Just like the basket that was used by Moses, the present-day version still provides a cozy, secure, and lightweight bed. Most are made from palm, maize or wicker, which is the most expensive. Moses baskets come with a set of bedding, a fabric-covered hood and foam mattress.
As a Moses basket will only be used by the baby for a very short period of time, probably for about three months or so, it is quite impractical to spend too much on it. Looking for pretty fabric prints, with a lot of frills and accessories may look cute but you can actually buy a simple one and make the bedding yourself. You can do it as pretty as you want for a fraction of the cost.
1. You will need the following materials:
- 1 ¾ yards of fabric
- Quilting batting
- 1 yard of ¼ inch-wide elastic
- 3 ¾ yards of ribbon or bias tape
- Paper to be used for pattern
2. Make the pattern for the fitted sheet first. Take out the oval pad and trace it, adding an allowance of three inches all around. Trace the pattern on the reverse side of the fabric and cut. If you want more padding for the mattress, add some batting to the fitted sheet and sew them together.
3. Zigzag the fabric edge for a clean look. Divide the elastic in two and pin it on the rounded edge at the top and bottom of the fabric, about one inch from the edge, on the reverse side of the fabric. Pin the ends of the elastic in place and sew the elastic, pulling as you sew so the elastic lies flat on the fabric.
4. Slip the fitted sheet on the pad and mattress.
5. For the bumper side, measure one side of the basket lengthwise from the middle of the head end of the basket to the middle of foot end. It the basket is sloping, measure also the different heights and place marks on your pattern paper. Add a seam allowance of 1 inch.
6. Trace the pattern on the reverse side of the fabric. Cut two pieces. You need to cut the outer fabric and the batting. Pin the batting to the fabric and zigzag stitch all around the edges.
7. Pin together the top and bottom ends of the two sides. Try this on the Moses basket to see if it fits just right before you sew so it is easier to make adjustments on the seams.
8. Fold the open seams inward one inch. Before sewing the seams, divide your ribbon into 6 pieces, each 22 inches long. Fold the ribbons in half and baste the middle of the ribbon in equal distance around the top and bottom of the basket along the middle of the seam fold (1/2 inch down from the seam fold), basically the back of the bumper side, the one closest to the rim of the Moses basket. Sew the top and bottom seams.
9. Slip the bottom ends of the ribbon under the rim of the basket and tie the bumper side in place.
10. Replace the pad and mattress and the Moses basket is ready to be used.
If you have a lot of fabric, you can sandwich the batting between two pieces of cloth and turn it into a quilted bumper side. You do not have to make the bedding too elaborate. Remember that your baby can only use it for up to four months at the most. The comfort and safety of your baby comes first.