They say it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to make you an expert and although I've probably got someway to go before I could consider myself an expert bunting maker, I would say I'm well on the way. Basically, what I'm trying to tell you is, I've made a lot of bunting.
When my husband and I picked our wedding venue I knew I was going to need a lot of bunting. Any wedding that takes place in a cider barn in Devon requires copious amounts of the stuff. So, after being horrified by the costs of hiring some, I decided I would make it myself. In total I made over 120m of bunting for our wedding. It was everywhere and looked amazing. We even had it on the cake (in fondant).
However, after our wedding we didn't just box it up or sell it off, which was the initial plan. The truth is, I couldn't bear to part with it so we lent it to people. Our bunting has been to more weddings, birthday parties and christenings in the last 4 years then we have and I love it. I love seeing photo's on Facebook from relatives of friends, whom I have never met, happily celebrating and there in the background is my bunting.
Therefore, if you are planing any events this summer that would be made that little bit more special with some bunting, then i would highly recommend making some (perhaps not 120m though). You can keep it forever and bring it out for any occasion you think deserves it.
Now being the 'near' expert that I am, and demanding you all make some, it would be remiss of me not to show you how.
I am a bunting snob and always make double sided bunting. It gives you the option of hanging it anywhere and no one is going to see the wrong side of the fabric. Also, it adds some weight to the fabric. It's nice to see bunting fluttering in the breeze but you don't want it going crazy.
Fabric: For bunting I tend to use quilters cotton as it is a good weight and comes in a huge range of designs. I would avoid designs with large patterns as the visual effect will not work as well. The easiest way I found to get get bunting fabric is to buy fat quarter bundles. You can get about 7 double sided triangles from 1 fat quarter and you know the designs will work well together
Rotary blade (or fabric scissors)
Iron and ironing board
Bunting template click here
Step 1: Print out the template above ensuring the square indicated is the correct size. Then cut out the template. I trace most of my templates on to freezer paper so it is easier to lay them out and attach them to the fabric but you can use printer paper if preferred.
Step 2: Place the template on to your freshly ironed fabric and pin (or iron on). Try to place your template so as to waste as little fabric as possible. You can fold your fabric over to do multiple triangles at once. Draw around your template using chalk or water soluble fabric pen.
Step 3: Rotate your template 180 degrees and move along the fabric so the sides line up (see image) and then repeat steps 2-4 until you have your required number of triangles. Remember you will need double the pieces for both sides.
Step 4: Cut out your fabric using your fabric scissors or rotary blade.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 with all the fabrics you have chosen.
Step 6: Pair up your pieces and pin right sides together.
Step 7: Sew around the two longer edges of your fabric using a 1cm seam allowance.
Step 8: Clip the point of your triangles to remove bulk producing a neater point. Make sure you do not snip through your seam stitches.
Step 9: Turn your triangles right side out, pushing the triangle tip out with a blunt pencil or pen. Iron the triangle flat. Trim the seam poking out the top of your triangle.
Step 10: Leave about 30cm of tape at the start for attaching to hooks etc. Then take your bunting tape and lay your first triangle's unsewn edge, halfway across the tapes width. Fold the tape over the unsewn edge of triangle and pin down. Repeat until all your triangles are pinned to the tape.
Step 11: Sew along the edge of your bunting tape nearest the triangles, ensuring all your triangles are caught by the stitches. Secure your first and last stitches by back stitching. Remove from the sewing machine and remove any loose threads.
Congratulation! You completed your bunting.