Caroline: Bunting Project

One of my colleagues is getting married in a few weeks, and it sounds amazing – all bridesmaids in polka dot swing dresses and vintage stylings… Being a creative type, she is doing a lot of the wedding prep herself, from the salt dough heart favours to English country garden flower arrangements, every spare moment just now seems taken up with designing and crafting. One of the biggest elements she has yet to take in hand is the decorations, for which she and various female friends/relatives are making up 200 metres of bunting. She has been collecting vintage duvets, sheets and other scraps from charity shops for some time, and has quite an enviable collection saved up to work with!

At the Vintage and Handmade fair the other week we saw some very pretty vintage fabric bunting, and I was lucky enough to receive some lovely blue bunting that is a perfect match for my kitchen in a swap package from the lovely Dolly Dollop last year. But this seemed like a project I should be able to tackle myself… so, when I picked up a fab pajama top from a charity shop the other week, I paired it up with some navy fabric from my stash, and set to work with my old Singer.

I’m not very good at following instructions, so I googled a few tutorials, checked out a few different ways of doing things, and came up with my own version.

  1. I began by cutting out about a million pairs of triangles, using a template I made from an old square of cardboard from a tights package. I’ll admit to cheating at this, using Dolly Dollop’s bunting as a size guide, but there are plenty of templates available online.  I then used scraps of fabric, buttons, ribbons and bows to appliqué or otherwise decorate the plain navy triangles (though only on one side as I’m lazy as!).
  2. Then, I pinned all the pairs together (right sides facing) and machined straight along the two edges leading to the point. I turned them right side out, using a chopstick to poke through as much of the point as possible (time consuming!) and ironed each flat.
  3. I then laid them out along the living room floor in my desired order.
  4. This is where I cheated a bit, because I had a 5 metre length of bought binding lying around. If you’re making your own you’ll need to check out a binding tutorial on the best way to join your lengths (which I understand is on the diagonal?) This tutorial looks pretty damned good (comprehensive and well illustrated with clear photographs). Or you could cheat too, or use ribbon…
  5. Some tutorials encourage you to join the bunting triangles at the corner, but I simply pinned them in place. Machining the binding, again is fiddly and time-consuming, so it depends how comfortable you are with your machine… Personally, I hand sewed mine in place!

And voila! Pretty bunting! (And enough pajama top left to make a cushion cover using the “draw around pad, sew together edges, utilise existing button closures as fastening mechanism” procedure of which I’m so fond!

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