Shaped Fabric Bowls

by on November 7th, 2010
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When you collect certain things, like seashells, you buy items as you see them. You might just be browsing a catalog and find a special shell soap dish you want. Or maybe you collect thimbles and you run into some at a flea market. When you collect things it can be hard to walk on by when you discover something you don’t have. But when you make what you don’t have you won’t settle for what you can find; you get exactly what you want. That’s why you’ll love a project where you take any shape or image, and turn it into a fabric bowl. It’s a simple process that allows you to make a bowl with the shape of a car, train, shoe, flower, building, pet, or most any other shape.

Use thick tweed as the color or pattern of the item you’ve chosen to recreate. Cut the tweed to be the shape you want. This can be done freehand, with a stencil, or using an image cut from a coloring book or magazine. Trace the shape onto the tweed, add details if you want, then cut out the shape.

Use felt to cut an additional shape for the bowl. This shape should be identical to the tweed shape. Besides the tweed and the felt you’ll also need fusible web. Found at places where fabric and notions are sold, the fusible web works to hold to fabrics together. Stack the two shapes, with the right side of the tweed facing upwards, and the fusible web between them. Follow directions to iron and fuse the two fabrics.

On the back of the felt, sew small darts, and go all the way around the shape with them. These darts should run from the image, to the edge of the image, and should be short. The darts will help give the flat image a bowl shape. Depending on the size and shape of the image, it could take only two or three darts, or might need several darts. It can be helpful to fold the image so that the tweed is in and the felt is showing, and sew straight over to the edge. The darts, though, should not go all the way into the center of the bowl. Shape the fabric like a bowl, while holding it in your hands, to get a good idea of where to make the darts.

Certain shapes make the best bowls. Some ideal shapes include leaves, soccer or other balls, hands, or cars. Play around with different shapes, and various patterns of tweed, to make assorted bowls. Sew details on the fabric shapes to add more visual interest. The bowls can be used in many ways around the house or can be given as unusual gifts. After all, when was the last time you saw a fabric bowl, shaped like a hedgehog?

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