My sewing machine hates bunting. But I don’t. After much struggle, I have managed to make some springy bunting with unbleached calico and large block printed dots. With these spring like colours, this bunting would be perfect for Easter decoration or a summer garden party. The one I made is for my next fair stand. It is ridiculously simple to make so I thought I would spread the joy: here is a tutorial for you.
Calico (or muslin if you’re from the US) is the perfect fabric to print on once it has been washed. I picked joyful colours in my stock of fabric paint and made a stamp out of a wine cork to achieve a distressed look. All in all it is a rather cheap project (paint being the most expensive supply) and you can whip it in around three hours (plus time for the paint to fully dry). This is definitely a sewing machine project as I guess it would be long and boring to hand sew.
To make you Spring bunting you will need:
- Bias tape in off-white ;
- Unbleached calico ;
- Matching thread ;
- Fabric paint in the colours of your choice ;
- A wine cork ;
- A smallish paint brush (to apply paint on the cork) ;
- A knife (or anything that could cut the cork) ;
- Sewing machine ;
- Pins and scissors (of course).
1 – Cut the fabric
Cut out a triangle with one 14cm (5 1/2”) side and two 16cm (6 2/8”) sides from some old cereal box or equivalent. Using this template, cut out 18 triangles from the calico (or more if you want more than 9 pieces).
2 – Make the pieces of bunting
Pair and pin the calico triangles two by two. Then make a running stitch along the two 16cm (6 2/8”) edges. Trim the point and turn inside out, using a pencil or a chop stick to shape the point of the triangle if needed. Press flat.
3 – Assemble the bunting
Open the bias tape flat. Sandwich and pin each piece of bunting between the bias tape wrong sides. Leave a space of about 3 cm (1”) between each piece of bunting. Now make a running stitch as close as possible to the bias open edge, making sure you catch both sides of the bias and the piece of bunting. It should then look like picture 3 below.
Tip: to make sure the bunting spreads evenly on both ends of the bias, start by folding the tape into two and pin one piece of bunting across the fold. Then add one half of the remaining pieces on the left of the central one and the other half on the the right.
4 – Print
Cut the top of the wine cork : this irregular surface will achieve a slightly distressed look and feel. Then spread some paint on the top of the cork using a brush and taking care to remove any paint from the sides so the edges of the dots are clean. Make some tests on fabric scraps to check the colours suit you. Then this is play time : mix colours as you wish, print both sides if you wish (I left one side blank because I plan to print on other pattern there later).
Leave to dry and then bind the paint as per pain manufacturer instructions. And voilà.