red and blue vintage circus bunting tutorial (sort of)

fabric bunting

Yesterday I completed the one project I wasn’t sure I’d complete in time for Laura’s birthday party — a fabric pennant/bunting/whatever you want to call it. These have been all over the web for a while now, and on my “to do” list since spring. I kind of made up the instructions as I went along. All I knew was it had to meet these requirements:

  • Easy to do. I do not have the time right now to be all fussy with things like this.
  • Look old and vintage-y. Fraying? No problem. Uneven lines? Hey, that’s okay! It just makes it look more handmade.
  • Be multi-purpose. I need to use this for more than just one event.

So, the color scheme I’m using, as you know, is turquoise and red. Well, it’s lapsed into various shades of blue and red which is perfect since the party is also Memorial Day weekend. I will be able to use this bunting for years on the 4th of July as well, so I will definitely get a lot of use out of it.

First, I chose my fabrics. I just bought a bunch of fat quarters in patterns that I liked. Then I ironed them flat, then folded each in half the long way (with right sides facing each other) and ironed it again. I used this template from Cicada Daydream to trace triangles on the wrong side of the fabric. Because I wasn’t going to be turning my triangles inside-out, I cut out my triangle pattern on the dotted (sew) line. I used pinking shears because I like that look. It looks old. It also makes me think of my grandmother :-) Then, I sewed a straight stitch around the two long sides of each triangle. I didn’t go across the top.

fabric bunting

Then I took some navy blue bias tape that I had in my stash, snugged a triangle up inside, and sewed it. Repeat until you run out of triangles or the bunting is as long as you want it. And let me warn you: if you decide to have a little glass of Tia Maria and milk while you sew up your second bunting, chances are you will mess up a few triangles and then your husband will ask why you’re cursing so much. 😉

In hindsight, a smarter thing to do would have been to take fabric glue (personally, I like Fabri-Tac) and glue each triangle into place on the bias tape, and then sew one single line across. It would look a lot neater and save some time. But I’m still happy with the way this came out. I’ll be sure to take a photo of it “in action” at the party on Sunday!

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