September, 2014 · By Coryanne Ettiene
Every now and then I catch myself on the porch and think “life is amazing”…. because when you stop and look around you, it really is. I’m not talking about the amazing feeling that comes with having a spare million dollars in your bank account, and a trip to Aruba in your calendar kind of amazing; I’m talking about the pure happiness that comes from knowing that your children are fed, healthy and still look at you like you are a rockstar kind of amazing.
Being a working mother frequently plagues me with guilt, which is why I never miss an opportunity to include my children in my work. They each bring something unique to my working mother experience, and this weekend when I passed the camera to 8 year old Sawyer and asked him to take a few pictures, I was reminded that seeing your children discover a talent is another element that makes life amazing. As if he took the words right out of his mouth, Ansel Adams captured Sawyer best with “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” This weekend my life truly was amazing… a little bubbly on the front porch with Fall bunting blowing in the wind just added to the fact.
Like most things in my domesticity, life as I know it has been inspired by lessons learned while living in London. There is something so utterly simple and soothing about a string of colorful triangles hanging from corner to corner to remind you that life is a party just waiting to happen. Truth be told, I had a sewing machine for years and never touched it; that whole threading the bobbin thing really made me feel inadequate, so when I can’t stitch by hand, I use no sew binding tape.
Directions and Supplies for No Sew Bunting
- A cardboard triangle shape
- Scissors (or a fabric rotary cutting tool)
- Ruler (or fabric cutting edge)
- Fabric pen
- No-sew binding tape
- Fabric starch (optional)
Step 1: Cut a triangle shape out of cardboard. Traditionally bunting is 6 inches from center top to center bottom with a length that is longer than the triangle is wide; but you can use any shape triangle you like to create bunting that fits with your needs. I wanted a bigger bunting and opted for a 9 inch triangle.
Step 2: Lay your fabric flat, and then use your fabric pen to trace out the triangle onto your fabric.
Step 3: Once all your triangles are complete, cut them out. Scissors are fine, but for a quicker step and a cleaner line, use a fabric rotation cutter with a cutting mat and a straight edge to keep your bunting neat and your prep surface protected.
Step 4: Place 2 triangles against one another and then position the no-sew binding tape in-between the two pieces. The position of the tape is where the “hem” will be, so take care to keep it neat and as close to the fabric line as possible.
Step 5: Iron each triangle along the “hem” line until the binding tape is secure and properly melted to the fabric.
Step 6: Once all the triangles are sealed, cut out a long rectangle shape to use as the ribbon that will connect your bunting. Place your triangles along the bottom of the rectangle with a strip of binding tape between the triangle and the rectangle to secure, then fold over the top of the rectangle and do the same for the facing side as shown above. Iron the rectangle strip in place on both sides of the bunting to ensure that each side is secure.
Step 7: If your desired length of bunting is longer than your rectangle strip, use no-sew tape to bind the lengths of bunting together.
To make 20 feet of bunting using a 9 inch triangle and 2 inch wide strip to secure it in place, I used 5 fabric patterns measuring 1.5 yards each. I’ve been making bunting for years, each time I do so I find new shortcuts to save time. In the past, I’ve used fabric pins to secure all the fabric in place between ironing — this time I lived dangerously and skipped that part (turns out if you alternate the triangles when you stack them, rather than making a neat pile, you don’t need to use pins to keep the pairs in place). I used upholstery fabric for this project which meant that the fabric was naturally stiff. If you are using a light cotton fabric, apply fabric starch while ironing if you want a more stiff bunting appearance.