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Thread: How to make Fabric Bowls

  1. #1
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Several people asked if I would do a tutorial on how to make the fabric bowls that I posted pictures of so here it is.

    I have 20 steps to post, so will do so in successive posts.

    First, "What's a fabric bowl?" Well, it's basically a bowl that's made from fabric covered clothesline cord that has been sewn together in a spiraling way to form the bowl. Here are a couple of pictures of the first one I made:
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  2. #2
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    And here are a couple of pics of the second one that I made which is the basis for this tutorial:
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  3. #3
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    First, let's talk about the clothesline we need. I used cotton clothesline made by SecureLine that is 3/16 inch wide. I bought this at Wal-Mart. The person who I learned this method from said that itís important to use cotton clothesline and not the nylon or synthetics. This 100 foot package was more than enough to make that first bowl shown above. I used about 3/4 of the package (75 feet) on it. The second bowl was larger so I used up all of a package plus the remainder of that first package, so about 125 feet.
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  4. #4
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Next, fabric. Obviously, your choice will affect the end result. I liked using fabrics that had large patterns to them because the color change then becomes very obvious in your bowl. Fabric with a tiny print won't look as variegated. The strips are cut on a bias and are 3/4 inch wide. You want the ends to all have the chisel end facing the same direction. So what I did was took my fabric and laid it out just as it was cut from the bolt and cut both the selvage edge and the folded edge off so that I now had two piece of fabric. I think turned that bottom layer over so that both pieces were facing right side up and layered together. I then cut my bias strips so that the chisel ends were all facing the same direction as shown below.
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  5. #5
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    And here's a big pile of strips ready for wrapping.
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  6. #6
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Begin by putting some Elmer's white glue on the end of the clothesline and wrap the end of the fabric piece around it, leaving about 1/4 inch that extends beyond the end. Since this will be the center of the bowl, you want that little extra fabric there so the end of the cord doesnít show.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Now, just lay a bead of white glue down the cord (very sparingly!) and begin wrapping the strip down the cord, overlapping about 1/4 inch as you go.
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  8. #8
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Just keep on wrapping. When you get to the end of a strip, put some glue on the end of it and secure it down to the cord. Then get another strip, glue the end of it, and keep on as before. Wrapping the cord is the most time consuming part of this whole thing. Sewing it is a breeze, it only took me about a hour to sew mine. Wrapping the cord, however, took several hours.
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  9. #9
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Once all the cord is wrapped, we are ready to sew. Begin by spiraling the cord as shown into about a 1.5 to 2 inch circle.
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  10. #10
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Now, we need to sew an X across these spirals to hold them in place while we start the zig zag sewing. So go ahead and sew an X across them.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Here you can see the X sewn across them.
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  12. #12
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Starting in the center, sew a zig zag stitch so that it catches both side of the cord and secures them together. When sewing in the center area like this, you'll have to pivot a lot because it is such a tight curve. As you get further out you can just sew and sew because it is easier to turn out there. For now, just sew up to that point where the X touches the outside of the spiral. As you can see, you will end up with several spirals around your work. So go ahead and clip the tread and unspiral those extra rounds.
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  13. #13
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Now we have this and we are ready to start sewing again.
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  14. #14
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Start zig-zagging again and just keep turning it by hand to guide the work through the needle.
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  15. #15
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    As you can see, it gets bigger and bigger!
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  16. #16
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Once you have the bottom as big as you want, lift the bottom up so that it is diagonal with the plate. We're going to start the walls of the bowl now. Continue sewing but do so now so you are pulling the cord a little to the left as you sew, which causes it to form the sides as you go around. Continue sewing around with the bottom lifted up on the diagonal like this.
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  17. #17
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    You can make handles on the bowl by cutting the thread and bumping out the cord a bit, then start sewing again. Afterwards, I come back and put a reinforcing zig-zag on both sides of the handle.
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  18. #18
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    I like to finish the cord off on the top edge by cutting it on a diagonal right before the handle so that it is not so obvious and then just zig zag over the end a few times to secure it down.

    That's it! Enjoy!
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  19. #19
    Super Member sawsan's Avatar
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    Thank y teacher Eddie for sharing us such a good lesson. I like every thing made of cloth. :-)

  20. #20
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Thanks Eddie. Will pick up some line tom. and try to get this done after March swap is in mail.

  21. #21
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tutorial

  22. #22
    Super Member AnnaK's Avatar
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    Your work always looks so professional Eddie. Thanks for teaching us.

  23. #23
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    Thanks Eddie ~ have bookmarked so I can find easy when I get ready to start. I have got to get my other project done so I can try this!!!!

  24. #24
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Great tute Eddie. Did you find the clothes line in the fabric section of Wal-Mart, or housewears. Going to check it out!

  25. #25
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    I like to finish the cord off on the top edge by cutting it on a diagonal right before the handle so that it is not so obvious and then just zig zag over the end a few times to secure it down.

    That's it! Enjoy!
    Eddie: Great tutorial. I'll be going to our nearest WalMart today and will purchase the cording and by tonight I'll be in the wrapped cord bowl making business. I've made cloth bowls before but used fabric templates and surged the seams on the bottom and sides and around the tops of the bowls. Your bowl will be a nice change of pace.

    Are you a teacher? Your instructions are excellent as are your pictures. If you aren't a teacher, maybe teaching is something to think about. You obviously are a born teacher. Thank you.

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