My friend, Heather, has been guiding me quite a bit as I expand my 18th-century impression, and this year we decided to do make paniers together. We're following The Dreamstress' instructions, so I thought I would provide a few comments as I go.
So far, all I had done was gather the materials, but this evening I went ahead and cut out my fabric.
I already had plenty of cane left over from making a set of short stays a few years ago. For my fabric, I considered several options, and finally decided on white linen from JoAnn Fabrics. I figured linen was more available than cotton for this time period. I also went with white, since I could find matching twill tape in the yardage I needed.
So far, I did have one moment of panic. The instructions call for buying 1 yard of fabric, which then gets cut into 2 pieces (11.5" and 25" wide). Even if you're not adept at math, you can see that there is no wiggle room. In fact, the pieces assume a generous cut of slightly larger than 1 yard.
If the Jo-Ann Fabric's minion cutting your fabric is not careful, the linen will generally not be cut on the straight grain. Try to straighten the grain like I did, and that linen disappears very quickly. In fact, by the time I gave up trying to straighten the grain, I'd lost nearly an inch. She also didn't notice a cut in the fabric near the selvage, which also will require some fussy cutting on my part to work around it.
Fortunately, I was able to cut one of the larger pieces from the top of the fabric, and I think I'm back on track. I still have to cut out the curved bottom piece, but I've at least made the template and should have just enough spare fabric left over.