Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Bunting bunting bunting! Just another tutorial...

Bunting, or the festive decoration made of little triangular (or rectangular) flags, is something in Italy we only see in movies (American and English movies, that is). But maybe because bunting is something that doesn't belong to my culture, or my memories of past festive celebrations, I find it incredibly sweet and really effective in decorating and lightening up a room immediately.
Bunting in red, blue and white has literally invaded the streets of Britain in the last month because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and I thought this was the right time to make some for my Little Monkey's birthday.

So, although you can find tons of tutorials for bunting on the Internet, I thought I'd share anyway a few tips for making a perfect (for me at least!) bunting. That's because it's all a matter of proportion, and I think I found the right one.

You'll need:
  • large scraps of fabric - fat quarters are perfect
  • bias tape (bought or homemade)
  • matching thread
  • card (for the template)
 If you want bunting flags that measure approximately 16cm in length, you'll need to make a template in card by cutting a square with sides 18cm long. Fold the square in half and cut the diagonal between the centre and the corner of your square as illustrated below. Repeat on the other side.

Use the template (which includes a seam allowance of 1/2 cm) to cut your fabric, two triangles per flag (I used 5 different types of fabric, all of them having some purple / violet in them, in check, stripe, polka and flower patterns), for as many flags as you need. In order to save time and fabric, you can cut the fabric as illustrated below, and if you have a rotary cutter, good for you! you'll save LOTS of time and will end up with a good, neat result - I didn't have one, and it meant just a little more time.

In order to calculate how many flags you need, follow the simple scheme below (for 680 cm of bias tape I made 25 flags, alternating the five patterns five times in the same order).

Once you have cut all your triangles, sew them in pairs, wrong sides facing, on the two diagonal sides only with a seam allowance of 1/2 cm, leaving the top open.

Before turning them inside out, remember to trim a little the tip of the triangle for a neater pointy finish.

Turn your flags inside out, and press them. In order to have a perfect triangle and to prevent the fabric from twisting, you can insert the card template inside the flag and iron on it

Before you start sewing the flags to the bias tape, I also suggest you fold the bias tape lengthwise in half  and press it, as this will prevent it from twisting while you are sewing.

Now you can insert your flags at the right intervals in the folded bias tape and sew them to it.

Well done! 
You finished your bunting! Now go, hang it to your wall and admire  the product of your love!

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