wedding: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: How to make the easiest of fabric bunting

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How to make the easiest of fabric bunting

how to make easy fabric bunting

I know, in scrapbooking terms bunting is seen as a huge trend. And maybe on the wedding scene too. But I firmly believe that bunting is as British as a cup of tea and when I discussed this by email with a friend who qualifies as a real Brit rather than a poser like myself, she replied with just an image of a family having a picnic in the middle of the war, with bunting hanging between two Anderson shelters. That says it all to me: the British will hang bunting even in the middle of the blitz.

So clearly we need some for the wedding. (Which had nothing to do with the blitz. But say blitz out loud. It’s a rather cool word to say. I digress.)

how to make easy fabric bunting

When I made our bunting, I made it in the easiest way possible, pretty much, and it turned out exactly how I wanted so hurrah for that. No hemming. No measuring. These were the steps:

…Gather fabrics from the ‘I really am going to sew something with this someday’ pile in shades of blue or black and white.
…Iron them. Fold them with the wrong side on the inside — the print on the outside.
…Put on a DVD and cut all that fabric into tons of randomly sized triangles, arranging them by pattern on the table. (Cutting both layers at once so the print is on both sides of the triangle pair, yes?)
…When things are cut and DVD is done, sit at the sewing machine, making sure both spools have as much thread as possible, and pick up one pair of triangles. Start sewing with a straight running stitch, across the wide top of the triangle.
…Continue to sew and just pick up another triangle pair at the end of each one and keep right on sewing. Don’t worry about what order the patterns go in or if the big triangles are all together or anything. Just pick them up as random as humanly possible. Keep sewing until they are all in one long string.
…Realise that this has essentially created one giant knotted string of bunting on the other side of the sewing machine.
…Put on another DVD and untangle the whole mess.

And seriously, I think the last step was the hardest.

Once it was untangled, it was just as perfect as could be, and it graced our dessert table at the reception. (I had hoped to string it across the room or the terrace, but it turned out our venue didn’t really have any way of hanging anything from overhead.)

wedding bunting and craft display

Since the wedding, the bunting has racked up quite a few miles, as it’s my go-to decoration for pretty much anything. The guest room, the Christmas tree, displays at craft shows — it always works. Since it isn’t hemmed at all, it has frayed and since it’s only one row of stitching holding it together, it does sometimes break. But both things are benefits in my mind — the fraying has given it much character now and the stitching is so easy to mend that I don’t mind pulling it apart to make it just the right length for any given space. Sometimes I even staple it back together for displays and it works just fine.

So yes, bunting. Oh how I love it. And don’t worry: I will dish more about the desserts later in wedding week, I promise. I’ll even share the recipes.


PS: I am curious as to how many of you actually said blitz aloud!

24 August 2010

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17 Comments for How to make the easiest of fabric bunting

  1. Julie Kirk Says:

    So lovely – and personal. :)

    I was once given a box full of pre-cut triangles from a patchworking group which I then had the task of turning into quilts for charity.

    Luckily I read about the technique of sewing two triangles together in a stream [rather than breaking off the thread each time. Eventually my parent’s dining room ended up looking like a bunting sweat-shop!!


  2. Sandie Says:

    What a wonderful idea, and I love bunting! My previous effort had bias binding round the edges and it was a real effort! I can see me making lots more now so thank you for this technique and for the lovely blog.

  3. WHua Says:

    I’ve been quite bemused by the current bunting trend in crafting as bunting doesn’t seem to be a big thing in Australia. I love your fabric version though! And yes, I will admit to saying “blitz” out loud because I do agree – it’s an awesome word. LOL

  4. Kelly Adams Says:

    Yep, I said “blitz” out loud. In my otherwise empty apartment. :)

  5. Lizzie Says:

    The only reason I didn’t say “blitz” out loud is that it’s only just after 7am and I don’t want to wake anyone up! Once the household is up and about, I promise to say it twice, just for Shimelle! It’s a very ‘sayable’ word.
    I made a small bunting string for my baby niece, using up some gingham that I had bought to line a big wicker toy basket for her. I embroidered each of the triangles, some with flowers and four with the letters of her name. I put the name flags in the middle and sewed it all onto a long tape. It was fab. However, your version is far more clever – I love the one-line-of-sewing idea and it looked wonderful all round that dessert table. I do love bunting (in fact, I did a whole blog-post about it recently!)

  6. Kirsty Smith Says:

    Oooh, I said it out loud but then I do it for any words that I like when I’m reading. Like ‘paradise’ and ‘interlocutor’. Is that weird?

  7. Miriam Says:

    yes I said it! I love bunting too, I have it all over my craft space! Mx

  8. Ladkyis Says:

    I should imagine that any german readers are wondering why a whole blogful of crazy scrappers are saying Lightning out loud. It’s the British influence that’s all. That and the fact that it is a good swear word too!

  9. Nikki M Says:

    I said it outloud and wholeheartedly agree. Love the idea of making a small bunting for a Christmas tree!!!! Might have to give that a try this year. Also, love the printer’s tray that you embellished for your wedding.

  10. Lauri Bauer Says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love the bunting idea and will shamelessly copy it for my sister’s upcoming baby shower!! And would love to use some of your dessert recipes too – they look amazing! Oh, and I did say ‘blitz’! LOVE it!!

  11. Sarah Haddox Says:

    Wondering where you purchased the “shadow box” that is in the suitcase. Very cute! I have lots of fabric scraps…would love to make one of those banners!

  12. Jacky Scales Says:

    I also love bunting…and can even remember it being hung up at street parties when I was a child.

  13. kate Says:

    ooh shimelle I love your technique! I need to make some pretty bunting for my graduation party. OK i dont NEED to but I have tea, a marquee and scones darling, who couldn’t use some bunting to go with that cute little lot! I will try this technique and say BLITZ loudly! our village hall (how cute!) still has an anderson shelter!

  14. Sandy G Says:

    Yes, I said “blitz” out loud, much to the surprise of the cat who’s sharing the chair with me! I love bunting and made some for my children’s birthday parties when they were younger, although I used paper napkins, to match the party theme, and double-sided tape instead of fabric and thread.

  15. Mel Says:

    Ooh, fabby bunting :-) I think we maybe need some in this household!

    I didn’t say blitz out loud – just aloud in my head, you know? Hang on…

    There, OK, I said it out loud now :-)

  16. Mimi Says:

    Love this!!! It is easy and beautiful and now my house will be full of them. Thank you. P.S. Love the blog

  17. Katie Says:

    hahaha! This post made me laugh a lot! I love the conversational style of your posts =) I am a real Brit, born and bred and still living here! I love that your classes come in dollars AND pounds, makes it so much easier! (I also love that the pound usually comes first haha!) x

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