Friday, August 30, 2013

Tutorial: fabric bins featuring fort firefly by christina mckinney {a Pellon® & Birch Fabrics partnered project}

Bringing you guys a super quick and super useful tutorial today. Made from the dreamy new collection by Teagan White, Fort Firefly, these nesting bins are equally cute & functional! I don’t know about y’all, but I’m always on the lookout for a cute way to bring a little more organization to my crafty chaos. These would also make an adorable baby shower gift - I can just see them filled with tiny baby socks or as a diaper caddy on a changing table. So many uses!! I was able to make this 3 bin set in just a little over an hour. This is a great project for beginners - If you can sew a straight line, you can make these!!

Notes before you get started: 
There are two ways to make this bin, both are equally simple! I will lay out both options and you can decide which works best for you.  Pay attention to direction when you make your template and cut your fabric. The small portion of the template is the bin bottom, so orient your fabric accordingly. Use 1/2in seams unless otherwise stated. Outer, lining, and Pellon® pieces are cut & sewn the same way. Whichever version you choose, cut your Pellon® to match your lining piece(s). I found it really fast to cut & sew all bins at the same time, assembly line style. I chose to make mine with the “non continuous” method because the fabric I’m using has a distinct direction.  

Finished Dimensions:
Small: 5x6in base
Medium: 6x7in base
Large: 7x8in base
All bins measure 8in tall before folding down.

3 outer fabrics, 1/2 yd of each (You may need more, if your fabric is directional) 
3 lining fabrics, 1/2 yd of each (You may need more, if your fabric is directional)
1 1/2 yrds fusible Pellon®, I used Décor Bond 809 for this. (You may need more if you’re using a type that is not 45 wide)

I used Fort Firefly Fabric for all three bins.  Check your local web or brick and mortar retailer to find the line. (Coming soon to stores)

First things first - you’ll need to make yourself a quick template for your 3 bins. Using the measurements provided, choose your method & sketch out your pattern pieces. (I used poster board to make mine!)

The two methods explained:

It is possible to cut this on the fold as one continuous piece. If your fabric has a non directional print, I recommend using this method. You will use the measurements given for “continuous” to create your template. When cutting, place your template on the fold & cut one.

For directional fabric, use the measurements given for “non continuous” to make your template. You will need to pay close attention to template placement on the fabric to make sure that half your bin is not upside down. For this, you are NOT cutting on the fold, you are cutting two separate pieces. 


Cut all pieces according to your chosen method. You may notice I cut my lining upside down - I decided to do this so that when I flipped the edge over in the final step, the fabric would be right side up. (Read that a couple times, it makes sense I promise!)

Start by ironing your Pellon® to the wrong side of your LINING pieces. Quick note here - I know that typically you’d attach the Pellon® lining to the outer piece. However, I found that by attaching it to the inner pieces, you create a very stable inside that holds the outer piece tight as well.

(If you cut a continuous piece, skip the next two steps)

With right sides together, sew across the bottom, joining your two pieces.  (The short side)

Press this seam open.

(This is where you pick up with the continuous method.) With right sides together, sew up each side. Press your side seams open.

You will now sew up the corners, forming your bin bottom. With the piece still inside out, you will press the two corners together and match up the bottom and side seam. Stitch along this edge.(If you are working with a continuous piece, you will match up the bottom center with the side seam.) Repeat with the remaining side.

Repeat this process with your lining fabric.

To join your outer and lining, turn your assembled lining right side out & your outer piece inside out. You will slip the outer piece over the lining, matching up your two side seams. They should now be right sides together.

Leaving yourself a 3 inch gap for turning, stitch around the top. Make sure to secure your start & stop stitches so they don’t pull out when you turn everything right side out.

Once stitched, pull everything right side out through your opening. Your liner should fit snugly down inside the outer piece. Make sure to push all corners out and match them up between the layers. At this point, I like to press the top seam. Make sure to fold under the fabric at your turning gap.

