Saturday, 27 June 2009

Homemade Bunting

I've been in my element all week busy-beeing with my homemade bunting. I'm not quite finished but thought I'd share the process so far with you.

I firstly pulled out some of my fun summery fabrics
and chose which ones I was going to use.

I made a bunting triangle pattern from a piece of A4 paper which I firstly folded in half lengthways. Then i measured down the centre fold to about 23cm and made a mark here. Finally I drew a line with a ruler from this marked point up to the opposite top hand corner and then cut along this line to give a triangle once opened out.

Then to cut the triangles out I pinned the paper pattern on each piece of fabric making sure the pattern was going in the direction I wanted it to (you can see this through the paper). Mostly I made most economical use of the fabric though when cutting out. The pic above is of some old pj's which have had their day. If you feel confident you can double the fabric over to speed things up. Use a good fabric scissors and obviously work out how many triangles you will need, allowing two triangles per piece of bunting (for back and front).

This is where I had got to with embellishing
my fabrics as described in this post.

To embellish them further I sewed some beads and sequins on some of the pieces. I thought the sparkles would be twinkle nicely on a sunny day in the garden.

I also did some hand embroidery using a metallic embroidery thread (which I split to make a little thinner). I used a variation of the blanket stitch to highlight Martins initial. Obviously this needs a good iron now before I go any further.

Then I had a go at free stitching some flowers on my initial. Don't think I did too badly. Again I went for bling and used a metallic pink thread.

Anyhow, once all the really fun creative bit is taken care of it's time to start sewing up the bunting. For good strong bunting I like to strengthen any flimsy fabrics like the very light cotton here. I cut out a triangle of interfacing (from any good haberdashery) by pinning the fabric triangle on top and then with the bumpy side against the wrong side of the fabric gave it a quick iron to stick. If you don't feel confident doing this then throw a pillow slip or other piece of fabric over it to help protect your bunting piece.

Now that all pieces are ready, decide which pieces you want to go with which - you will need a front and back. It doesn't matter too much as obviously you will only see one side or the other when hanging but it's still a consideration so you have a good mix of colours and patterns in the finished bunting. Place right sides of each pair together and pin them together down the two side to the point but not across the top (you can tack them with needle and thread first if you dont feel confident to get straight on the machine with the pins in).

Machine sew them together along this line, removing the pins as you go (again leaving the top open). Trim any excess threads (I like to go back and forth with the machine at the beginning and end to secure rather than go back over by hand).

Carefully trim the pointy end off straight across near to the stitching and then trim from here about 1-2cm up each side also. This helps with achieving a nice pointy tip (and is more important to do the thicker the fabric). Then simply turn the triangles inside out and use the point of a small scissors to gently push the thinner end of the fabric through to give a nice tip.

Next, iron the triangular pieces to neaten them up. I like to iron the seams down first to help give nice crisp edges. Then, lay out flat and iron again on both sides to give a nice firm bunting piece. Be careful of any pieces with sequins or beading as they may melt - protect them with a layer of fabric over or use a very cool iron. Nearly there now (once you have repeated with all pieces)!

You could also add another touch to your bunting with dangling ribbons. This will have to be done as part of sewing up the triangles. Simply lay your choice of ribbons down the length of the right side of one piece of fabric, tacking them down at the point end. You can also tack or pin the ribbons down half way (which will help prevent them moving around and potentially getting caught up when machine sewing). Lay the second piece of fabric right side down and continue as normal (removing the centre pin or tacks once turned out).

The machine stitching will obviously sew the ribbons in place at the point end so when you turn the piece inside out the ribbons will perfectly hang out of the end as shown (and are also handy to pull the fabric through when gently tugged). I added some beads (which I took from an old bikini before throwing it out) to one of the ribbon ends. The flower was already on the end of the pink ribbon but you could sew a small flower on yourself.

Anyhow,'s a small stack of some of my pieces (I think I have about 21 in total). I now just need to order some gorgeous gingham bias binding I have spotted on the net and then I can have great satisfaction in whizzing them all up together and hanging them in the garden! Will give you and update once I get to that stage.


Ciara Brehony said...

Oh these are just gorgeous Sharon! Damn but I miss having unlimited sewing time... sigh...

So where can we buy them...? :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi there, did you use a pinking shears to cut out your fabric? Am thinking you didn't from the photos - do you think it's necessary?

marty, sharon and pearl said...

hi, no need in this case as the seams are inside. you can make really simple bunting by cutting out fabric shapes with pinking shears and leaving them as single pieces (not doubling like i did...i wanted them to be stronger, slightly stiffer and have a print on the back too). the pinking shears will help a little to stop edges from fraying but depending on the fabric you use, so test it out first. obviously they will give a pretty edge too. you could also try this with paper bunting (if you dont mind using your scissors on paper!). send me a pic once you've done it!
s x

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