A Novice Sewers Guide to Bunting

 

I first made bunting for my children’s bedroom and thoroughly enjoyed it. The walls were plain lemon and it brightened them nicely, we can change it easily as they grow up for example incorporating loved cartoon characters.

I have now made lots of lengths for parties and most recently a friends wedding (they needed 250m in total!).

Here is my guide for any other novice sewers like myself.

Assorted fabric

Card, ruler and pencil

Cotton

Bias Binding (10m)

Scissors (2 pairs, one for paper and one for fabric – Golden rule! Never use fabric scissors on paper!!)

Iron and board

Chopstick/knitting needle

 

Choose an assortment of fabric maybe with a theme running through it, for example children’s story characters. Cotton is the easiest.

For a 10m string you need 36 flags. This will drape across a wall just over 7m long.

Draw a triangle template. Draw a line 17cm across and from the centre of this a line 21cm down. Then a line from here to each end of your first line.

As my bunting was going up permanently I washed and ironed all the fabric first. You must do this if any of it is natural fibres e.g linen but I didn’t bother for the wedding bunting.

Fold the piece of fabric in half, right sides together, and cut out 36 triangles of double layers. For speed you can use a rotary cutter and board. The cutting doesn’t need to be pristine!

Again for speed I didn’t bother to pin these together, they were flat enough to keep their shape.

Choose a thread that compliments most of your fabric. This is usually basic white unless you are using very dark material.

Slide the fabric triangle under the presser foot to start sewing from one end of the 17cm side sewing along the long side to your point. Insert the needle. My machine has a button for this or use the wheel to wind it down. It will mean whenever you stop, for example at the point of the triangle to turn the needle stays down.

Set off down one long side. Choose a guideline on your presser foot to run the fabric along for a straight line (mind you, that depends on how straight your cutting was!).

When you reach the point (don’t travel to the end) again use the guides on the presser foot to work out the best stopping point to turn and travel along the next side (just put a little wiggle in if you don’t get it right the first time!).  Stop. Your needle should be down through the fabric lift the presser foot and spin the fabric around the needle to set off along the next side. Lower the presser foot and continue sewing along.

This is great repetitive straight line sewing that you can learn to build your sewing speed up on!

Once all the triangles are sewn. Trim the point of each close t the stitching to reduce the bulk of fabric when you turn them right side out.

Turn each triangle correct side out and carefully push the point out neatly. You can use scissors but be careful not to push through the fabric. A Wagamamas chopstick is best! Iron flat. Trim excess material and threads from the top of each triangle.

I use bias binding as the ‘string’ around 1 inch (2.5cm) wide. Fold it in half and press all the way along.

Measure 12cm from the end of the binding, mark with a pin. Slide the top side of a triangle into the fold of the binding and hold in place whilst sliding the binding under the presser foot, starting at the very beginning of your tape.

Sew along a few mm from the edge of the binding catching the triangle as you go. When you reach the end of the triangle stop and measure 12cm more, mark again with a pin, insert a triangle and continue sewing. Carry on in this pattern all the way along sewing the entire length of the binding across the triangles and in between.

And that’s it finished! Hang in a swag pattern held with tacks or drawing pins.