I sourced fabric this week and learnt a bit about how one buys fabric in the process. When I went to the shop the shop assistant asked me if I wanted to buy the fabric by the meter or fat quarter. Fat quarter?!?!? What the hell does that mean ?!?! I had no idea what she was talking about so I just said by the meter but then when she found out the plan was to make bunting she said that I should definitely buy it by the fat quarter….. now there was no escaping the fact I had no idea what she was referring to and had to ask her what ‘fat quarter’ meant. She explained that in most shops you buy material by the meter but in some shops (usually ones that specialise in quilting) you can buy it in a smaller size called a fat quarter. This is basically a meter of fabric cut in quarters and you just buy one quarter.
So now here I am back in my study sitting in front of the machine and looking at all this lovely fabric – let’s give this a go!
1. What you will need
– Twill tape; I am using 3 meters of tape
– Fabric for the flags; heavier weighted fabric works better – it makes the flags sturdier
– Something to push out the corners (a chopstick will do) but I used a point turner. Personally I think a chopstick or the end of the scissors does just as good a job if not better
– Pair of scissors or stanley knife
– A thick piece of cardboard
– Firstly you need to make the flag template. Use a ruler to draw a triangle on the cardboard and then cut it out. Keep in mind that the template needs to be about 2cm bigger than you want the final flag to be as we are going to use a 1cm seam allowance. (Some people prefer to do scolloped bunting – ie a half circle – as oppose to a flag shape; you can do what ever shape you choose).
– Work out how many flags you want on the tape. I am allowing for 30cm of tape at either end of my bunting and then spacing the flags every 12 cm. You can do whatever you wish; you might want them placed a lot closer than this or you may want them further apart.
– Now you need to use the cardboard template to cut out the flags. For every flag you have you need two triangles; a front and a back. I am using different material on the front and back but you can do the same if you wish; choosing different material just gives it a bit more variety. I suggest that once you have cut out all the flags that you place them down right side up so you can see if the combinations you have chosen look ok. I am doing a boy version on one side and a girl version on the back.
– Once you have decided on your combination of flags you need to place the right sides of the fabric together so that they are facing each other. (The right side of the fabric is the side that the fabric has been printed on). Now pin them together.
– Sew down each side of the flag leaving the top part as you will need to turn the flag inside out shortly. Once you get to the tip of the flag leave the needle in the fabric, lift the foot and pivot the fabric. Once you have the fabric lined up put the foot down and continue sewing.
– Now cut off half the excess material down each side of the flag that you have just sewn. At the point of the flag you need to cut across the point, just make sure you don’t cut the thread otherwise it will all come undone! The reason you cut off the point is so that when you turn it inside out you will end up with a better shaped point.
– Turn the fabric inside out so that the right sides are now showing. To push the point of the flag out I used a point turner but a chopstick or the end of the scissors works just as well.
– Iron the flag so that it sits flat.
– Iron the twill tape in half.
– Measure in 30cm from the beginning of the twill tape and now pin a flag inbetween the twill tape. Measure 12cm and then pin another flag, continue this process until you have used all your flags.
– Now sew from one end of the tape to the other, trying to keep it as straight as possible.
– Now you should be done! I can’t believe I pulled this off with no mistakes!!! What a huge achievement and it’s such instant gratification, give it a go! I’d love you to post some pics of your bunting once you’ve completed it.
In the morning when the kids wake up I’ll try hanging the bunting in their room and post a photo. Good luck, happy sewing! I hope you get as much satisfaction out of it as I did!