Monday, July 23, 2012

Bunting Tutorial

A few years ago I made this bunting with some old curtain fabric and we have had fun with it, but I wanted to make a longer string so I went fabric shopping at JoAnnes, but I just couldn't find anything I liked. After stewing about it for a couple of days I remembered that WalMart has fabric so Teen2 and I trotted over there one evening and SHOCK! they had some of the cutest fabrics! I got two yards of two different patterns and four yards of a third pattern; all co-ordinating, of course.
 Here's a drawing of my template and how I laid the triangles out on the fabric. I cut the template out of cardboard so I could trace around it again and again. The triangle is 11" x 8 1/2" and it fits perfectly on a strip of fabric 12" long leaving 1/2" seam allowances all around. So if you use this template, you will get 21 triangles out of one yard of fabric. You need to unfold the fabric and refold it as shown to make best use of the width. Then trace around the cardboard template leaving 1" between triangles, and 1/2" at the top and bottom. Put three pins inside each triangle to hold it together whilst you sew. Don't waste time cutting around each triangle before you sew, simply sew the fabric together in the 12"x44" chunk and cut it apart after you're done sewing.
 I actually used a felt pen called Marks Be Gone for my tracing. These pens are used by quilters and the marks disappear with a spray of cool water after you are done sewing.

Here is how the fabric looks with all the marking and pinning done.

The I cut it into a manageable chunk.....

and started sewing. Make sure to leave the top part open for turning later.
After sewing, I cut the triangles apart.....

and trimmed the points to make the turning easier.

Turning the triangles inside out was the most time consuming part of the project, but I made 60 triangles, so maybe you won't feel so overwhelmed if you only make 20 or so. After turning the triangles, iron them so they look nice and crisp....
then trim off the little pieces of seam allowance that stick up on the top.
Here are the stacks of triangles at the half way point. The fabrics I chose are fairly bright, but I wanted that cheerful almost "Cath Kidston" look, so I'm quite pleased with my WalMart fabrics.
When they were finally all done I played with them, laying them out on the bed to "Ohhhh" and "Awww" at their prettiness. Then I took 60' of seam binding and marked it every 12". And then came the long process of sewing them all together. I encased the raw edges on the top of each triangle with the seam binding, sewing close to the bottom edge. Then I went back and sewed along the top edge to strengthen the seam binding. Then....
Happy, Happy, Day, I strung them all around this awning thing that's over my patio. And then we had a wonderful English tea party here Amongst The Oaks. 
You can make paper bunting too like I've done here above my range in the kitchen, and it's a lot easier. Just cut the triangles, fold them over and glue them around a ribbon, and you're done. You can decorate them with letters or pretty pictures too. I hope you try one of these ideas and let me know how it turns out.