We’re delighted to bring you the last in our series of posts to mark The Refashioners 2016. In this final free sewing project, Jessica Entwistle gives traditional triangle bunting a bright denim makeover with miniature flags and a clever appliqué twist.
Designer Jessica says: “Beautiful blue bunting, adorned with colourful birds – what’s not to love about that? It’s made with different scraps of denim decorated with some appliqué – I used five large triangles and six smaller ones. The resulting bunting is pretty and unique, and will look lovely wherever you hang it, be it in a bedroom, child’s playroom or craft space. I made mine with lots of different blue shades of denim (from various pieces of leftover scraps in my stash), but you’d easily have enough with a single pair of jeans. You could also swap the birds for appliquéd flowers and leaves, or any motif you like.”
You will need
- Scraps of denim in various blue shades
- Backing fabric: dark blue, 25x112cm (10x44in)
- Branch fabric: woodgrain print, 1x10cm (3/8x4in) for each triangle
- Appliqué fabric: bird print, 1 Fat Quarter
- Bondaweb: see instructions for details
- Bias binding: bright pink 2cm (¾in) wide x 2.5 metres (98in)
- Matching sewing thread
- 2 brass curtain rings
- Card or paper for the templates
- Basic sewing kit
- Air or water erasable pen
Bird Print: Echino Birds in natural by Etsuko Furuya for Kokka.
Use a 1.5cm (5/8in) seam allowance throughout.
Download our triangle bunting template: it’s part of our issue 7 free sewing templates
How to make beautiful bunting from old jeans
Step one Download and trace both of the bunting templates onto paper and cut them out. Iron your denim scraps and decide on your colour layout, then draw around the templates onto the wrong side (WS) of your denim fabric, so you have five large triangles and six small ones. Cut out with a 1cm (3/8in) seam allowance around each side of the triangles.
Tip: Number your triangles front and back with the erasable pen to keep track of their order.
Press your dark blue cotton fabric and again cut six small triangles and five large ones to the same size as your denim triangles – these are for the backs of the flags. Take one of your larger denim triangles and one of the larger blue triangles, pin them right sides (RS) facing. Stitch them together down each long side of the triangle, making sure you leave the top unsewn.
Step two Trim the seam allowance and turn the sewn triangle RS out, making sure you push out the points carefully – a knitting needle is ideal for this. Repeat for all triangles and press them flat.
Step three You need to neaten the tops of your sewn triangles so they are easier to join up. Trim off any excess fabric with scissors or using a rotary cutter and mat if you have one.
Repeat this step with the six smaller triangles. You now have eleven bunting flags ready for appliqué.
Step four This is the fun part! Take your bird fabric and work out which birds you’d like to put on your flags then cut them out roughly outside the actual motif. Cut out a piece of Bondaweb to the same size and iron onto the back of the fabric to cover the motif. Turn the fabric over to the RS and cut carefully round each bird. The Bondaweb will fix the edges and help stop it fraying
Iron some Bondaweb onto the back of your woodgrain fabric and free-cut out some ‘branches’ for your birds. Ours are 1cm (3/8in) wide but you can vary the width.
Step five Taking one of your large flags, peel off the backing paper from the Bondaweb and iron your branch onto the flag. Cut off any overhanging fabric from the edge of your flag. The branch is now bonded to the fabric, but to give extra security to the appliqué (and to add interest) thread your machine with pink thread and sew your branch onto the flag, sewing along each long edge. Trim off the loose threads to neaten. Peel off the backing paper and iron your bird on top of your branch and sew this in place.
Repeat for the other four large flags. Remember that if you decide to have your bird sitting behind your branch (as one of ours does) then you need to attach your bird first, and then your branch.
Step six Take your bias binding and fold the binding in half lengthways and press. Take your first small flag and pin it into the folded bias binding 20cm (8in) in from one end. Leave a 5cm (2in) gap and pin in your first large flag, and then leave another 5cm (2in)gap and pin in your second small flag. Continue for all the other flags, leaving a 20cm (8in) long strip of bias binding at the other end. Sew the bias binding closed.
Step seven I prefer to finish off bunting with a brass ring sewn into each end of the binding – this makes it easier to hang it up. Take a brass curtain ring and thread it onto the end of your sewn bias binding. Fold the bias binding over the ring by 3cm (11/4in) and sew it together.
Repeat by attaching a curtain ring at the other end of the strip. Now hang up and wait fro the compliments!
If you like this project, check out the rest of our free sewing patterns and tutorials, and make sure you click on over to The Refashioners 2016 to see the brilliant collection of bloggers and designers who have come together to share their ideas for refashioning jeans as part of this summer’s The Refashioners project.
In case you missed them, you can catch up on the rest of our denim refashioning posts below, happy sewing everyone! Make sure you show us what you make using the hashtags #simplysewingmag and #therefashioners2016