It’s hard not to get caught up in the patriotic feeling of 2012. With Union Jacks gracing everything from tea towels to coffee cups, it seems only right to celebrate the forthcoming summer of Britishness! I thought about focusing on the essentials of a British street party. We’ve got the large garden table sorted, the ultimate British snack in the form of a Scotch egg , but what about the decoration? I mean, what’s a garden party without a bit of bunting brightening your outdoor space (or indoor space if the British weather is anything to go by)?
Here’s my own personal step by step guide;
1. What you need – Easy really. Pick some gorgeous bright fabric, enough to actually make front and backs to your bunting (and to make more than just one or two triangles). Depending on how long you want your bunting to be, would depend on how much fabric and ribbon you have. Find some decorative ribbon, some herringbone tape, some card for your template, scissors and your sewing machine.
2. Preparation – You have to make a template for your triangle. You can judge how big you actually want your triangles to be, however I measured mine 14.2cm at their shortest point and 22cm at their longest point. Placing the template on the underside of the fabric and making sure the top of the triangle runs the correct way as the weave of the fabric, you then have draw around the template. Make sure you do this twice for each triangle so that you end up with both a front and a back. Then proceed to cut the triangles out, leaving about 1cm border around the longest edges of the fabric so these can be sewn together.
3. Sewing – I love sewing, as odd as it my seem, I find it quite therapeutic. Anyway, to make your bunting the same fabric on each side you will need to sew your triangles together. Match the correct fabrics together (you could go crazy and match alternating fabrics with each other) and make sure that your pencil points match on either side as you pin them together. Don’t forget though – you have to have reverse sides of the fabric on the outside when you sew them together. Once all your triangles have been sewn, you will need to turn them inside out and then press with the iron (if you are having trouble turning your triangles inside out, you can always use a blunt pencil to ease out the point of your triangles).
4. Decorating and making the final bunting – To make my bunting a little different, I decided to have a bit of fun with some patterned ribbon I had in my fabric box. Prior to sewing the triangles together you can stitch some ribbon onto one of the triangles in either a cross or Union Jack shape. It finishes it off nicely.
Then all you have to do is stitch the bunting triangles together with the herringbone tape. I personally find herringbone tape easiest to use. I went for one that was about 1-1.5cm wide. Folding it in half length wise, pin the bunting triangles into the crease of the tape – making sure to leave even space between each triangle and also enough on each end to be able to tie it onto something. Then start to sew along the tape and at the same time sewing through the triangles. I have to admit this does take more concentration than normal, especially to keep the sewing line as straight as possible and also to ensure your triangles stay inside the crease of the tape.
And there you have it…bunting. Now go forth and decorate. Personally I can get a little carried away here and have been known to decorate everything from the living room to the cat’s basket.
Enjoy and have a wonderful summer.