Pin your opening closed & stitch around the top edge of the bin, 1/4in from the edge.

Optional - Turn down the top edge 1-2 inches for a cute finish. I pressed this seam to give it a crisp edge.

Thanks for following along - Now go organize something!!

Fort Firefly Is Shipping to A Shop Near You Soon!


  1. Lookin' fw to try your tutorial - looks easy;) Thx

  2. Love your fabric choices! So pretty

  3. Love it! Thankyou for sharing!

  4. Awesome instructions and can't wait to make several. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  5. great tutorial, and a LOT simpler than it looked

  6. Oh thanks for this tute! I have a baby shower in a few weeks and a set of these will be perfect!!

  7. Those are just so adorable! Love 'em! :) Lisa

  8. Your bins are adorable. I hope to give them a try as well.
    Thank You

  9. It's so cute and useful ! thanks for the tuto and the fabrics are wonderful

  10. Thank you! I am just getting into sewing, and I appreciate all of the pictures! I finished my first one and look forward to many more. :)

  11. This is so cute and practical! Thank you for the great tutorial!
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  12. Do you think it is okay to use dressmaking fabrics for this craft? Well I have several extra dressmaking fabrics and wants to use for craft instead of just throwing them away.

  13. The side measurement remains the same on all sizes of the bins (8.5 in). Is this correct?

    1. It is :) The height stays the same, it's just the width that changes.

  14. Just made these and I love them! Great instructions.

  15. very good information and Inspiring & Interesting.

    success always

  16. Thank you soooooo much for this superb tutorial. I am constantly amazed by the
    generosity of artists in fabric like your good self, this free and fabulous information
    is a real blessing. Keep up the good work. The fabrics you have chosen are an
    absolute delight!

  17. I saw this darling bunny on Julie's blog and loved it so much! I made a couple and did a blog post with them and directed viewers back to your blog for the tutorial. Hope that's okay.

  18. Oops! I got confused about my previous comment-- I also made your bin/basket (in addition to the bunnies) and directed viewers back to your blog for this great tutorial. Thanks for showing us how you made the darling bins!

  19. great tutorial, very easy to follow

  20. These are great bins and so very easy! I made mine a little bigger than your large, and I think the next time I will use interfacing on both sides to make it more firm.
    Thanks for the easy tutorial!

  21. Looking forward to making these great tutorial

  22. I love these! I have saved on my pc to make these. Thanks for great and simple tute. I am new to sewing and I feel I can make these.

  23. this is great I would love to make these
    thank you for a great tutorial!!!!

  24. Thanks for sharing & making it easy to follow. I can't wait to start!!!

  25. I love these! I'll make two sets as this is also a great gift idea for a crafty friend. Thank you!

  26. Great project! I can think of so many ways to use these! Thank you!

  27. These are great and so quick to make! I will be making many more of these to organize all my things. Thanks for the fabulous tutorial!

  28. Hi,

    I would love to make an even smaller container to tuck into my sock drawer for all the nylon footie socks I have. Finished maybe four inches tall. Any suggestions on the measurements? So far I have 6" by 5" unfinished with 1" by 1.5" cut outs for the bottom

  29. I just discovered your tut; thank you.

  30. What does it say at the bottom of each pattern piece between the solid line and the dotted line. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

  31. Any idea whether it is possible to use Canvas instead of 'fabric combined with Poplin?

  32. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I just mad the medium sized and the small one. So easy to follow yout directions. Can't wait to see what more you have.

    Made min in blue pattern with chinese symbols and white lacey pattern on the other aide :-)

  33. These have got to be the easiest thing I ever done. I made 2 today in the large size, and I want to continue!! What cute gifts they would make!!! Thanks so much!!

  34. These bins are just darling. I'm going to make a set for a friend & probably for myself too! Very easy to follow! Thanks for the pattern!

  35. Brilliant pattern, you are so smart! And generous. Really appreciate this.