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Tutorial: How to make a basket weave inset


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Drawing inspiration from corded insertions I came up with this basket weave tutorial.

I love how this detail looks complicated and impressive while being fairly easy to accomplish. A little effort for maximum look is right up my alley. While it is a little time consuming to make the bias tape, you could easily use store bought tape to speed up the process.

You have a few options for doing an inset like this. Above, I created a yoke using the same instructions as our Lace Yoke tutorial.

You can also do a simple inset, which I’ll show below. Both use the same methods, they’re basically just different shapes.

Tools Needed:

  • bias tape or tubing
  • pins
  • paper
  • scissors
  • tracing wheel
  • washaway interfacing (optional)

  1. On the pattern piece, draw the shape you’d like for your basket weave inset. Follow the instructions in the Lace Yoke Tutorial on how to create a separate yoke piece if you are replacing the yoke. You may be making an inset as shown in the tutorial, the directions for both are the same. Using the new inset pattern piece, cut out wash away interfacing or paper. Draw your basket weave design on the new inset piece.

  1. Baste along the seam allowance line of the bodice where the basket weave inset will join. Tip: use contrasting thread to easily see it when you remove this stitching in a later step.

  1. Snip up to the stitching: either at angle toward corners as shown or at intervals along a curve.

  1. Press the seam allowance to the inside of the garment.

  1. Fold and press bias binding in half and sew together at least two yards worth. See our Continuous Bias Tape tutorial for more on making your own bias tape. Options: you may leave the bias binding unstitched if you don’t want as many stitching lines in the final garment.

  1. Pin bias binding strips to the paper or wash away interfacing. Be sure to weave the tape to create the basket weave look.

  1. Sew bias binding strips to the paper. If using tubing, tack them together with hand stitching where the pieces overlap.

  1. Pin the right side of the inset to the wrong side of the bodice.

  1. Slowly edgestitch the bodice. This attaches the inset to the bodice. Trim and finish the seam allowances.

  1. Add bias binding along the neckline. Remove the basting stitches from step 2. Carefully pull off the paper, or wash garment to remove washaway interfacing.


  • Use a contrasting fabric for the bias tape
  • Use thinner or wider tape than you normally would
  • Try a textured fabric for the bias tape such as Swiss dot or seersucker
  • Use a lighter color in the same family as your fashion fabric for the bias tape

We think this looks especially great in light fabrics, and would even be beautiful on lingerie. What do you think?

Caitlin Clark   —  

Caitlin is the Colette Patterns design assistant. You can follow Caitlin at her blog, the story girl.

Comments 41

Maddie Flanigan

Oh I wish I had this tutorial about a season ago. When I was in tech, we had a tee that had this detail. The problem we were having was that the bias bindings were stretching. This wash away interfacing would have been perfect! Oh well, I’ll save this for next time!


This is beautiful! I love it!
Question- how would you suggest finishing the seam allowances of the inset? (Step 9)


You could zig-zag or serge the edges to finish. Alternately, you could pink the edges. I think you could enclose the edges with thin bias tape but I’m not sure how bulky this would be – if it would show on the right side.


Yeah I thought about using bias bindinhg but I think it may be too bulky.
how did you finish the seams in the blouse you made – if I may ask.
thank you so much for your help!


This is such a lovely tutorial. I will try to apply this to a blouse, I think it gives a very delicate accent. But wouldn’t it be a lot more unstable to make a whole yoke like the blue blouse on top? I like very much but am afraid the biais tape would look all wrong from the weight. Well, I will have to give it a go and report back…


I used the same fabric for the bias tape as for the shirt and there weren’t any problems. It keeps from stretching out because of the steps I outlined above. All that stitching will keep it in place. I can see how you might have a problem with stretching if the garment fabric is heavier than the bias tape fabric, or if your basket weave has wider openings. In general this is best for light to medium weight fabrics.

Sewing Princess

Great tutorial. Lovely detail for a simple top


I love these tutorials you keep sharing. Now if only I had the guts to tackle an adult sized garment…


It looks beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial!


