Make Your Own Fabric Bowls with Rob!


Fabric bowls are not only a fantastic way
to burn up your scraps but they’re super fun and easy to make. Now I’ve got a couple
tricks in my tutorial today to teach you how to use a finished edge and a small stitch
to make a really clean looking fabric bowl. Let’s get started. As I said you can certainly burn up your scraps
using this but I wanted to show off one of my favorite pre cuts here, the color strata
roll. This is a solid cotton couture from Michael Miller. And this bowl here your looking
at is actually consumed half of my entire pre cut roll there. Now as I teach you today,
keep in mind you can always add in more cording or more fabric to make your bowl more bigger
and bigger and bigger. I want to walk you through some of the basics. And what I did
for those basics was I took my roll. I opened it up. I put it in an order of color that
I really liked. And then I simply took and I cut the folds out of all of my fabrics so
that I started working with what would be about a 22 by 2 ½ inch strip. Now one of
the things I wanted to do was make a continual set like I would with my binding, right? Of
the fabric to wrap around the cord so that I wasn’t adding a piece, adding a piece
to this set to keep no raw edges. It can be a little cumbersome so having a nice piece
of velcro to wrap around to help hold it in place like this is going to be very handy
for you. You’ll need a couple because we’re going to do with same with our cording. But we’re going to build this by taking
a bias join. Again we don’t want this to get bulky. And if you’re not much of a quilter
yet in your life I’m going to teach you how to do this bias. It’s real simple. You’re
going to take your right sides of your fabric and you’re going to set them together. We’re
using solids so I’ve got the first two perfect don’t I? Now from there I’m just going
to stitch a line across here. So it lays like this and then I’m going to stitch a line
across here and that will form a bias union. And then I just join all of my little 22 inch
pieces all the way down until I have a wonderful color order. Now management is the key to
the fabric bowl the way I’m going to teach you. And so what I really want to show you,
in this bowl, look carefully. We’re going to go from blue at the beginning and we’re
going to come all the way through to the pink and then back out to the blue. So I actually
took one rotation and another rotation of color. And you can see that I’ve made them.
We’re going to start with our blue. Go into our pink. Once we get down to the pink we
can splice on this new tail and keep going. The reason I did that is these are easier
to keep in my hand while I’m wrapping the cording. If you have a big bulky one it just
becomes a bit cumbersome. And it’s the wrapping that becomes time consuming and so I want
to make it as efficient as possible. So I”m going to put this on later onto this as we
build the bowl. So that’s just the bulk management. And then also with our cording
here I have about ten yards of cording . I won’t use that much but I could, right?
And I also have it trapped and wrapped in the velcro. And while I’m working on this,
this is actually kind of sitting below the table and as I come and create twist in my
cord, I can see this spinning below me. The weight of that spins below and helps keep
the cord from twisting up. Because that is one of our adversaries today. We do not want
our cord to get too twisted. So I’m going to take a couple more folds in here real quick
just so I’m nice and ready to go. And I don’t believe I told you but this was that
2 ½. It’s been pressed so that the right sides would be facing out on both sides. Now to start you want to have a nice clean
cut. And I”m not using the laundry cord. I find that’s a very dense cording and it
works wonderful. But because I wanted to use a little bit thicker cord I went with a cotton
covered, or excuse me, it’s like a poly wrap on a cotton. You use it in piping in
pillows. It’s very soft. It’s very squishy and very, very easy to stitch through. And
that’s one of the reasons I made that choice. So when I’m dealing with getting ready for
my wrap, what I’m going to do is I’m going to take that clean cut and I’m going to
set it inside of my finished part, fold it over. And I’m going to pinch real quick.
Now before I go any further I want to make sure I have a couple of my little wonder clips
handy because as I start to come around the top, I’m going to get about two twists in
here. And the first few inches, yes I am twisting up the cord as well because it’s very easy
to untwist. You can actually start to see that happen there. Now I”m going to let
the cord hang off of the table. I find it’s actually easiest to sit while you do this
so I’m going to do the same. And now what I’m going to do is I’m going
to start to twist and then I feed my pile of fabric as I go. See how easy that works.
