WHAT YOU NEED
Use 1/2" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.
Fold the fleece in half, matching the selvage edges, and then fold the fleece in half widthwise. Position the circle template below along the foldline; cut (1).
From the cotton fabric, cut one lining template circle from below; transfer the markings.
From the cotton fabric, cut four 7 1/4"x9” rectangles for the panels, two 4”x32” rectangles for the tie, four 4”x24 3/4” rectangles for the band and one 2 1/2"x32” rectangle for the handle casing.
Position two panel pieces with right sides facing. Stitch one long edge. Repeat to stitch the remaining two panels. Stitch the resulting panel 9” edges to form a tube (2).
Stitch 1/2” above the tube lower edge using a long machine stitch. Clip every 1”, making sure not to cut through the stitching (3).
With right sides facing, align the marks on the fabric lining piece with the lower panel seams. Pin along the clipped tube edge; stitch.
With two band strips right sides facing, stitch one short edge. Repeat to stitch the remaining two band strips.
Stitch the resulting band strips along the short edge with right sides facing to form a tube.
With right sides facing, align the band raw edges with the large fleece circle perimeter; stitch.
Turn the raw band edge toward the large circle wrong side; press. Topstitch 1/2” from the fold (4).
With right sides facing, stitch the two tie pieces along one short edge.
Fold the tie in half lengthwise with right sides facing. Stitch the tie perimeter, leaving a 3” opening on one long edge for turning.
Turn the tie right side out; press. Slipstitch the opening closed.
Fold the handle casing in half lengthwise with right sides facing; stitch the long edge.
Turn the handle casing right side out; press. Topstitch 1/8” from each long edge.
Remove the handle from the bucket and insert it through the fabric handle casing.
Place the fabric lining in the bucket. Fold the excess fabric over the bucket edge.
Using an awl or other sharp tool, poke a hole on each lining side where the handle will be reinserted.
Baste the exterior circle perimeter 2 1/2” inside of the finished edge.
On a flat work surface, position the exterior circle right side up so the fabric band right side is exposed. Center the bucket over the fabric circle (5).
Gently pull the basting thread tails to gather the large fabric circle around the bucket.
Stuff polyester fiberfill between the fabric and the bucket until the desired fullness is achieved.
Tightly pull the gathering stitches to fit the fabric circle around the bucket, evenly distributing the fullness. The gathers should fall about 1” under the bucket lip and should hide the bucket lining and fabric-band raw edges.
Hot glue the fabric band raw edge to the bucket lining raw edge.
Insert the fabric-covered handle into the bucket.
Position the tie around the bucket under the gathers; tie it in place with a bow.
Stacy Schlyer is a self-taught seamstress and self-proclaimed fabric junkie whose goal is to reach SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy). She lives in Kansas with her family and writes about her sewing adventures daily on her blog, stacysews.com.
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