off.
Wire Ribbon and Fabric
Please refer to the DIY Wire-edge Ribbon post on WeAllSew for more detailed information.
You will need the Cording Foot #L17 for the L 850 and L 860.
If you are an L 890 Owner, the cording foot is the #C17.
If you wanted to add cording to your project, say on the edge of a napkin or hem, you would use this foot. It is also great for serging in fishing line (like on a bridal veil) or wire on fabric strips to make wired ribbon. The rolled hem stitch covers it up.
The guides in front keep the cord feeding in a straight line. The tunnel underneath in the back allows for even feeding of the bulk of the cord. You do want to make sure that your cord isn’t too big for the guides.
To make wire-edged ribbon I recommend 26 gauge beading wire.
I also used 2-thread Rolled Hem Stitch #13 with WonderFil SoftLoc in the Lower Looper. (You could use a 3-thread Rolled Hem if your machine is not capable of doing a 2-thread Rolled Hem.)
Note: I like batiks for ribbon because both sides are “right” sides.
Experiment with different sized bases and heights. This basket is a 4×4 with a three strip height. Other options are a 2×2 with a four strip height, or a 2×5 with three strip height. You are only limited by the length of your strip of kraft-tex.
Try out different decorative threads and embellishments, too!