Corded Fabric Bowl Video Tutorial

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**Important Sewing machine requirements**

  • Your sewing machine must be able to fit the wrapped cording under the presser foot in order to create the bowl so make sure the presser foot can raise off of the sewing machine bed rather high (1/4” – ½”) I recommend testing your machine with the cording to see if it will fit. If you know your presser foot won’t lift up very high make sure to get thin cotton cording.
  • Must be capable of a zig-zag stitch
  • Must have a STRONG motor that can sew through several layers of fabric without a problem.
  • Needle up/down helpful but not necessary
  • Solid Braid Cotton Clothesline (1/4-inch- to 3/8-inch-diameter) – Order 200 feet from Amazon for $11 – 50 feet or more: Look for bundles at quilt shops or discount fabric shops. You can also order bundles online pretty cheaply. Make sure it is cotton or cotton/poly blend and avoid the ones that have the “synthetic core” as they make sewing through them hard to do and might break your needle.
  • ¾ – 1 yard of assorted fabric strips cut – ½” – ¾” wide – cut Selvage to Selvage. These will make a small/med size bowl. Small bowls can be made with one fat quarter. You can use multiple fat quarters to equal the total yardage requirement and it makes wrapping easier to already have it at that length!

Your fabric does NOT have to be cut precisely but does help to have at least one edge that is mostly straight. Save your strips that you cut off the end of your yardage as you straighten your cuts. The strips should be at least 20” long. If cutting from yardage be sure to cut your strips in half afterwards so that each length is 20-22” long. If you wish for your bowl to color coordinate use fabrics of the same color or tone.

If you want to have a bowl with less frayed edges showing use batik fabrics as they don’t fray as much or you can cut your strips on the bias to prevent fraying.

  • A small paper binder clip or hair clip: (this will hold the strip of fabric as you are wrapping it to the clothesline). One or two clips will do in case you misplace one. I love the little Vera Bradley clips that come as a set, they work perfectly and are really cute too!
  • Thread: Color choice is up to you. If you want your thread to contrast your fabric bring something bright and fun. If you want it to blend in bring a neutral or a color to match your strips. This can completely change the look of your bowl depending on what you use. Variegated or blender threads often look fantastic when used in fabric bowl making.
  • 90/14 or Denim Needle Recommended

For more elaborate designs please refer to the book It’s a Wrap or It’s a Wrap II.

Video Tutorial Part 1 – How to Wrap, Sewing your bowl base and joining strips

Video Tutorial Part II – How to Slope Your Sides and How to End your Bowl


  1. Just watched your fabric bowl tutorial and enjoyed it very much. I have the "It's A Wrap" book. I will say, watching you was a lot better. Keep up the good work.

    The Quilting Pot Podcast

  2. Wow, thanks so much for making this tutorial! Your bowl is beautiful. I wonder if it's possible to make a rectangle? I love the colors you used too…gorgeous!

  3. Wonderful tutorial and gorgeous fabric bowl. Thank you so much. Please keep making tutorials–you're very good at it!

  4. These would make awesome rugs, hot pads and placemats I think.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to make this tutorial. I have seen these but never tried making them and you did an excellent job of showing how. I am going to file this for when I get some time to try it. Is the cording expensive? Looks like a good stash busting project but not if the cording blows my budget. I would think it would have to be pretty soft.

  6. Melissa Thomson says:

    That was great! I’m gona start one today!

  7. Loved the tutorial. You explained it clearly. The color selection, great. I have the double corded foot and a use pattern. I liked your idea of using the smaller sized strips. Makes perfect sense. Thank you great job.:-) carolyn

    • I hope you attempt a bowl! Great use of scraps or those ugly fat quarters you aren’t sure what else to do with.

  8. Good tutorial. I wanted to see how you ended your bowl and you did just as I figured. I tie-dye my cording rather than use fabric to wrap the cording and am pleased with the finished product of those, plus it is cheaper to do. Ending it gets a little tricky, but I found that if I use a small amount of fabric wrapped on the cording to begin and end the bowl, then the results are good. Additionally, putting loops of cording on the final edge to dress the bowl up would work too as that end of the cord could be hidden within one of the loops.

  9. Denise Scott says:

    can you wash these, I expect hand wash with Woolite, but want to know if you have tried? Great tutoria

  10. Very nice tutorial. I have made a couple and they turned out great. So I ordered braided clothesline from Amazon from your link and when it arrived it is cotton polyester. Will this work? Thanks!

    • It should be fine. The only clothesline you want to avoid is one that has a “synthetic core” for strength. The synthetic core cording has wrapped plastic fibers with cotton to make the clothesline stronger and sell them in places like Big Lots so just check for that. The clothesline from Amazon should be cotton or a cotton/poly blend. The main thing is that it is all woven fiber that flexes naturally and your needle can go through with minimal issue. I’ve used it plenty of times and it has worked fine.

  11. Thanks Katie!
    I now have the confidence to start my bowl! I have the cord, the book, and the interest already!

    • I’m so glad! I know you’ll be addicted now. Great way to use up lots of fabric you aren’t sure what to do with or it’s too ugly for anything else.

  12. Helen Gray says:

    What a great tutorial. I love scrappy string quilts but often have strings of less than 1″ left. I hate to throw them away. Now I have the perfect use for them. I just need to source the cord in the UK. Thank you so much.

  13. Shirley Helm says:

    Katie, love the bowl tutorial. Great job. I’m in the middle of making my first one. Is there a video out there that tells me how to do the handles?
    Thanks so much. Your baskets are so cute!

    • I haven’t done a video on the handles yet – they are pretty simple though. You just sew an elongated shape of the wrapped cording around 2-3 times and then hand stitch them to the sides of the bowl. I start with a piece 6-8 in length and then just use the same zigzag technique sewing an additional 2-3 sides to it and taper off the end so I have handles for one or both sides.

      If you want to do the handles that are “built in” you just stop sewing on one side, pull some cording out to create a “handle” shape large enough to accomodate your needs and then continue sewing on the other end of the “handle”. Do that on both sides so you have two handles. Then you sew normally once you’ve done that on both sides adding 2-3 more rounds of cording on top of the handles.

      The trick is to make sure you let out enough slack so the handles are big enough for the bowls.

      Hope that helps!

  14. Thanks for the great tutorial. I have the base of my very first bowl done and am ready to start up the sides. Thank you again. I was wondering if you can and if you do wrap lots of cord ahead of time (like in front of the TV or on break)? P.S. Love your podcasts.

  15. Katie,

    Thank you for a great tutorial! A perfect way to use up those scraps of fabric. I will be picking up some cording next trip out. I love the colors you used in your bowl. Wrapping the cord can be done anytime, anywhere, love it………

  16. I’ve finished three of these bowls in the last 24 hours and have another rolled up, ready to be sewn. When I couldn’t find the cording locally, I followed your link, ordered it online and waited a week for it to arrive. Your video tutorial was outstanding, very easy to follow, and just in time for the holidays! Thank you!!!


  1. […] Look at all the bowls! (PSST – want a tutorial on how to do these? I have one right here!) […]

  2. […] I got three bowls done. They’re larger than I intended but that’s ok. I’m sure someone will love them! They will be sold at our quilt show in November in the boutique.  I’ve got another 10-15 more bowls I want to do before the show. Free tutorial on how to make your own fabric bowl! […]

  3. […] This is where I learned how to do it, she's a great teacher. I figure, why re-invent the wheel? Corded Fabric Bowl Video Tutorial | Katie's Quilting Corner Reply With […]