Thank you for this. I have been planning a summer dress with this style yoke but hadn’t worked out how best to do it. Because the weather has been so awful in England I’ve not even bothered with it, I shall now store this and plan it for next year!

gabriel ratchet


Brenda Marks

Such a lovely look. Now I have to plan a garment. I’m thinking of basket sleeves.


Basket weave sleeves would be so lovely!


Beautiful! I’ve actually completed a project that required a basket-weave inset. It was exacting but well-worth it. It was one of my earliest sewing projects – I was too new to realize that it wasn’t an easy task – and it turned out beautifully.


Thank you so much for this tutorial. I’ve been wanting to try this since I spotted this same detail in a RTW dress about 6 months ago.

Rachel W.

Ooh, this is a lovely detail! I’m trying to decide what changes you would make to apply this to a knit: I love tees with details like this, but the prettiest ones are invariably out of my price range (looking at you, Anthro!).

Is this madness, or are there real steps one could take to make it work? I figure you would have to stabilize the yoke opening somehow (twill tape, or would that rob the knit of its stretch and ruin the pattern’s fit? Tearaway stabilizer?) to keep it from stretching during application, but I could be vastly wrong!


I’d love to offer you some advice, but I don’t have much experience sewing with knits other than simple shirts and dresses. If you figure this out, please share!


I would suggest fusible tricot interfacing for knits for the yoke opening. It works great to stabilize areas of stress like the point of v necks or anchor areas for pleats or gathers yet retains some horizontal stretch as the fashion knit does.

Rachel W.

Excellent! I happen to have just stocked up on a shameful amount of fusible tricot.

I’ll definitely write this up if I manage it, Caitlin, though I’m sure I have even less experience with knits than you. Ah well– that means I don’t know what’s impossible!


Here’s a suggestion: how about cutting very thin strips of the selvedge of silk organza and placing it right inside the bias strips – organza is usually the best stabiliser for woven fabric, but as this is a knit (more than likely the stretch factor would be reduced) but you could test it out !!


Tanya, great idea on the organza! Never thought of that, thanks for sharing! :)


Oh my goodnesss–how amazing! I need to start sewing right away. Thank-you so much.


This is soooo beautiful. Thank you for the great tutorial.


I did a yoke similar to this for a pattern review contest a couple months ago. A lot of work, but fun!


This is beautiful. Thanks for the idea. I now need a blouse or dress pattern to try this on!

Liza jane

This is so gorgeous! Great detail!


That is LOVELY! Great tutorial for Sencha! I was just about to sew up another Sencha blouse…might have to try this!


This is so beautiful! I am always pleasantly surprised to see more excellent tutorials every time I visit this site. I must try this one :)


What a neat technique!


This is really beautiful, and you make it look terribly easy – a sure sign of a professional at work. Thanks for inspiring me to be brave enough to try this; I think along the side of a strappy nightgown would look quite risque!


I have a RTW dress with a great variation on this technique. The yoke is replaced with bias tape lines going vertically, and then more bias tape on top in a loopy design. I always wondered how they did it, now I know!


Great idea, makes a top look so much more special!


Why do you use bias tape? You are sewing straight stitches? Is it just because its available at sewing stores? Bias stretches, most of the time when something calls for bias, I ask myself is it on a circular finish, then yes I see the use of bias. But I don’t understand here? I will say I am not a seamstress, I dabble in sewing. I am trying to learn some of the trade so I can make so simple and fun clothing. This sure looks like a fun technique.


That’s a good question. I think that bias doesn’t matter too much with a small inset (in the tutorial), but perhaps it’s useful when the inset is larger/over a curved part of the body (in the first example)? Just my guess.


This looks absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to implement it somewhere. I couldn’t help but notice that your ruler looks like it has holes drilled in the middle of it every half inch and I think it is the same one I have, except mine has no holes. If you did drill the holes yourself, how did you do it? I would really love to try it on mine.


The timing of this is perfect, I am about to try this as the top the Macaron dress, I had this idea a while ago so it will be interesting to give it a try. I’ll let you know when it is complete!


hola necesito x fabor tutorial de disfraces niños y grande


thank you so much for this! I’ve always wonder how complicated this would be and this just made me realise it’s doable for beginners like me! Thank you :)

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