Tutorial: Colette’s perfect bunting
Colette has made bunting three times for the shop and it’s so perfect and lovely every time that we asked her to do a tutorial this time. Her Mirror Ball Dot rainbow bunting in our new window display is covet-worthy and the ideal party decoration! Read on to find out how she does it.
For this 3 metre length of bunting we used 7 colours of Mirror Ball with two pennants of each colour. [Annie’s note: you can now find a kit for the Mirror Ball Dot party bunting and Stitch Floral Circle party bunting in the shop!]
(you will need 2 triangles for each pennant) and 4m bias binding.
Take a 20cm / 8” strip of fabric and square off the end removing any selvedge.
With a magic pen or tailors chalk mark along the top of your strip every 15cm / 6”. Along the bottom edge mark the first point half the width of the top measurement, in this case 7.5cm / 3”, thereafter mark every 15cm / 6” until you have enough pairs of triangles.
Join the dots with your ruler and cut with a rotary cutter.
You can do this with scissors, mark the cutting line with tailors chalk and cut!
Take two triangles with right sides together, pin at the narrow point to avoid them slipping. Starting at the top, back tack* and stitch towards the narrow point with a 5mm / half inch seam allowance. When you are 5mm / half inch from the end stop, with the needle still in the fabric lift the presser foot and turn your fabric, stitch up the other side back tacking at the end.
*back tack tip – start sewing about 7mm in from the edge of the fabric, slowly backstitch toward the edge of the fabric, put your right hand behind the presser foot and hold the loose threads firmly, slowly sew forwards, this will prevent your fabric snarling up in the feed dog and secure the stitches sufficently.
Turn through the pennants, on these I DON’T snip the ends of the triangle, the narrow seam allowance and the pointy end means there isn’t much bulk to trim away. Take a pin, I find the short fat ones are best for this as they aren’t as bendy as long pins. Poke your pin into the seam and gently tease out the point, don’t try and do it all in one ‘poke’ small movements are best. You’ll be an expert by the time you’ve done all 14.
Press the pennants (with steam, if your fabrics will allow) starting at the point and ensuring your seams are sharp with no fabric tucked in.
Snip off the excess seam allowance poking out from the triangles.
Step 7 (picture 8 and 9)
Decide on the order you want your pennants then work out how far apart you want them to be. I cut a cardboard strip from a cereal box to this length and use this to measure the gaps as I find I get tangled in a tape measure. The gap here is 9cm / 3.5”.
Leave about 50cm for tying the bunting, insert a pin where you want to position your first pennant. Fold the bias binding in half and stitch as close as you can to the edge up to your pin. With your needle down in the fabric open the bias binding and insert the raw edge of the pennant, pin to the bottom half of the binding if you find it’s shifting, fold down the top of the binding, enclosing the pennant and stitch along the edge of the binding removing any pins as you go. Stitch the bias binding closed for the length of your gap, using your cardboard strip to measure, then insert the next pennant.
Repeat until all pennants are attached, leaving another tie at the end.
* finishing tip – if you want to neaten up the ends of the ties, turn in the end on the binding before you fold it in half, this can be a little fiddly but it does give a neat finish. Don’t forget to do it at the beginning of step 7 too!
All done! Now hang and admire your gorgeous bunting.