A Tisket, A Tasket...
True confession time:
I'm a lazy sewer.
I take shortcuts, ignore patterns, and rush, rush, rush to get the job done.
But a few weeks ago, when I made sixteen baskets for Downing Hollow Farm as trade for my CSA, I had to re-school myself on several sewing skills that I'd let lapse over the last few years.
I had to make concise measurements, use paper patterns, and plug in my iron and crease all my seams.
Yes, I've made baskets before. I got lucky when they came out okay. This go-round, I didn't have time or fabric to waste. I had to buckle down and do it right. Fortunately, Farmer Lori thought they looked just fine.
In all seriousness, this basket tutorial (which was discovered by Amie early this year) would make a good, quick learning project for kids who are itching to get their hands on the sewing machine. If your young sewer is new to the machine, maybe you can guide the needle and let them work the foot pedal -- put it on your sewing table, and show them how to use their hand to speed up and slow down. As the project progresses, you can demonstrate how to reverse the clutch to make a knot and how to raise and lower the foot guide.
Make a bread basket for the Thanksgiving table, or one to hold autumn leaves. If you're making several baskets, I recommend making a pattern out of an empty cereal box. It helped my measuring and cutting go much faster!