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Linen-Lined Baskets




Linen-lined baskets, used in Europe to hold rising bread dough, offer a lovely, practical solution. Many stores carry them, but it's easy to make your own.


  • Round or rectangular basket
  • Cloth tailor's tape
  • Unbleached linen
  • Sturdy needle
  • Sewing kit
  • Heavy linen thread
  • Pliers


  1. Step 1

    To measure a round basket, run a cloth tailor's tape down into it from lip to lip. (For a rectangular basket, repeat for crosswise measurement.)

  2. Step 2

    Adding 2 inches all around for a hem, cut a piece of unbleached linen to size.

  3. Step 3

    Center the linen in the basket. With heavy linen thread and a sturdy needle, sew the lining in place along the bottom inside edge of the basket using 1/2-inch stitches. (If the basket is tightly woven, use pliers to pull the needle through.)

  4. Step 4

    Smooth cloth, and pleat it to fit, making four evenly spaced folds (at corners for a rectangle); secure each fold with one big stitch the depth of the basket.

  5. Step 5


    Stitch linen around the basket's outside lip, turning the hem under as you go.

Martha Stewart Living, October 1994



Reviews (13)

  • Sheryll 30 Sep, 2010

    Linen is or was an extreme pain to iron......... who needs it? I would use cotton calico any day and even a cotton blend for the showy stuff, other wise unbleached muslin.. And just hem the liner and make it so it can over hang the basket, after preshrinking muslin in HOT water and rinsing with a bit of vinegar.

  • MrsStone 29 Aug, 2008

    Hi! This is actually my "traditional" baby shower gift. I use bright fabric, a large basket, stitch so that it can be taken out and washed. My daughter will use her's for the baby's christening basket...BEAUTIFUL!!

  • mcaffee 28 Aug, 2008

    I made a few of these liners, but I ran a grosgrain ribbon through a casing so they would be washable. Also the bow looks festive.

  • dets 28 Aug, 2008

    How about sewing an elastic band around the lip of the linen insert? Easier to clean, no ribbon to add/remove to clean, easy to clean.

  • sharonmanis 28 Aug, 2008

    Sew the linning to the basket? How do you take it out to wash it ????

  • Anna_Marie 28 Aug, 2008

    If you made an additional "napkin" out of the same fabric, you could use it along with the basket to cover up warm rolls or bread at the table.

  • Anna_Marie 28 Aug, 2008

    I know it might knock down the esthetics a bit, but I think I would use a similar-looking fabric, but one that washes up with less wrinkles. I also like the idea of elastic or a drawstring and ties to keep it attached to the basket, but have easy removal, too.

  • Antiragweed 28 Aug, 2008

    . . .

  • Antiragweed 28 Aug, 2008

    I have to agree with pioneer588, these look a little half done stitched to the basket! I would probably add extra seam allowances for a double fold hem and use a bodkin to pull some nice cord/rope/ribbon through it so I could easily tie it on

  • contributors_marthastewart_com_PeainPA 28 Aug, 2008

    Where would I find unbleached linen and linen thread. I have some linen and flax fabric. Would that work? Should it be laundered first, especially if it is going to be used for raising dough?

  • merrysage 28 Aug, 2008

    Elasticating the hem is the better suggestion.

  • pioneer588 25 Jun, 2008

    The lined baskets look so beautiful and I'd never thought to rise dough in them. Instead of sewing the lining to the basket I think I'll run elastic through a hem casing so I can wash the lining easily.

  • NBCO 21 Mar, 2008

    This would make a nice gift also by using pretty dish towels or napkins to line th e baskets, depending upon the basket size.