a pretty cool life.: Festive Valentine bunting and a crash course on bias tape

Monday, February 1, 2010

Festive Valentine bunting and a crash course on bias tape

I finally realized why those scraps made me so happy...they looked like itty bitty little bunting flags staring at me from the table. 

So while I'm working on a brightly colored (and ridiculously long) one to go around my boys' playroom, I thought I'd go for the instant gratification of a shorter one for Valentine's Day.

I used all kinds of pink and red recycled, new and vintage fabrics...right down to pieces of curtains that I cut up years ago to make new ones for our dining room. 

I hung the flags from homemade, double fold bias tape.  Now I don't have a fancy machine to make bias tape, or even a little gadget.  I make it the way I (vaguely) remember learning how to do it in 8th grade Clothing I.

I took squares of my fabrics, between 12-18 inches, depending on what I had left over.  I like the patchwork look of it for this project, but for clothing or other projects I would stick to a single fabric. 

I folded the squares in half, into triangles, to find the bias.  The bias is stretchy, so it goes around corners easily (for clothing) and hangs nicely in projects like this. 

My finished tape is 1/2 inch wide, so I cut 2 inch strips with my quilter's ruler and rotary cutter..  (I made the first strip only 1 inch because it was doubled on account of the fold.)

The cut strips.

Since the ends are angled, I trim them so I have rectangles.

Then I marked 45 degree angles at the ends of the strips.

And then I started sewing my strips together at 90 degree angles.

After I sewed the strips to one another, to create one long strip, I trimmed the corners and ironed the seams flat.

Then, the tedious and time consuming part starts.  This is also the same technique I used to make the toddler belt...iron the strip in half, wrong sides together.  Then open up that long strip and iron each side in towards the center crease.  To keep everything in place, I use a lot of starch!

I just love this bunting...if we ever have a girl, it is so going in her room!

And since I got a little carried away with my pink flag cutting, I also have a bunting just like this in my shop.


  1. Looks amazing - thanks for the tips! I am sitting sewing bunting right now but only single sided and with bought bias binding! Will have to give making my own a go.

  2. That is just so cute! I want to make one of these for my DDs first birthday.

    Stop by my Valentine's party if you get a chance!

  3. I love that ... your mismatched bias tape is adorable!

  4. This is adorable Cheryl! Makes me want to run out and buy some more fabric. Love your "variegated" bias tape. SOOOO much cuter than store bought!

  5. This is just adorable! I love the look of the matching bias tape you made for this too. It's perfect for Valentine's Day, and would be SOOOO cute in a little girl's room as well.

  6. So freakin' cute! Thanks so much for the tutorial on making bias tape, too! It's so cute all pieced!

  7. I wish I knew you IRL so you could teach me to sew so great like you do. Cute, cute, cute!

  8. I love banner too. Yours is very festive for Valentines!

  9. What do you use in between the fabric? Looks too thin to be batting or flannel or felt...

  10. I love it! I can only sew a straight line and even though your directions were awesome, I don't think I could do this but, I would love to try!!!

  11. I love those HAPPY and VIBRANT colors and patterns together!!! Wish I could sew...

  12. Really fun and colorful! I love your mix of fabrics!

  13. So many ideas for this. Graduation w/ school colors, 4th of July w/ red, white and blue fabrics, kids' birthday w/ primary colors, princess colors for a little girls' room. How fun!


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