24 June 2010

Patriotic Flag Bunting

I have been so excited about this project. It is the first time I have actually sewn something I saw without the use of a pattern! (That should be a clue to how easy this really was after all the issues were sorted). I saw this beautiful bunting in the Victorian Trading Co. Catalog and fell in love only it was a bit out of our budget and besides that- totally sold out! I thought to myself, "That doesn't look too hard, I'll find the instructions on-line and go for it!" Yeah, only, I couldn't really find any instructions I was totally happy with online- even at Martha- so I had to figure it out myself- SCARY! I did find a photo somewhere that used a little half-circle shape in the middle and I thought that might look better- plus I had 4 fabrics I wanted to use anyway. Here are the instructions that finally worked for me (after a few extra trips to the store and a few ripped seams and re-thinks). First, collect your materials, threads, bobbins, tools, ironing board, etc. Then, measure the window or place where you will be hanging your bunting and add an inch. Then do some math. I did some weird Bethany math that only makes sense to me, but basically divide your finished length (the one you just measured minus the inch) by 8. That is the width of each fabric strip. That number will also be the radius of the half-circle- you will DOUBLE the number for the width (diameter). Cut out your half-circle. Whooo, I am already mathed out! I hope that makes SOME sense. Now, for the lengths of the 3 strips. You will want to double what you would need to go around the half-circle. I used this online calculator to find out the circumference, then halved it (then doubled it again, because I forgot I was going to gather). Save yourself a redundant step. Use the entire circumference number and that will be the length of your first 2 tiers. You may need to sew a couple strips together to make the length you need like I did. This did not affect the final project as I staggered the extra seams- plus they kind of hide in the pattern and gathers.Sew the first two strips together, gather one side, pin and sew the gathered side to your half circle. Cut the third strip (and the lace border) a length and a half of the first two. You can even go a little longer if you want a tighter gather. I did not do this and had to rip the entire thing out and re-think it as it did not lay right AT ALL. It was also about 2:00 in the morning and I had had it!So, gather the third strip and sew to the second. I did not gather the middle strip and it all finished well, but I'm sure that would look cute too.Fold the raw edge under twice, iron, pin the lace on and sew. To finish, I kept this really easy and bought quilt binding. I pinned it all across the top and just sewed it on making sure to leave room at the top for a dowel to help it hang straight. I also added 5 small grommets and finally added the dowel. Done! If that didn't make any sense, and are a more visual learner, here's a diagram (please, don't actually check my math... it is not right due to some "issues" and I had to make due with what I had and tweaked things a bit... but these did actually work!):And it actually fit the window!!! It was so worth the wiggles and setbacks and next time, there won't be any (well, fewer anyway). I am so excited to have a unique bunting to show my love, gratitude and patriotism for this wonderful country I live in and those who have sacrificed so much so that we may enjoy it.

19 comments:

  1. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you posted this tutorial!!! I've been searching for bunting instructions for two years!! And I didn't have the courage to just go for it myself. ;-)

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  2. I love bunting! Thanks for sharing your pattern!

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  3. Absolutely A+ job--it's really inspiring me. It was so thoughtful of you to add your tutorial. I'd love for you to link this up to Fabric Fun Thursday this coming week.

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  4. wow! i am impressed at how well that turned out! good job and thanks for sharing:)

    i am your newest follower!

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  5. Hi there, i recently became a follower of your lovely blog and i have added your button to my blog! i hope that is ok? Sandy of three potato Four.

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  6. You served in Cartaxo? How cool! That was my last area. Did you live with Dona Rosa when you were there?

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  7. What a beautiful bunting! Years ago I decorated a historic street with the typical bunting for the fourth - think it was plastic. Looked festive and all, as it was an entire street. But yours is really special. I love your choice of fabrics!

    Would love for you to link it up Thursday to Fab finds for the Fourth!

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  8. I like your choices of fabric better than those shown in your inspiration photo.

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  9. Wow, thanks for all the comment props. When I got the kinks out, it was pretty easy. Oh, and yes, I did live with the infamous Donna Rosa... so did my husband (but not at the same time, of course). I'll be happy to link it up Kim and Colleen. Thanks for asking.

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  10. LOVE IT. This is so much better than the traditional ones sold everywhere.
    tammy

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  11. So pretty. I too like this much better than the traditional ones! Love the toile flag fabric! Where did you find it?

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  12. Definitely a Fabulous 4th Find here! You are amazing! I'm impressed with your talents and the choice of fabrics for this bunting. I don't sew, but this project makes me want to. :-)
    Happy 4th! ~ Sarah

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  13. I adore your patriotic spirit. It is red, white and bluetiful!

    I hope you'll stop by for my bbq on an Anthropologie inspired white tablecloth. :)

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  14. Good for you, you powered through and made a really neat project! So cute and clever! You are a smart lady, your bunting looks great.

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  15. That is absolutely precious! I may have to give it a try! Marcia

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  16. It is great to get such a positive response. I seriously just could not find a pattern on the web so I thought I would save others the time. Leigh Ann- I really don't remember where I got the fabric- it's about 6 years old, sorry. Sarah- I don't really sew either (notice there are no actual zippers or anything like that in my projects). You could totally make this! I would love to see what anyone makes. I think I'm going to do another one for Christmas!

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  17. I love bunting, and really love that this can be personalized using any fabric! Very nice job-enjoy!

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  18. This is really cute! I love the old fashiony feel to it!

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  19. Great idea. It looks pretty hanging in your house. I wanted to make some buntings for my porch this year but ran out of time. Now i know what to look for (I have red and white striped fabric, will try to buy blue with white starson sale.)
    Happy Independence Day
    Kathy

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