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Moses Basket: Liner

This project is for making a liner for a Moses Basket Crib - an original heirloom dating from 1972 (image 1). It is being made in cream and white embroiderie anglaise fabric (cotton and polyester) and will feature a range of varied pattern-making and sewing techniques. It took me originally several days - these detailed within the instructions.

The main fabric being used, was purchased ready quilted - embroiderie anglaise one side and plain the other. Also used is a selection of white and cream lace and plain fabrics for trims etc. As the crib is a custom size, the pattern for each liner is to be taken directly from the crib using a fabric draping* method. This involves laying the fabric over the crib's inner-shape, placing lines of pins at various positions to mark it and then transferring those marks to form seam lines and placement marks. By using this technique, any irregularities in the crib's shape can be rectified and in-built into the fabric's pattern shaping. 

One of my main items of equipment will be in constant use - PINS! Extra long ones are used for pattern marking (ie. 'fabric draping' see * above) as well as holding the pre-quilted fabric in place whilst pinning it to shape. Also, long pins will be used for pin-tacking in place of thread tacking as I find it quicker & easier to work with on quilted fabric ... any difference in shapings are more readily noticed. I'm also using a variety of safety pins to mark centre lines & other placements (image 2) etc. as they don't fall out whilst working and can be left in until final stages.


First stages involved making a pattern for the inner base & then patterns for the sides. Because of the difference in shape & height at either end of the crib, it was decided to have seams at a central position - from upper to lower edges of the liner. Another concern to be taken into account: there was a slight uneven 'dip' in the rim of the crib at this central point (used to assist lifting of the upper basket when removing it from the base) & this needed to be accurately 'marked'. As it is also an area where the crib's upper rounding edge is slightly wider, it was decided to add a separate section to incorporate this - a triangular 'holding-edge' panel (image 3).

After 'draping' & marking the relevant fabric pieces, they were cut & stitched: 2 main sides & 2 small triangles for the 'handle' areas. Here (image 4) you can see the underneath triangular inset pinned into position - it also helps create the slightly wider shape evident on the upper rim at this point. (A strap will also be stitched in the underneath seam - used to hold the liner in place later.)

After joining these main side panels, the seams were backed with a bias tape (made in plain fabric) and zig-zagged into position (image 5). This provides extra strength along each central seam and results in a flat, smooth and unridged edge.

An additional extra panel stitched through all layers, locates the 'holding-edge' as well as providing a durable 'double thickness' panel for wear. This over-panel (image 6), has been cut to shape and trimmed with lace and binding. It is then stitched in position over the triangular inset.



Yesterday I was able to finish the main inner liner (image 7 - marked with pins along the upper edge) and today I'm ready to start the elastic casing, bound edge and pleated flounce.

The liner base was backed with another layer of pre-quilted fabric (white) to add further thickness - it was then topstitched to hold all layers in place and ensure the edge remained firm. The centres were left marked with safety pins (image 8) as this helps when positioning the binding and casing, and later, assists for positioning of the flounce pleats.

Laying the liner in the crib (pinned in place), the overhang was then trimmed & bound (image 9) with 2 types of 'bindings'. The cream elastic casing, stitched on with the white 'decorative' binding, will possibly take either a wide elastic or a drawstring. The lower edges have been ' tacked' in place (too many pins here would catch the inner quilting whist working) and will be finally stitched on top of the pleated flounce when it's finished.

When the side panels were stitched yesterday, I also added a strap (image 10). Stitched into position on the reverse of the liner, it will be used to hold the liner to the basket and prevent the inner liner from falling to the inside. These 2 straps will possibly have a Velcro fastening but this (and their positioning) will be finally decided when the liner is completely finished.


The edge flounce of the liner is to be box pleated thus preventing the liner being too 'fussy' and allowing the contrast colour fabric (white) to be used. This main pleated section is being made in cream embroiderie anglaise (unquilted) with a white edging and white inset at every box pleat (image 11).

It's being made in 2 sections with an underlap at each side (image 12) - this ensures the side straps can be easily located and fastened. Again pins are being used to position the pleats both before and after stitching - image shows the first (back) section.


Here (image 13), the flounce is just pressed and safety pins now hold the box pleats in place - ready to attach to the main liner. Cut on the straight grain, each pleat will 'splay' out when on the crib allowing a subtle hint of the white pleat interior to be visible.



Day 3 of making the crib liner involved finishing the main box pleated edging and attaching it to the main liner section together with elasticating the underneath bias edging. The final stage is adding trims and making a cover to match the liner.

Again pins were used extensively to hold all pieces in place whilst assembling (image 14). First, the box pleated edge was pinned to the main liner's white outer binding - placing it under the folded edge. This was done whilst on the crib - easy to complete with pins and adjust into position. Once removed from the basket, it was machine straight-stitched into place.


A wide elastic was chosen to thread through the casing (image 15) - this would ensure it would remain in position on the crib and not twist in use. It was finally cut to size once on the basket and stretched. 6 'holding positions' were stitched through all layers to ensure the elastic/casing did not move once in place (line of stitching just beneath the white fabric at upper right).


Using one of the sewing machine's utility stitches, both edges of the white liner binding was edge-stitched over the straight stitching (image 16). This was mainly for decorative purposes although it gave the binding a 'finished' look as well as helping to 'pad' it. Image 17 shows this binding (the upper white binding) together with a side underlap that details the white contrast fabric.


All that is left to complete are ties/fastenings to hold the liner in place on the basket, add decorative trims around the upper edge.


Fastenings and trim addition is being done with the liner on the basket - pins used to hold each of the trims in position whilst placed. The floral trims are being stitched over the binding on the liner section but also partly on the pleated edge (images 18 & 20). To do this, they have been stitched in 2 stages - zigzagged on around their edges (image 18).



The fasteners have been made like small straps attached to the underside of the liner at 4 central positions (2 were completed earlier). Image 19 shows one of them with pin marking ready for button addition.



Image 21: Finished liner with matching cover:


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