Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sewing Project #1: Fabric Bunting

If you're as blog crazy as I am, you'd likely lump fabric bunting (aka flags or pendant banners) into the same category as faux mustaches, chalk boards and striped straws - meaning they are sooo 2010 and 2011. Alas, I am a sewing machine novice, and a fabric bunting seemed like the perfect starter project. It would push me to first, get over my fear of what might as well be another planet to me - the craft store, and second, get a little practice in just using a standard stitch on my machine. And if all went well, Sammy would have a fun new addition to his little room, which has been in need of a little extra color / punching up.

After finding this easy-to-follow tutorial online, I made my way to JoAnn Fabrics. Now I've been into JoAnn's before, and I've been in other craft stores, but I don't like to spend a lot of time there. Frankly, I don't consider myself a crafty type of person, and I really don't care for "arts and crafts". The few times I've attempted some sort of craft project, it comes out looking like a third grader attempted the project - with her eyes closed. I much prefer to just buy whatever I'm trying to make. (The one exception is if it's food-related.) Because of this, the craft store is a way intimidating place to me. I get overwhelmed the second I walk in, am anxious the entire time I'm there, rarely find what I'm looking for, and eventually just order what I was looking for from Amazon.

This trip was no exception. I spent well over an hour looking for just the right colored and patterned fabric, proceeded to get in the way of every person working at the store, nervously rambled on and on about my project to the poor woman cutting my fabric (all while praying that I was asking for the right size fabric to be cut), and then ended up spilling the contents of my bag all over the floor of the checkout line in my hurry to escape.

(Oh, and and unlike every other person making a purchase, I had no coupons. Every time I buy something from a craft store without a coupon, I feel like that just screams "I'm not a crafter and clearly do not belong here!")

But back to the project at hand....

Above is my new sewing machine. Let's just take a look at how pretty she is before moving on to the nitty gritty. I don't love her quite as much as my KitchenAid just yet, but am hoping one day we get there.

Also, I should preface the text and photos below by saying that I'm not providing an actual tutorial. (The one I linked to gives much better instructions than I would.) 

But anyway.

First, I ironed each piece of fabric that I purchased. Per the tutorial's directions, I bought 1/2 yard of each fabric, and picked out five different kinds of varying patterns and colors. I didn't necessarily love my final selections, but the colors matched Sammy's room, and I liked the mix of patterns.

Next I cut each piece of fabric in half lengthwise, and using my newly purchased rotary cutter, ruler and self healing mat (as it too obvious of a joke to say that I knew at this point I'd need some self-healing upon the completion of this project??), measured out and cut 10 triangles. I had 50 in total. Note that the triangles below are actually comprised of two pieces of material, wrong side to wrong side. (Or is it right side to right side? I'm still getting the hang of sewing jargon.)

I then (very nervously) sewed the two pieces together, only sewing down the two long sides. At some point in my very first triangle, I had to call my mom and ask how to "pivot" and sew the material. (Moms = More helpful than Google.)

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the final step, but it involved placing 12 completed pendants inside a single piece of bias tape and stitching down the tape. The bias tape gives the bunting a nice finished look, seals the top of the triangles, and gives you two "tails" to hang the bunting. The result was four buntings.

I only needed two in Sammy's room, as I didn't want to overdo it. Here's one.

And here's the other.

I'm so happy with how the buntings came out, and passé or not, they add another element of fun and happiness to Sammy's room. This was the perfect first project for me. It took a few hours, but the process of sewing 50 little flags made me feel a bit more at ease with the sewing machine and was somewhat therapeutic after a long week. (I can only hope my next trip to the fabric store will mirror this new sense of ease.)

And of course I can't help but include a picture of my actual baby bunting....

1 comment:

  1. the project came out great! Adds some nice color and interest for my little boy!