Wednesday, June 06, 2012

TUTORIAL: Fabric Bunting & Mini Bunting

A little while ago I decided to try my hand at making some fabric bunting for the first time. It was for a little girl's rainbow themed birthday and instead of doing solid colors, I decided to go through my fabric stash and used patterned fabrics organized by their primary color instead. Not only did it turn out great but I was also able to upcycle some fabric scraps originally from second hand garments. Sustainable and cute! 

Fabric bunting is pretty easy if you have a sewing machine. I figured I'd make a tutorial which you can find by following the link below!
Photo Credit: Nicole Burdsall

Fabric Bunting Tutorial 
First you need to decide how big you want your flags to be. My template was 6.5" x 8.5" but you can do any size you would like. Once you know how big your flags will be, you can figure out how many you want on the bunting and how far apart you want to put them. If you have an unlimited amount of fabric you will be able to plan the amount of flags you want to make. Aside from thread for your sewing machine, the only other material you need is 5/8" double fold bias tape (if you choose to make a different flag size you may want to consider using a different size of tape).

Now you are ready to cut! Pin your flag template to the fabric you are using. The direction of the grain isn't super important with this project but if possible, I would recommend keeping consistent with the direction you cut out your flags on the fabric. You need to cut out two of the template for every single flag you want. Pin the facing pieces together.
Sew along the sides with a 1/8" seam allowance, keeping the top of the flag open. Once you finish this, clip the point at the bottom off. This will make getting a crisp point when you turn it inside out much easier.
Turn the flag inside out. To push out the bottom point of the flag I used a plastic chopstick. Once you have finished doing this for all of the flags, you need to iron the edges flat.
You can skip this next step but I think it give the flags more visual interest and also keeps them flatter. Top-stitch 1/4" from both edges, continuing to keep the top edge open.

Take your double fold bias tape and slide the top of the flags between the tape fold. Pin them along the bias tape according to the spacing you decided on. I believe mine were around 3" between each flag. Make sure to leave a good amount of tape empty on each end as you need to be able to tie it to hang it. Alternatively you could also make a loop at the end of the bias tape to hang it off something. Once you have all the flags pinned in, sew along the entire length of the of the bias tape to close it.
Here is what my version looked like, I folded up the bias tape for the photograph so I could show all the colors together :)

Mini Bunting Tutorial
I realized that once I had cut out the flags for the full-size bunting I had a ton of small scraps that I needed to do something with. And the idea of mini bunting came to mind!
I made these much simpler as they are so small! The template for is different with only one piece of fabric for each flag instead of two. The fabric is folded in the middle. My mini flags were 1 1/16" wide and 2 1/4" long on each side of the fold (a total length of 4 1/2"). Once you make your template and cut it out, pin it to your fabric and cut it out.
After cutting them out, fold them in half with the wrong side together. Iron along the fold in the middle to make it crisp.
Next you need to stitch 1/4" from the folded edge. This will allow you to thread string, ribbon, or whatever you decide to do use through this gap.
Thread your "string" through the casing you have just made and knot on each side of the flag so that it won't move around. You could also use glue to keep it on or a variety of other techniques. Make sure you keep them evenly spaced from one another when tying the knots. And that is it! :)

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