In Part 1 of this post I mentioned that my bunting-making began following a request from my daughter for some bunting to hang round our little garden as part of her 16th birthday celebrations. This bunting was a learning experience, quick to make and inexpensive.
A few years later I embarked on bunting-making as a means of creating some capital in order to purchase more fabric to make cushions and quilts to sell. But sales of bunting never amounted to much profit partly because I chose to make ‘perfectionist bunting’!
In 2014 I reverted back to quick and easy bunting to make lots for a one-off event – our daughter’s wedding.
So, onto the tutorials: First ‘perfectionist bunting’ then the shortcuts to ‘quick bunting’.
Template – I have two, the large one measures 8½” across the top, 9″ from top to tip and the small one measures 5¾” across the top and 6¼” from top to tip. Both are cut from template plastic and have lasted several years (I used sturdy cardboard for the very first template I made).
Cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler
Coloured pencils/fabric markers
Fabric – !00% cotton prints and plains
Cotton bias binding.
Sewing machine with a blending cotton thread for seams and cotton top stitch thread for attaching the flags to the bias binding.
Fold a width of fabric in half and then draw around the template making a row of triangles, half the right way up and half upside down. Use a rotary cuter and ruler to cut out the pairs of triangles formed by the two layers of fabric.
Turn the triangle pairs right sides together and stitch down one long edge, turn at the point, make one stitch and then sew up the second side. Use a ¼” seam.
Turn the flags right ways out, push out the bottom point and press.
The next little job is to cut off all the ‘bunny ears’ ready to sew the tops of the flags into the folded bias binding.
Finally (whew!), making the bunting: leave an ample 20″ of tape at each end of the bunting for tying; arrange the flags in order and begin tucking and pinning each one into the folded bias binding about 2½” apart. Use a contrasting or matching thread to sew just under ¼” in from the open edge of the folded bias binding – including the 20″ of tape at either end.
One last check before declaring your bunting finished – turn the flags over and ensure the stitching caught the back of the folded bias binding as well as the front!
Now for the Quick Bunting method:
Requirements are the same as above except:
Fabric – use any large scraps of any type of fabric, if you are looking for particular colours try charity shops (curtains and bedding if you are planning to make a lot!) or retailers who stock cheap bedding.
Threads – it’s all top stitching so use threads that will add to finished the effect, on plain fabrics I like using contrasting threads that coordinate with the colours of the other flags, mix and match style!
Binding – needn’t be cotton and woven tape works well too.
Cut out the triangles using the same method as above. This next step really speeds up production: place the triangle pairs wrong sides together and stitch down the long seams using colourful threads and a straight or zigzag stitch.
Choosing whether to use the ‘perfectionist’ method or the quick method really comes down to issues of time, the total length of bunting required, resources, how visible it’s going to be (in a child’s bedroom or hung around a dimly lit venue) and just how fussy you or the recipient happen to be! Of course the methods can be merged, for instance a variety of fabric types could be used for the perfectionist bunting (although thick fabrics are difficult to turn right sides out and make a point at the bottom). In actual fact I learned a lesson about fabric choice as you can see from the photo below:
If you have any questions or suggestions about making bunting please do use the comment box at the bottom of the page.