Scrap-busting | How to make fabric bowls

Looking for a fast and fun way to use up scrap fabrics? These colourful fabric bowls might be just the thing! Fabric bowls can be surprisingly useful when put in the right place. A thoughtfully positioned bowl in the hallway or on the kitchen counter is the perfect solution for catching those essential small items that are liable to go missing – keys, phone, post. Alternatively, fill them with yummy fruit or bread. Whatever you use yours for, these coil-work fabric bowls will be a joy. So simple to make, but lovingly handmade to make an impression!


how to make fabric bowlsYOU WILL NEED
The finished bowl will measure 30cm (12in) across and  10cm (4in) high

Preparation Time
1 hour

Sewing Time
3 hours

1 Wrap the first strip over the end of the cord and wrap the fabric around the cord at a 45 degree angle. Keep wrapping the length of the cord and when you reach the end of the strip secure the fabric with a small bulldog clip.

how to make fabric bowlshow to make fabric bowls

2 To make the flat base of the bowl, fold over the top of the cord and begin by sewing from the fold with a reverse stitch. Continue in a wide zigzag stitch to the short end of the cord. Try to keep the zigzag in the middle of the two sides with the needle catching each side as it zigzags. Starting is a little tricky, be careful not to catch your fingers. Use a couple of large pins to push the short end of the cord to the long end and start turning the cord to create a coil.  You may need to raise the presser foot to adjust the position of the cord as you turn.

How to make fabric bowls

3 Continue stitching and coiling the fabric around in a spiral. Hold the cord in your left hand and turn the coil clockwise with your right hand, lowering the needle and raising the presser foot to turn the work.

How to make fabric bowls

4 To join a new fabric strip, trim the old and the new strips parallel to the selvedge. Tuck the new end between the cord and the old end, continue to wrap the fabric around the cord and secure again with the clip.


how to make fabric bowls

5 Continue adding strips until the work measures 24cm (91/2in) across. Cut the thread and turn the work over.


If you are left-handed you may find it more comfortable to use the opposite hand. With a bit of practice you should find a method that suits you.


6 Begin to build the sides of the bowl by keeping your left hand under the coiled base and lifting it to control the angle of the sides. The higher you hold the base as you coil, the steeper the sides of the bowl will become.

How to make fabric bowls

7 Continue until the fabric bowl stands at about 10cm (4in) high. Cut the covered cord and trim away 2cm (3/4in) of cord. To finish, wrap the fabric over the cord end without creating too much bulk and stitch it to the bowl.


Now you have learned how to make three dimensional pieces with fabric coil work, start thinking creatively and you can not only change the fabric to suit your decor, but also change the shape of your bowl.  Remember, if you hold the base higher when building your sides, the sides will be steeper.  You could also change the shape of the base – why not try an oval or even a rectangle?


The fabric bowls featured in this blog post use Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry fabrics – shop our range of designer fabrics here.


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