You can call yourself a professional after you make 10 meters of bunting, right?
Haha, the other night, and by night I mean midnight (which happens to be when I get all my amazing ideas which will practically take a day to whip up, but end up being ridiculously harder or complex than I’d imagined and take weeks if not months) I decided to make something for my friends new baby girl. I had made a quilt for her last baby girl and its posted on the quilt forum, A Chinook Quilt because her father flies Helicopters in the military (I also made a new best friend from that experience in quilt making, but a story for another time)
So living in a new small town, and not having ready access to quilting supplies, I decided to stick with what I had in the cupboard and something not as complex because my free time was not as great as when I’d made the quilt.
Bunting! cute, easy and fun. ……… well I guess its cute.
So the reason I’m also turning this into a tutorial is the fact that, what I thought would be super easy, actually wasn’t, so hopefully I can help shortcut other peoples work!
First thing to think about is size… Because I certainly didn’t! I thought it would be cute to be able to drape it, or double back, or just do whatever. Doing two laps of the room and down the hallway probably isn’t what most people need… so after looking at how many flags I had cut out and realizing I had more flags than an international convention. I divided the bunting into two 5-meter long strings. I will give one to my friend’s baby and the other to my adult friend who has moved to Canada from Australia. Being a long way from home, I thought she might like some room decoration….
Is bunting just for kids? I don’t know, I sit here looking at piles of unsent bunting, and I think it’s so pretty. So no, I think adults can have some too
Well I don’t know what my friend will think… But if its taboo… I’m sure she will have kids one day right!
So when you have decided on length, now decide on flag size. My template flag was just be getting a ruler and drawing on a piece of paper a triangle that looked sort of symmetrical, cutting it out and then cutting and cutting, until I think I got my edges all about even. After finishing the bunting I don’t know why I didn’t just fold a piece of paper in half, measure half the distance of the top of the flag from the fold down. Then put a dot, the distance away from the first line I wanted the length of the flag. Draw the lines up the side, fold it in half again cutting along the two lines and Bobs your uncle. Well I guess I had to be difficult. I now know that my triangle was slightly lopsided and it made it a bit difficult to sew back to back later on… My triangle was 12cm along the top by 15 to the tip.
Ok math time, so when you have the size of your triangle, its easy to divide the length of your desired string by the top of your flag and get how many you need to cut. 5 meters by 12 centimeters = 41 flags…. I still shake my head when I realize I made over 80 flags…
So in my material stash, I had bundles of colour coded fat quarters, turns out they were perfect! For the size flag I had, I folded the quarter into thirds, then cut through all 3 layers, I could get 6 cuts with my template, which would have 3 pieces each, so 18 triangles all up and then once paired with each other I would get 9 flags of one colour.
Now, start sewing… I used black thread, didn’t really show, EXCEPT for when I was lazy and left the black strings loose inside a light pink flag, when held up against a window, it showed up all the dark strings inside the flag, so I pulled them out of the light pink and blue flags, the others you couldn’t see
I gave myself a ¼ inch seem (which means the triangle will be smaller than your template remember), I started at the top, and then went straight off at the tip and then started again from the other side, crossing the stitches as I got to the tip again, I didn’t bother back sewing.
Once you have piles
Cut the tip off each one, and the lose strings at the top, carefully fold them inside out, I used a cake decorating tool and a pen to push out the tip, because I didn’t back sew, be careful when pushing out the tip you don’t push too hard or the pen breaks through, return the broken ones to the sewing pile and fix them at the end, I had about 5 all up.
Iron them, and they look like this
The smily face is because, unless you have a long phone call or something to think about, it could possibly be one of the longest most boring jobs ever, and when you are done, you can’t help but smile!
For the string/rope I used a matching colour fat quarter, folded it in half and cut one inch strips, then sewed them together end to end and cut close to the seam to tidy the joins (makes it so much easier to iron. Then I quite possibly had the worst job in the world. If you have a bias tape maker, I envy you. I even changed my facebook status to say, If only a Bias binding making machine sales person would come to my door right now! I live in the remote Australian desert in a town with 1000 people, it was never going to happen
So I found the easiest way to do this was to get the iron very hot, lots of steam, and iron the whole length in half lengthways, then go back to the start, and fold the sides into the middle, press down on both with the iron and press the living daylights out of that binding, so it never loses it shape. You will probably have lots of little lose threads that fray from the strips, don’t cut them now, just fold them in and iron, and if some still stick out, cut them off the sewing stage, trust me! The iron seems to magically make 90% of them disappear. You think ironing flags in boring… Once you have stopped crying and recovered from all the burnt fingers, do another 5 meters like this crazy woman… no don’t, seriously don’t!
So then you have this
Sew about 3- 5 centimeters along the tape you made, no flags yet, and then hook this around on itself and sew in place. This is so you can hang it.
Before you put the flags in, using your cutter and a measuring datum, cut all the edges perfectly straight and all the same length. I would put the tip of the flag on the same spot and when it got to the line, I would chop it. Some flags must have been cut smaller in the first place, they were only a few mil short, and it doesn’t show in the final product, so still cut them straight, but try to save as much as you can, all the others were cut down to the line.
Once and only once you have perfectly straight tops, its time to sew
but not before you have decided in which order to sew them. You could go for a pattern, but I went for random selection (in an orderly, not too much of one colour in one spot sort of way). Lay them out of the floor
The two stands before sewing.
Oh Hi Tonka
Now with your coiled tape in your lap, and your flags ready to sew, carefully insert the top of the flag, pull tightly and sew very close to the edge. You could go for contrast thread or zigzag, but I went for a straight stitch in white, which you can’t see in the pale pink. If you go contrast, have a full bobbin, or you will have double up and people will see it. Sew slowly until you have the idea and you know your flags are secured. Ironically, after finishing, I was inspecting, and half my first flag wasn’t secured…. Hmmm back when I was a rookie.
Now, depending on how much you care, there is a front to the bunting and a back. So because some of the fabric had patterns and when you cut it, some are upside down pattern wise, you can be careful and make sure the best side of the flag is showing, or you can not bother and nobody will notice
The sewing machine spews forth goodness!!!
When you are done, make another little loop at the other end, and I sewed a little pink button over the place where I stitch it in place. You think I could find two matching buttons…..
Now prance around the house with it! I live alone, so not too worried. Find a place to hang it and then realize, nobody needs 5 meters of bunting…. Try different camera angles to make it took pretty..
Looks sort of boring… what else can I hang it on…
Ahhhhhhh, Hi Tonka…
“what are you doing?”
“Ok, I’m cool with this”
“Work the camera, yeah!”
Hahahaha poor Tonka