January 24, 2008

All Wrapped Up

I took a class last month to make a wrapped fabric bowl, inspired by the book, “It's a Wrap” by Susan Breier. I worked too slowly to get done in the class, so I had to finish it up at home. It turned out much better than I expected. Now that I have the technique down, I plan to make some more and experiment with different shapes and fabric colors.

The fabrics I chose for this project are shown below. The class was a couple of weeks before Christmas, and I foolishly thought I would finish the bowl before the holiday season was over. Silly me! I never get anything creative done on a tight schedule.

I purposely chose these two fabrics to make the final result visually interesting, yet have the ability to camouflage any lousy stitching. My strategy worked like a charm except for one backfire result. It was difficult to see where I was stitching! So I would occasionally lose my concentration and wander off from the area I was supposed to stitch. Another issue encountered was the tendency of the black fabric to fray at the slightest touch. Consequently, there are wild hairs of unraveling threads embedded throughout the finished bowl, giving it a unique character.

The construction technique uses cotton clothes line as a foundation. You cut the fabric into strips and wrap them around the clothes line. A little glue and a few pins help along the way. And it all comes together into the form by zigzagging the cords together on the sewing machine. I finished off the top with a bias edge.

Here is a close-up to show you how it is stitched together and how the colors and patterns were transformed.

And here is the final product. It looks pretty good from a distance, LOL. To give you a sense of scale, it is 9 inches in diameter and a little over 4 inches tall.

If you want to try this project, you have to be persistent in trying to find the cotton clothes line. I believe that it is a material that may soon be extinct. Don’t even try looking at the big-box hardware stores. They only stock the synthetics. You might find it at an old-fashioned hardware store. I luckily discovered it stocked at an out-of-the way Wal-Mart.


  1. What a beautiful project!!! I'd try it, but I'm All thumbs!! But who knows..I sure would like to!! Have a happy day!!!

  2. How beautiful the combination of the two fabrics!

  3. Wow how amazing is that. Love it.
    hugs, Khris

  4. Hi! I just found your blog through my giveaway and love it! I'm adding you to my daily reads :) Thanks for stopping by!

    emily www.remodelingthislife.wordpress.com

  5. Wow! What a awesome wrapped bowl. I would love to try this!!

  6. That is a great project...... perhaps this is a way to use up all my odds and ends of fabric!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today :)

  7. Your basket came out beautifully! Check my blog this weekend to see my latest coiled fabric basket. It's going to be fabulous!

    I did find the clothesline at Ace Hardware, but it costs twice as much as it does at Walmart. I think that I will add that to my tips!

    Another book to check out is Textile Coil Pots & Baskets by Helen Deighan. She describes different techniques - clips instead of glue, plastic cording, hand sewing as well as machine, and much more. I am going to be reviewing this book and It's a Wrap on my blog in the upcoming weeks.

  8. I love your bowl - beautiful!


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