Well hello there! I am so excited to bring you my first Make & Do post. I am a creative, designer-maker at the best of times, with a diploma in Fibre Art and a BA honours degree in Textile Design under my belt, and I really wanted to bring that side of my life (which is huge) into my blogging. I also decided I wanted to bring more creativity to my boho-chic style wedding blog. So here it is, my first one, and of course it had to include my two favourite fabrics: linen, and lace! I’m such a big fan of bunting, as they can be used time and time again, brought out for all sorts of parties and celebrations and once you have the tools you need, the fabric you want and the know-how, they are one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest things to make! Bunting is becoming more and more popular as an affordable (when made yourself) wedding décor option. As I’ve already said, linen and lace are my favourites, but you can mix and match the triangles (and bias binding) up with all kinds of colours and fabrics! This is a brilliant way to tie all the colours of your theme together. Enjoy, and happy (…and safe) sewing!
Here’s a list of what you’ll need, I have a sewing machine, but you can hand sew it too, so don’t feel you have to go out and make what is a pretty big purchase. I rate buying your first sewing machine up there with buying your first bra, it’s a huge milestone in your life and one which should be well thought through and hugely cherished! Ha ha.
Equipment & Materials:
- Lace or Tatting squares (I bought mine on eBay)
- Strips of Linen, or any fabric of your choice
- Fabric scissors and/or Rotary Cutter
- Cutting Mat
- 25mm Bias Binding Maker (again, eBay)
- 2 buttons
I’m all about using what’s around the house, or in your mother or grandmother’s fabric box so if you only have circular lace doilies, use those. I am a hoarder of lace so I have a vast array of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s about making-do, and other times it’s about making and doing.
Taking your ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter (or fabric scissors) cut the lace (or tatting) squares from corner to corner to give you double the amount of triangles.
Lay the lace triangles along your fabric to see how many strips you will need, and to gauge the spacing. For my bunting, I needed two strips which I would have to join together.
Taking your ruler and rotary cutter, cut 2 strips of 5cm and cut 1 end of each strip at a 45 degree angle as seen in the image below. You need to cut the strips double the width of your bias binding maker, so as we are using a 25mm bb maker, the strips are cut at 50mm, or 5cm. Now, of course you can buy bias binding but I prefer to make my own as it gives me full control over what fabric I can use, and as you will see, it’s so quick and easy.
Pin the 2 lengths of fabric together, leaving an even triangular corner on each end and sew. Press the seams out with a hot iron and trim the edges. This can take a little practice to get the seam just right. I find the easiest way is to check it each time you pin it; press it out with your fingers to make sure it’s going to give you a clean seam before you sew it with the machine (or hand sew it).
The reason we are doing this, is to ensure it goes through the bb maker smoothly and folds down without being chunky when we come to the last few stages of sewing the bunting together. This step will take the longest and require the most concentration and precision, but it’s still only a couple of minutes.
Once you have sewn your strips together, it’s then time to thread it into your bb maker and start pulling and pressing with a hot iron. It can be a bit tricky to get started, I use my seam ripper to help thread the fabric through the bb maker, as you can see from the image below, but a pin, needle or sharp knife will do the trick too.
Please be careful though, that metal can get really hot, especially if your iron is on steam so only use your finger through the loop and keep moving!
Next step is to fold the bias binding over and iron well.
Begin sewing your bias binding together for about 10cm, remembering to bar-tack (sew backwards at the very start). You should place your needle only a couple of mm from the open sides of the binding. Once you have sewn the binding closed for approximately 10cm, place your first lace triangle inside the fold, sew and repeat until you come to the end; sewing the binding closed again for the last 10cm and bar-taking once more. Remember when sewing, to place your triangles the same width apart. You can measure this before hand if you like, I just use the top silver plate of my sewing machine as a guide.
Finally, fold over 2-3cm of the binding at each end and secure with a button, for added cuteness, and to hang it.
I really hope you liked and enjoyed this Make & Do tutorial. If you were inspired and made your own following this post, be sure to share your images with me by tagging me in on social media.
Thank you so much, I’ve got lots more on my to-do list of this new Make & Do section of my blog. Until the next time, love you all lots and lots like jelly tots.