Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Bunting tutorial

Oh my goodness. I cannot believe that my best intentions of maintaining a blog fell at the first hurdle. I have been busy making curtains and cushions for my lovely friend, look at the gorgeous fabric she chose.

 I can show you a picture of the cushion but unfortunately the pics of the curtains came out as two black silhouettes - not the best way to show them off!

Anyway I promised a bunting tutorial and that is what I intend to deliver this morning. It's the first one I've done so bear with me. What you will need to make a 3 metre length of bunting with 50 cm ties at each end.

  • Fabric in 5 colourways (0.25m of each)           
  • Thread                                                            
  • Bias Binding (4 metres)   
  • Scissors
  • Set Square/'L' square (Object with a true right angle)
  • Metre rule (Long straight edge)
  • Pen
  • The first thing you need to do of course, is to supply yourself with oodles of lovely fabric. This is the part I like the most, deciding on those colour combinations and patterns which will complement each other well. I bought half a metre of each, which was enough to make four sets of 3m bunting. Alternatively you could have a good rummage in the remnants box to see what you can find.
  • Fold an A4 piece of card in half lengthways and mark either side of the fold line the required width of your bunting. In my case my chosen width was 17cm, so I needed to mark 8.5cm either side of the fold line.
  •  Now measure straight down the fold line to the required length of your triangle (21cm), mark on the fold line and carefully draw two lines from this point to each of the two points you have already drawn on the shorter edge of the rectangle. You should end up with something like this.

  • Cut out your template. Before you begin to merrily cut out your pennants, it is important that you square up your fabric. You need to do this because it will give you a true straight edge in which to measure and cut from and will ensure that you maximise the best usage of the fabric you have available. So if you have a 'set' or an 'L' square, great, if not don't worry you can use a large hard back book, even the edge of your table or of course grid lines on a cutting mat. In fact anything that has a true right angle. You will also need a long straight edge. I have my metre rule, but a wooden batten or old piece of curtain track would be fine. Place your 'L' square along the  selvedge edge of the fabric like this. 

  • Place your straight rule directly underneath your 'L' sqaure so that it butts up quite neatly like this.

  • Can you see how the fabric may have looked like it had a straight edge but in fact it just needs a little trim? You should do this to any piece of fabric before embarking a sewing project. Now carefully draw a dotted line underneath your long straight edge. Make sure it's dotted or dashed rather than a continuous line as this will prevent the fabric being pulled out of line. Cut off the excess fabric along your dotted line to give a lovely true straight edge to your fabric.
  • Place your template along the edge of your fabric ensuring the short edge of the template butts up to the fabric edge. Draw around it, then rotate 180 degrees so that the point of your template(triangle) is now butting up to the fabric and draw around it. Repeat until you have a row of triangles along the length of your fabric. Then repeat with another row of triangles on top, until you feel you have enough triangles for your bunting. I hope you can see my green lines in the picture below, the light wasn't at its best when I took this pic.

  • You should end up with piles of pennants. Don't they look pretty?
  • I like to lay my flags out in piles now so that I can see exactly what I've got to play with and in this case to choose which of the fabrics will contrast nicely togther. I'm aiming for 5 flags per metre so as this bunting is double sided that means 10 pieces of fabric per metre. I am making a 3 metre length so 15 flags in all.
  • Now we can start to sew. Take two pieces of fabric, right sides together and sew around the two long edges. If you prefer you can pin or tack the pieces of fabric together before sewing.  Take about a 1cm seam allowance and reinforce the stitching at the point by machining backwards and forwards a couple of times. Do not machine the short edge. When you have finished just clip off the point of the pennant with a sharp pair of scissors.  This will make your point less bulky when you turn your pennant the right way out.
  • When you have machined all of your pennants together turn them the right way out making sure you push all of the fabric into the point to get a good finish (Use a knitting needle or a blunt pencil to get right inside) and press them flat.   Nearly there!

  • At the same time press your bias binding in half lengthways and press under at each end to avoid fraying ends showing.

  • Now start to pin your pennants to your binding, taking about a 5cm space between each one and sandwiching the flag in between the two layers of binding.

  • Start sewing carefully along the length of the binding ensuring that you keep a straight stitching line and that you are catching the tops of your flags in between the two layers of binding. Don't forget to sew the ends of the binding that you have pressed.
  • Now hang your bunting in a place where its full effect can be appreciated by the hoards of people who will admire your sewing talents, put the kettle on, have a cup of tea and a nice slice of whatever takes your fancy.


Thanks so much for visiting again. I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial and are raring to have a go yourself. Better get your skates on 'the wedding' is just around the corner.  I'm off for a lie down in a dark room.



  1. You are amazing! I have learned so much from your tutorial but I think I'll leave it to the expert and visit your Folksy shop instead!

  2. Such an inspiring tutorial! I love the contrasting fabrics on each side. Your bunting looks beautiful!