A few days before Christmas, I realized I needed a gift to put under the tree for the Jazzman. I buy him this and that throughout the year when I see something he needs or could use, so there was nothing I could think of to get him so he would have something to open at the family gathering.
I had seen this Tiny Treasures Basket & Tray pattern a year or so ago on the Noodlehead website. I knew I wanted to try it sometime. Now I had an opportunity, and I had two coordinating fabrics in my stash that were perfect for this gift. And the pattern was free!
When I met him, the Jazzman was learning to play guitar. It was something he had wanted to do for years, and he was taking action on that desire. And then he met me. I had been been playing piano since I was 3½ years old. And over the course of my life I had also learned to play accordion and organ and clarinet and oboe and guitar and even dabbled with vibraphone and banjo. Shall we say that, without even trying, I can be intimidating to beginner musicians. His guitar went on the shelf. And that was eight years ago. He loves music—old metal and blues—and still dreams of playing guitar. So this little tray would be perfect to sit on his chest of drawers and hold the contents of his pocket.
When Christmas morning arrived and he opened his gift, he loved it. And now, three weeks later, it’s sitting on the corner of his chest of drawers. Each night he unloads his pockets into it.
I posted the finished tray to my Facebook feed. When my elder son, who lives in the Dallas area, saw it, he asked if I’d make one for him. That’s never happened before. Of course I did, and the review below incorporates what I learned from both makes.
Pattern Description: Small fabric tray and basket with handles.
Pattern Sizing: Finished basket is 10″ x 10″ x 4¼ tall; finished tray is 8″ x 6″ x 2½” tall.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, with the exception of the binding. It took me a while to figure out that I was going to open out the binding to sew it to the inside. Once I treated it like so many necklines I’ve bound, I was fine.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Heavy-weight interfacing on a concave surface is difficult to keep smooth in the finished product. And I needed a third hand to sew the binding around those curves!
Fabric Used: Quilting-weight cotton from Exclusively Quilters. It’s their “That Funky Jazz” collection. A scrap of ultrasuede from my stash for the tabs/handles.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
– The hardest thing was to sew the binding around the top edge. The instructions say to start the binding at one of the corner seams. NO! That was very difficult and unwieldy for me. When I made the second tray, I started the binding in the center of a side so it would be hidden by the tab/handle.
– The other issue for me was working with the heavy-weight interfacing (Pellon 71F) on the inside. This is a concave surface. Once it’s curved, the “darts” sewn, and finished, it’s almost impossible to try to press out those puckers and bubbles. (I was working with a quilting-weight cotton. Using a heavier textile might make a difference.) The next time I make this tray, I will use the heavy-weight on the outside, a convex surface.
– This was my first time using rivets. Yea for new skills. Love the finished look.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, already did. And will do so again! I would not advise a beginner to start with this. It would be better to make a couple of simple bags first so you’re used to working with the interfacing. The pattern is better for an advanced beginner, IMO.
Conclusion: Great little gift for your friends who already have enough of your zippered bags. There are a hundred uses each for the tray and the basket.
If you’re wanting a copy of this free pattern, here’s the link to the pattern.