Thursday, September 8, 2016

TUTORIAL - a festive flag bunting...

This sweet bunting of flags can be made longer or shorter depending on how many flags you have, or how long the space you have to decorate with a bunting. So as you prepare to make your own festive flag bunting consider how many flags you'll need for the length of space you have in mind.

Mine is four flags in length which was perfect to hang across the top of a small bookcase in our rental home, but I will make a longer set one day when we have our own home and are able to drive picture nails into the wall. 

Trace the flag shape onto a piece of template plastic or medium weight cardboard (a cereal box is perfect).

For four flags I used a piece of pink and white polka dot fabric 9" x 20" (perfect for using a fat quarter) but if you want to make eight flags you'd cut a 9" x 40" from yardage. 

Trace the flags onto your fabric, alternating the flag template one way, then the other, so that you're using the least amount of fabric. Trace a stitchery design onto the centre of each flag but leave an inch between the stitchery and the top wide edge of each flag. Leave at least 1/2 inch space around the rest of the flag. 

Fuse a piece of thin wadding, Pellon or Parlan behind the flag fabric.

Stitch your designs as you would normally. 

Need help with that? Check out my hand embroidery tutorial here - it has a free pattern too!)

Want to stitch the same designs as I have? Purchase my four Merry Flags of Christmas stitchery set here in my shop
Or would you like this pattern as a free gift? Read more here

Trace the little hearts onto some small pieces of scrap fabric. You will need one heart between each of your flags. Fuse a piece of thin wadding, Pellon or Parlan behind the fabric.
Stitch the design. (I have included the little heart stitchery with your flag template)
Fuse a piece of backing fabric behind each heart.

Sew a line of running stitch (through all three layers) around each embroidered heart and hide the knot between the three layers when you finish.
Cut out each heart close to the running stitch line, about 1/8 inch away from it.
If you're nervous cutting around the heart draw a faint line around the heart first and cut along that.
Put the hearts aside for later.

After your flag designs have been stitched cut out each flag along the traced triangular outline.
One at a time lay an embroidered flag face down on a piece of backing fabric slightly larger than your bunting flag. 
With your sewing machine set at a small straight stitch (the smaller the stitch the easier it is to sew around corners) sew around the sides and base of your flag with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving the top edge open.
Trim the flag seams to a scant 1/8 inch.
Turn the flags right side out and gently press flat.

With a heat erasable pen or a very light pencil draw a line of crosses and straight lines across the top edge of each flag, 3/4 inch below the raw edge.
Stitch them in a thread colour of your choice. Mine were stitched in a pale green Perle #12 thread to blend with the green hearts.

Cut or create a 2 1/4 inch x 40 inch or a 2 1/4 inch x 80 inch length of contrast fabric (depending on whether you are making four or eight flags) to make the binding which holds the flags and hearts together.
I used the same fabric for my binding and the backing of my flags.

Find the centre of your binding strip and make a mark with your pencil 1" either side of it on the wrong side.

Lay the binding face down along the top front of your flags, leaving a 2 inch gap between each flag, starting from the centre with a flag either side of your pencil marks. Pin each flag in position before sewing the binding fabric to each flag.

Press a 1/4 inch hem along the opposite edge of the binding...

...before folding the binding over to the back of the flags.
Secure with pins or binding clips.

Slip stitch the binding closed along the back of the flags and between the flags.

Carefully sew your little green hearts between the flags using thread the same colour as your heart  fabric, including a bead between the binding and the heart. Hide the knotted ends of your thread inside the binding to start and finish.

I sewed key rings purchased from my local craft store into each end of my bunting. These are wonderful for hanging the bunting in place on nails, picture frame hooks, or Christmas tree branches.

This is my favourite Christmas display for a small space!
Will it be yours too?


You don't need to use stitcheries to make this bunting.

Fussy cut fabrics for the flags, or choose a variety of colour sequences - green/red/green/red for the traditional Christmas palette, or perhaps teal & red, pink &green, blue and yellow for something modern?

If you DO want to use stitcheries:

Raid your box of orphan Christmas embroideries for designs you've completed that will fit inside the flag template.

OR, you may want to purchase my Merry Flags of Christmas pattern?:

The pattern includes all 4 designs for the flags, the template and tutorial. 
It's ready, here in my shop, as a PDF download today. 

I can't sign off today without another photo of our sweet little Cully May. 

5 weeks old already...

May all our hearts be as peaceful as hers...



Christine M said...

Thanks for the tutorial Jenny. It is perfect timing as I'm just about ready to put mine together. xx

Jude said...

Thank you Jenny, great tutorial and pattern/ideas. Finished off perfectly with the pic of the peaceful beautiful Cully May, gorgeous, wonderful life she has and bringing joy to so many. thank you for sharing, we are enjoying beautiful start to spring, but unfortunately virus doing the rounds with the little ones. Happy days, Judithann :-)x

Águeda said...

Thank you very much for the tutorial. It's a nice idea for decoration. And thanks for sharing photos of Cully May. She grows beautiful and she has sweetly happy that you share with us. Hugs. Have a Blessed day.

Baa. xxx said...

Beautiful Cully May!

Pinnylea Creations said...

Cully May is such a cutie Jenny xx

Anonymous said...

That's a terrific tutorial. I always feel I can make anything if you describe how. =) Cully May is adorable, no matter what she's doing. Sleeping pictures are so great to have ... especially when she starts teething, to remind you she'll sleep again someday. =)

Kara said...

Those are cute designs. You've given me good ideas.

Tuppence said...

Muchas gracias por este nuevo regalo, es una preciosa idea para estas navidades..Preciosa Cully May ..tan bonita dormida..
Un beso Nora