Thursday, 19 April 2012

Bunting Instructions

How to make bunting

 As promised at Tuesday's meeting, here are my instructions for making bunting. 

 See you soon - Helen

Fabric – you can use pretty much any fabric.  It’s a bit easier to use dress-making fabric as it’s thinner, this probably makes it more fluttery as well if you are using your bunting outside.  I managed to make about 3 metres of bunting (15 medium sized flags) from half a metre of fabric.  Fabric shops sell “fat quarters” for patchwork, which are useful if you want to use lots of different colours or patterns for your bunting.

Tape or bias binding – tape is easier to use as it only adds one layer to sew through, but bias binding does look very pretty

Pencil or disappearing pen
A hoover (or Dyson!)
Iron and ironing board
Sewing thread
A sewing machine

Step One: Hoover. 

I’m serious!  Unless you are lucky enough to have a massive dedicated craft-room, you will probably be laying out and cutting your bunting on your living room floor.  I always try to skip this step and I always regret it because whatever I am sewing ends up covered in cat hair and other assorted bits and pieces which end up on the floor.  Go on, off you go, come back when you’ve done it.

Step Two: Make a cardboard template 

Have you hoovered? Honestly….?  Ok then you are ready for step two. You’ll need a cardboard template so all your bunting flags are the same size and shape.  

As you can see I made mine out of Shreddies packets but it doesn’t have to be Shreddies, you can use any cereal box or other thin card.  If you’re using dress-making fabric, you can make quite small flags but if you’re using curtain material as I am in this tutorial, you’ll need something larger.  You’ll also need to take into consideration the size of any pattern on your fabric.   Subject to that, you can make them any size you want to.  The yellow and green bunting on the fireplace was made with dress-making fabric and the  flags are 19cm tall and 18cm wide and the turquoise bunting was made with curtain fabric and the flags are  21cm tall and 20cm wide.

 Step Three:  Draw around the templates

Lay your fabric out on the floor (or cutting table if you are the lucky craft room-owning lady referred to above!).  Draw around your cardboard templates using a pencil or one of those magic pens where the ink disappears over time.  At first you might want to start with just a few triangles to make sure you are happy with the size and shape after they’ve been sewn.

Step Four:  Cut out your triangles

Bet you didn’t see that one coming.  

Step Five: Pin the triangles together  in pairs, right sides together

Step Six:  Sew

Sew the two slanty sides of the triangle using a running stitch.  When you get to about half a centimetre from the end of one side, leave the sewing machine needle in, lift up the foot and use the needle to pivot the work ready to go up the other side.

Step Seven: Turn the flags the right way round

Cut off the point of the triangle...

.... then turn the flag inside out (which is actually the right way round!).  You’ll probably need to use a pair of scissors (carefully) to push out the point, particularly if you are using a thick fabric.  If you are a bit silly like me you will collect the tiny triangles this makes because one day you might need them to make mini-bunting for a fabric picture….

Step Eight: Press 

I know, I know, hoovering AND ironing!  There is a lot of stuff which seems like housework in this tutorial but it will all be worth it in the end.  The added bonus is that if you leave the hoover and the iron out people will think you have been dutifully cleaning the house and will never guess that you have spent all day crafting! 
 I find the easiest way to do this is to fold them so that the seam is in the middle and press the seam out, then put them the right way and press again. 

Trim the tops of the triangles to remove any excess fabric so you have a straight edge.

Step Nine: Pin the triangles to the tape.  

Leave a length of tape free at each end so that you can tie the finished bunting onto things.  Line each flag up so that the top of the triangle is half-way up the tape, then fold the tape over and pin.  Essentially you are folding the tape in half over the top of the triangles.  Leave a gap between each flag – I use my middle three fingers to judge the distance between them.  You can check that the tape is folded in half at these gaps. 

Step Ten: Sew the triangles to the tape
 I have used zig-zag stitch but it would be easier and use less cotton to use a normal running stitch, it’s just that I love using the fancy stitches on my machine and I like the way the zig-zags look a bit like bunting.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this, it was super easy to follow and very helpful!