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Archive | May, 2015

It's Bunting Season - so here's our easy guide to making your own!

Making Bunting - the finished product

Actually, if I'm honest, I think bunting is for the whole year....as you may have seen, I made some Christmas themed bunting at the end of last year, which I also love and thought made a great addition to the Christmas decorations!

Bunting is such a simple, yet really pretty decoration for lots of occasions. It can completely transform a garden, venue or indeed any room in your house. So, I thought I'd put together a beginners easy guide for anyone wanting to make some for their own wedding, summer party, play room etc...

It really is very simple to make, all you need is some basic sewing machine skills and you should have no trouble putting together your own pretty garland of flags!

This example makes 6 metres of bunting with 20 flags. Here's what you will need:

1  Gutermann pre-cut Fat Quarter Bundle I opted for this pre-cut bundle for this example as I wanted a selection of fabric designs. However, so long as you have approximately 1 metre of fabric, you should easily be able to translate the basic measurements and principles.

6 metres of binding (here I've used the pretty lace edged bias binding - and think it gives a lovely little extra level of prettiness to the finish!)

Matching cotton thread

Scissors or a rotary cutter and mat (if you don't already have one, a rotary cutter can make quick work of cutting jobs like this)

Sewing Machine, ruler, pencil and pins or clips

Iron & Ironing board

Bunting - Tutorial - what materials

Step 1

Take one of the fat quarters of fabric and lay it out in front of you face side up, making sure it is placed with the 55cm as the width and 45cm as the length. Then fold the fabric in half - lengthways - so you are left with a piece 22.5cm long x 55cm wide.

Step 2

Take your ruler and pencil and mark along the top folded edge of the fabric every 11cm. You should end up with 4 marks along the top of this fat quarter piece.

Making Bunting - measuring fabric

Now mark along the bottom of the fabric every 22cm - you should have 2 marks along the bottom.

Step 3

Keeping the fabric folded, cut diagonally between the markers from bottom marker to top marker. You may chose to draw a line between each marker (diagonally to create V shaped pieces), alternatively cut as straight a line as possible between each mark.

IMG_6313

This is when using a rotary cutter makes things very easy.

Once you have done this, cut along the folded edges (where relevant) to separate the 2 fabric pieces for these flags.

Making Bunting - Cut along folded edge

You should now have 4 flag shapes (2 pieces of fabric - front and back for each).

Step 4 

Repeat those steps with each of the fat quarters of fabric. The result will be 20 flags in 5 different designs.

Making Bunting - Flags
Step 5

Time to go to your sewing machine.

Ensuring that the face sides of the fabrics of each flag are facing one another, you need to now sew along the 2 bottom, long sides of each flag. Use a 1/2cm seam allowance and starting at the top on one side sew down the length of the flag, before lifting your footer (keeping the needle in the fabric), turning the fabric and sewing up the length of the 2nd side.

Making Bunting - Sewing the flags together

Your flag is now taking shape, both sides are sewn, but at this stage the top remains open.

Repeat this for all 20 flags.

Step 6

Cut off the bottom point of the flag (without getting too close to your stitching), this will enable you to get a better point for each flag. Now you need to turn each flag the correct way round, so the face fabric is now facing out. Use something thin and pointy to push out the bottom point - I often use a knitting needle or chopstick.

Making Bunting - Cut off bottom point

Now you need to take each flag to the ironing board and press each one carefully in order that you create lovely straight edges and a nice point at the bottom.

You should now have 20 pressed flags - don't worry about the top still being open - this is where the fun really begins and your bunting takes shape.

Step 7

Tidy up the top edge of the flags to ensure they are straight and will fit neatly into the binding tape.

Making Bunting - Tidy up top edge

Decide on how you'd like your fabric designs to be ordered and set out the piles of flags in that order.

Making Bunting - order your fabric

Step 8

Now take the tape / binding and begin sewing along the open edge of the binding for approximately 50cm. Then take the first flag you'd like to sew into place  and put the top open edge into the opening of the binding - make sure that the top of the flag is as close to the folded inside edge of the binding as possible.

Begin sewing along the open edge of the tape to attach the flag and close up the binding.

Top Tip: I found using quilting clips really helped to hold the next flag in place just before it reached the sewing machine needle. It was much easier and quicker than pinning and also meant I was sure the flag was held tightly in the correct place and properly inserted into the binding.

Making Bunting - Sew to binding

Continue sewing past the edge of the flag for 5cm and add another flag. Then add another flag into place on the binding. Continue this process until all of the flags are attached.

Making Bunting - continue adding on the flags to the bunting

Be sure to sew another approximately 50cm of the binding tape together after the last flag has been attached in order that you have extra on the end to enable the bunting to be hung up.

 

Making Bunting - The finished product

 

Now find somewhere to hang your lovely new creation!

 

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