Rope bowls are a fun, easy, and quick project with tons of uses! Keep one near your front door to catch your keys and loose change when you walk in, on your bedside table to hold your jewelry for the evening, or go big and make a statement basket for your living room décor. They’re form and function in your home and they also make great gifts. A rope bowl is quick and inexpensive to make and it’s a useful way to use up bobbins filled with odd colors we all have in our sewing room.
Materials to Sew a Rope Bowl
- Cotton cord or clothesline
- Thread (bright, high contrast colors are fun)
- Fabric scissors
- #20D open toe embroidery foot with dual feed
- B 790 Plus (or your favorite model with dual feed!)
Instructions to Sew a Rope Bowl
Step 1. Start fresh
I like to clip a clean end to the start of my cord. I find it helps coil more neatly when we’re starting out!
Step 2. Coil & pin
Begin coiling your cord and pin the first couple rotations in place. Wrap until the coil is about 1” in diameter and pin in place.
Step 3. Set up your stitch
Set your machine to stitch a standard zigzag at about 6mm width. This is wide enough to make sure you’re catching both sides of the cord as you sew—no one wants holes in their rope bowl! Be sure to set your machine to stop with the needle down.
I keep my stitch length at about 2.5mm. You can play with the length of the stitch to create different effects and textures!
Step 4. Lock the center
Place your coil under the #20D foot. Take the first few stitches very slowly to make sure you sew through the cord with every stitch. Stop and rotate the coil after every stitch or two to work your way around. Make sure not to sew over your pins!
When pivoting, stop with your needle down on the left side, or anchored toward the center of the coil rather than in the length of cord. This helps keep your stitches even and the tension on the cord consistent.
Step 5. Build your base
Once your center is locked in, rotating the bowl will get easier and more consistent. Line up the center where the coil and new cord meet with the center marking on your #20D foot. Move the bowl by gently pulling the base coil toward you from the left side. With dual feed engaged, it will spin with some light pressure.
Slow and steady is the mantra here. If you start sewing too fast, it’s easy to lose track of your placement and end up with holes. It’s hypnotizing after a minute or so!
Step 6. Slope the sides
When you’ve stitched around and around enough to create a base for your bowl, you can start creating an angle to slope the sides of the bowl. Stop stitching, with your needle down as always, and lift the edge of the base up toward your machine head. Continue stitching.
It won’t feel like anything’s happening immediately but after a few turns, you’ll see it start to take shape!
Step 7. Lock the end
After lots of rotations around, you’ll eventually decide your bowl is large enough. To secure the end of your cord, head back to your stitch settings and shorten your zigzag to a tight satin stitch.
Stitch about an inch in the satin stitch and backstitch a couple steps at the very end to keep things extra secure.
Step 8. Tie it off