I’ve been interested in the beautiful bunting flags that I’ve seen popping up in shops, blogs, and in etsy stores and waned to make my own. I wasn’t completely happy with any of the tutorials that I found so I ended up coming up with my own pattern. This tutorial is for double-sided bunting, so that you can appliqué letters or a design to one side and still have a blank side to use for other occasions. Bunting can be a quick and easy way to brighten up a child’s bedroom, would make a great gift or New Year decoration, and a lovely way to make a personal (and re-useable) Happy Birthday or other celebratory sign. It would be great made out of recycled or vintage fabrics that would have meaning to friends and family – and make the bunting a family heirloom.
First draw out your pattern piece for the bunting flag according to the diagram.
Use your pattern to cut out two pieces of fabric for each flag. I used the same fabric for both sides, but you could also used different fabric to give more variety. In this photo I also have plain fabric swatches laid out on top in the colours that I’m going to use for appliqué.
TIP: If you are planning on hanging your bunting over a window you might like to cut a piece of light weight interfacing and iron it to one of your pattern pieces to make the flag a little thicker so the light won’t shine through it as much.
Draw or trace the designs for your appliqué onto paper-backed fusible (iron on) webbing. This is the stuff that is used for appliqué in quilting, if you’re not sure what it is don’t worry – your sewing/crafting store will know what you need! Note that letters should be traced in reverse so that they are the right way round when they are sewn on. My letters are in ‘marker felt’ font at 350 pt size – but any slightly rounded childlike font would be perfect. I printed them out and then traced around them on the back of the paper to reverse the letter, and then traced them onto the fusible webbing. Iron this onto the wrong side of your fabric and then cut around the design. Peel off the backing paper and position the design onto the flags.
For the letters I placed them in the centre of the flag and with the bottom of each letter 16 cm (6 ¼ inches) from the top edge of the flag. Iron your design in place. I have hand stitched around the edges using a simple blanket stitch – however you could sew this using your sewing machine as well. Pin the two halves of a flag together across the top edge with wrong sides together. Sew across. Then press the seam open and top-stitch across the top of both sides of the flag about ¼ inch from the seam. This will help to keep the seam out of the way when you thread your bunting on a string.
Pin and sew the two long edges of the flags, leaving about a 1 inch gap at the top of both sides. This is where you will thread the flags onto a string. Clip the corners, turn right side out, and press well so that all the seams are as you want them and it all looks nice and neat. Top-stitch along the long edges about ¼ inch in from the seam. Make sure you don’t stitch over the 1 inch gaps at the top or you won’t be able to thread your flags on a string later on!! I used a longer stitch for all of the top-stitching than I did for the seams, just because I prefer the way it looks. Do the same for all of the flags you need.
Here are mine all finished and ready to be strung up.
Lastly you need to make your string for hanging the bunting. There are probably lots of ways you could do this. I bought a couple of metres (a little more than a yard) of 1 inch (approx 2 1/2cm) wide bias binding, pressed it in half lengthwise, and then stitched along close to the edge. String your flags onto the bias binding in the right order, tie them up along a wall or across a window, and slide them into position along the bias binding. Now sit back, have a cup of tea, and admire your beautiful bunting!!
About the maker: Kate was taught to knit and sew by her crafty mother when she was very young. After years of thinking that it was totally uncool to admit to anyone that she knew how to knit, she has begun making up for lost time and crafts like crazy whenever her toddler will let her. When not crafting she is thinking about crafting, and constructing and deconstructing patterns in her head. She’s thinking about blogging but doesn’t feel that she has the time at the moment, so please have a look at her flickr site to see what she’s been up to.
Kate took part in the Cake and Pie Holiday Ornament Swap this year and as she has had a few requests for the pattern for this little guy she has/will put up a pattern in the comments of this photo if you were one of the interested people – go and check it out.