The school summer holidays are about to start! We are dragging ourselves through the last few days of school – eagerly anticipating the six weeks of lazy days ahead. We love the simple stuff in summer – strawberry picking, siestas, Pimm’s and eating outdoors in cool shady spots.
To decorate our outdoor entertaining area, I love to hang a little bunting. It’s just so cheery! In fact, I think it is so cheery that I end up leaving it up all year round. Outdoors, it eventually fades and needs replacing – usually around once a year.
A friend who lives around the corner from me is embarking on her first sewing project – some bunting for her little boy and girl – so I thought I would do a tutorial for her and update my faded bunting at the same time. I love sharing creative ideas and seeing what others make. The thought that I might have someone just around the corner to do this with is an extremely exciting thought, so I must support and encourage her budding interest 😉
There are a few ways you can make bunting but I have just focused on one method.
For the bunting you will need…
- Fabric for flags
- Fabric or cotton tape for the binding (the long strip of fabric to which the flags are attached)
- Thread to sew
Step 1 – Prepare Fabrics
Decide how long you need your bunting to be and cut enough 5cm wide strips of fabric that when joined will make up this length. Consider how you are going to hang your bunting – do you need to tie a bow at the end, make a loop or pin? Make sure you add this onto the length of your binding. I usually add 20cm at each end for a bow and 10cm each end if making a loop. Once you have cut your strips for your binding, join these lengths by placing right sides together and stitching across.
Decide how many flags you need. Flags can be placed any distance apart but usually I place them with a maximum gap of 15cm. Cut two flag shapes for each flag. One of these pieces will be for the front of the bunting and the other for the back. Make sure you are cutting your flags so the pattern is orientated correctly.
Step 2 – Sew Flags
With right sides together, sew from the top of the flag on the right hand side down towards the point of the flag. I usually do a 1cm seam allowance. When you get towards the point of the flag, leave the needle down and swivel the fabric so that it is positioned for sewing up the other side of the flag.
Once you have finished sewing the two sides of the flag together, trim the seam allowance near the point. This will reduce the amount of fabric enclosed in the flag, allowing your flag to sit flatter. I have drawn a pen line to show you approximately how much of the seam allowance to trim. Ensure you don’t cut into the line of stitching.
Once you have trimmed the seam allowance, turn your flag the right way out. I use a crochet hook to push into the point so it is turned through properly. Be careful not to use anything too sharp as it can push through your fabric, creating a hole.
Press your flag flat and trim off the seam allowance that is protruding from the top of the flag.
Step 3 – Fold Binding
Turn in 1cm at both ends of your binding fabric and press.
Fold and press a line all the way along the centre of your binding fabric. Have the right side of the fabric on the outside. Then turn the top edge in to meet the fold line of the centre and then do the same with the bottom edge of fabric.
Lastly, fold the binding in half along the length, enclosing the raw edges in the process.
Step 4 – Position Flags
Decide on your spacing and make sure it is the same between all the flags. You can have a longer length of binding at either end to suit how you wish to attach your bunting. Insert your flag into the opening along the bottom of your binding. Make sure the top of your flag goes in all the way to the top of your binding. Pin the flags in place. Your pin needs to catch the binding on the back as well.
Step 5 – Attach Flags
Do a line of stitching from one end of the bunting to the other. This stitching should be close to the edge of the binding but needs to catch the binding on the back side of the bunting.
Now all that’s left for you to do is to hang your bunting and enjoy how it brightens up your space! Mustn’t forget the Pimm’s either…
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