And what this does is it keeps all of our fabric tail and our cording from getting double
twisted around down at our feet. What I like to do is go ahead and wrap this until I’ve
maybe made it through two or three color changes so about 40 inches of fabric it will equal
about 12 inches of wrap. And then I’ll show you how to start your coil and begin doing
your bowl. And reminder as I’m working on this a little bit. This technique is awesome
for rugs, it’s awesome for placemats, trivets. Anything like that. It doesn’t have to curl
up. We can do these nice and flat as well. And I think I stalled just long enough to
show you my next trick. So I’m going to put another wonder clip here to hold it so
that I can undo my velcro. And I’m going to let out to the next color. There’s the
next color starting. The smaller fabric tail the easier it is to manage, ok? Then I take
the wonder clip back off and as I’m wrapping my cording I’m not wrapping it super tight.
And the reason I don’t wrap it super tight is after a few hours of doing this you might
find that your fingers get a little tired. Not to discourage you from doing a good job.
But what I’m trying to say is if you wrap it super tight from the beginning you’re
going to want to keep wrapping it super tight at the end and your hands may be a little
tuckered out on your first bowl. So don’t wrap it super tight so you can just have a
nice easy start and finish as you go. Alright as we get this last little wrap around
here I’m going to go ahead and pinch this off and hold that there. Now we’re going
to need a few of our little straight pins. And what we’re going to do, we can take
the end clamp off. It’s not going to get away from us. And then what I’m going to
do is I’m going to go ahead and start to coil this into a little ball, pretty tight
in the coil. And I have those pins handy because in a few seconds it’s going to feel like
I just can’t hold onto it much longer. And so in order to secure it I want to go ahead
and put a pin or four through as many of the coil as I can. Be careful not to let that
come through and hit you in the finger or thumb on the other side. But this is going
to help us secure it until we get over to the sewing machine. Ok so now we are ready to approach the sewing
machine with our coil. One of the things I’ve also learned to do at this point is I need
to get myself a little bit more working room here. So I’m going to go ahead and re-wrap
my fabric one more time. I’ve got my cord. And now we’re going to move over to the
machine. Now I’m hoping that you have a stiletto handy because it might help on these
first few stitches. And at this point you can also bring the weight of your cord onto
the table again as well. I want you to make sure that your cording is coming off the right
side of the bowl that way the coil itself will start to build on the left side. Eventually
this bowl is going to end up building like this. And so we cannot fit it usually under
the machine this side. So I want you to build it up this way. And the trick is having the
cording come off of your right hand. We’re going to get deep into the middle. Some machines
have a presser foot extra lift so I’m actually pushing up higher on there. We’re going
to have to get a little western with this every now and again. And see I’ve got it
basically really thick. And I did that on purpose. What I want to teach you to do is
squish this down as a trick. Or some machines, if you can get them in the cycle where the
feed dogs go down enough then we can start to slide it in, get it there and bring it
right back up and sneak it underneath there. Ok be careful not to push on your needle too
hard. And this is the most difficult part of the entire project, the first few minutes
of sewing. Once we get around this little coil, it is super easy and fun and you can
just sit at your machine and enjoy doing a little wrapping, a little stitching, a little
wrapping, a little stitching. On these first few moments, deep breath, stiletto in hand.
I’m going to be able to use my stiletto in here almost like a steering wheel because
it’s such a small amount of area I’m working in. Ok here we go. If you have needle down on
your machine, engage needle down. Polyester thread and a four millimeter zig zag with
about a two millimeter stitch length is what I’m using today. And you can see I’m using
that stiletto to just coil around that center. Oop and I just hit that pin. So let’s make
sure I come up nice. Ok we’re good. Like I said we’re going to take these first few
laps really slow, ok? And at a point like this we might need to take and feed the body
of our coil back around, ok? And we’re down here. This is going very nicely here. Coming
around. Now what I’m going to do is I’m going to stitch till I’ve got a couple of
inches worth of that fabric tail on the table for me. As I come around my coil here. I’ll
cut my threads out of the way later. And this is going to be a great place to stop here
in just a second. Let’s just get past this other pin. Perfect. Ok. Easy. Now let’s
get these pins out of the way for the rest of the day. We don’t need them any longer.
