Monday, 2 April 2012

BRIGHT & BREEZY ...and so easy... (A tutorial)

BUNTING that is....

I absolutely love it. It always cheers me up whether for a party, in the garden or just as decoration. So although this is not groundbreaking stuff I thought I would do..

A simple guide to making Bunting!

1. First gather your materials..

Fabric for flags (New, or recycled sheets, shirts and even curtains)
Tape either 1" cotton or 1" bias binding. The finished length of your bunting plus 18 inches.
Thread (I usually use the same colour as my tape since that is the only thread that will show)
Card (for your template) or acetate if you can get it and want to do quite a bit.
Fabric marker or tailors chalk
Scissors ( a pair for the card and your dressmaking shears)

2. Make your template. I like my finished flags 6" wide by 9" deep, but you can adjust this to suit your project. However I find the best ratio of width to length to be 2:3  ie if you only want the flags 4" wide then divide this by 2 to give 2" and multiply that by 3 ie 6" for the length. Not forgetting the extra 1/2" for seam allowances.

 To make the template accurate take a piece of A4 card and measure 3 1/4" and 6 1/2" from the left long edge along the top edge. Measure down 9 1/2" on the long edge, mark it, and then 3 1/4" in from that mark. Next draw a line between the 2 marks made 3 1/4" in from top to bottom finally draw a diagonal line from the top left hand edge to the base of the line just drawn and then from the 6 1/2" mark to the base of the line. This will give a precise shape which includes your 1/4" seam allowance .

3. Fold your fabrics in half and cut out the number required by drawing around your template with either tailors chalk or a fabric marker. You could even use a normal pencil or pen as these marks will be hidden when the bunting is sewn. press your fabric flat first ( advise you can see I followed....not!!) I generally allow about 5 flags per metre.

4.Turn the flags right sides together and sew one of the long sides with a 1/4" seam, pivoting your work 1/2" above the bottom point. (ie leave the machine needle down in your work, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to continue to sew up the second side)

5. Trim the fabric carefully either side of the point to reduce the bulk and turn the flags right side out. You can ease the point out with the blunt end of a wooden skewer, but don't use anything really pointed as its easy to push through the end and spoil the finish. I rarely get a precise point but actually prefer a slightly rounded look anyway!

6. Next you need to join the flags to your tape. In this example I have used 1" cotton tape and to ensure the gap is equal between flags I cut a piece of scrap card about 2inchs wide.

7. Starting with the first flag 9" from the start of the tape pin it so that the top of the flag is exactly in the middle of the tape. Place your card guide at the end of this flag and pin the next one in place. You can either pin all your flags on first or sew a few at a time. For the cotton tape sew the flags with a simple machine stitch keeping the edge of the machine foot level with the edge of the tape and continuing to sew in the gaps. (this is why I match the thread to the tape and not the fabrics) For bias binding, with the wrong side facing you open out the top fold and pin this to the top edge of the flags and you will machine down this fold and continue between the gaps measuring the spacing as described above.

8. When all the flags you require for your desired length are attached, cut off any remaining tape leaving a tail of  9". You will then fold the tape over to completely cover the raw edges at the top of the flags. Starting at one end turn in about 1/2" at the beginning and matching the edges of the tape exactly pin along the whole length. I then sew using a medium zig zag stitch to finish the tape. Doing this ensures that even if your stitching waivers a bit you will catch both sides of the tape all the way along including in the 'gaps'. For bias binding again you would fold the tape over the raw edges, but this tends to be sewn with just a simple machine running stitch and so the sewing does have to be a little more accurate to make sure the stitching doesn't run off the edges. Fold in 1/2" at the end of the tape too for a neat finish.

And finally hang and enjoy the party!!...................

Hope someone somewhere finds this helpful.....I'll be happy to explain anything that's not clear...don't be afraid to ask....

Happy Sewing

Jenny xx


  1. Hi Jenny I have just written a blog post about the bunting I sell, would you mind if I put in a link to your lovely bunting blogpost please ?

  2. Great tutorial Jenny ...Lovely bunting
    XX Manda XX

  3. Nice tutorial Jenn! I wish you a happy easter!

  4. I love the fab bunting that I won in your seems like years ago!

  5. I love your kitchen with it's open shelving!


Hi thanks for stopping by, but even better say hello. I love to read your comments and its also a way for me to meet you. I do read every coment but don't always have the time to find your email or web, so do pop back if you have asked a question as I will answer it here.xx