This is going terrific. And now what we’re going to do is we’re going to let the cord
go back down and just hang off of the table. It’s not touching the ground. We want that
so that it spins. And then I’m going to take off my wonder clip, keep it handy. And I’m going to start to wrap and loop
my fabric over, wrap and loop my fabric over. Now earlier I mentioned that I cut my strips
into two 22 inch strips. And the reason we do that is just so that the colors change
faster in the bowl. You can certainly use 44 inch strips. And again like I said, these
were traditionally done with all kinds of scraps. What I think is important is we do
join those on the bias so that they don’t get too lumpy as we’re working. Ok, I’m
just going to do a little bit of this because I have another bowl that is almost finished
and I’ll be able to show you how it’s finished here in just a second. But I want
to teach you how we wrap at the machine now. It’s a little more cumbersome. And I just
do one wrap at a time. And again I’ll go out about six, eight, ten inches. You’ll
find where it’s comfortable for you. And you’ll probably find that after you do it
a little bit longer you’re able to run your cording out a little further and be able to
control it nice. So I’ve gotten this wrapped just enough here. And so what I’m going
to do is I’m going to go ahead and use one of my wonder clips, hold that in place. And
then I want to show you what I’m looking at. If you look really close I’m looking
at this gap in the presser foot and the way that the two cords come together. That way
I try to keep my two pieces centered and I’m kind of pulling back on my cord a little bit
here. And then the weight of the cording between my legs also helps. Over time that’s going
to help us increase our coil. So from here, let me start wrapping while we’re talking
about this. What we’re going to do is we’re going to start to build out the center of
our bowl because we’re making a bowl today. If this was a trivet we just wouldn’t start
to make the bowl shape upward. You can do a wide one. You can do a narrow one. A steep
bowl, a skinny bowl, whatever you like, but that’s all based on how you begin your arcing.
So what I’m going to do on this particular one is a really deep dish, a deep bowl. And
that starts by going soon from the coil right into the elevation. I’m going to show you
that and then we’ll show you how to finish this bad boy off. Because I’ve made several of these fabric
bowls I did feel comfortable to wind off about another, oh 14, 16 inches worth. And I also
wanted to do this so I could hopefully show you the curl starting to form. So as I’m
doing this I’m going to start to put my thumb in the center and pull upward. And I’m
actually putting extra pressure out here on my cord hand because that technically should
shorten things up. I’m still watching that gap between. And you can see here how the
bowl is already starting to form. I do like using a really narrow zig zag for this so
I do have to be careful so that I make sure I land as many stitches as possible. And I
like to use a thread that kind of complements or a variegated thread that will kind of add
some fun accents. You most certainly can set this up for a wide zig zag as well. That helps
but you’ll show more of your thread color that way as well. Ok. Ok so you can now see
that the bowl itself has started to form just by starting to slightly pull up on this. And
I can make adjustments throughout the bowl as I go. I want to show you how to finish
the cording. So I talked earlier about splicing on a new
piece. Let’s say at this point it was time to splice on a new piece. You’re simply
going to go ahead and raise your needle up, go ahead and slide this out. And you might
have even had to set your machine back to straight stitch so you could splice on a piece.
That wouldn’t be a big problem. You would just sew that on. And when you come back in
just like we’re going to do now with this bowl so I can show you how to finish these
edges. You’ll simply just set it back up in there and try to line up your actual zig
zag stitches. And I like to go back about an inch or so. And then from that we’re
going to go ahead and come forward. Now at this point I have my clips off. I’m going
to wrap the rest of my tail. And you don’t want the end to turn out too sloppy looking.
We do have a raw edge on the very end of our bowl so we have to deal with that. So when
I am about, let me see how can I show all of you at home the best . I’m going to rotate
the bowl out of the way. So when I’m about, oh an inch and a half away from the end, what
I want to do now is I want to come in here and I want to cut my cord. So let’s put
one of these clamps, put our little third fingers in place there. Let’s cut this cord
out of the way, ok? Now what that does is it gives us the opportunity to wrap around
here once. And then as I come around of this raw edge I can start to fold it under like
yay. And now I can catch all of the raw edge, wrap it around. And I’m going to stick another
pin through and down into the cord a little ways. And I’m also going to clamp it just
for extra security. Now we’re going to roll the bowl back into place so I can see what
I’m doing. And we’re going to just smoothly stitch on this last row
as we go here. Nice and smooth. And now at this point what I want to do is I’m going
to use that stiletto again, let’s get our clip out of the way first. And I’m going
to try to control and roll that raw edge. Sorry that I’ve got so much of my big manly
fingers in our way here today. But I’m going to roll now that raw edge underneath. As I
get closer I’m going to worry a little bit more. And as we just come in here very delicately,
sometimes pinning. You can see I ended up sliding another pin in the last little tail
of the cord to hold it. That stiletto is a great tool. And then just sew off a little
bit. Oh now, you see that doesn’t take nearly
as long as I expected it to. These bowls are fantastic. And I better get started on another
project soon. I don’t know how much time there is. We’ll catch you next time at Man
Sewing.