party time

My son said to me yesterday, 'You're always making bunting, aren't you?'

That may be a slight exaggeration, but it is true that I've always believed bunting makes a party seem more of an occasion. In our old house, we often used to have street parties and barbeques, and for these I made literally hundreds of yards of bunting in cheerful orange, yellow and blue, which we used to string from the lamp posts.

Bunting definitely creates different moods depending on the colours of fabric used and the size of the flags. For our wedding we had delicate loops of fragile white paper garlands, and for new arrivals I like to make a little string of baby-sized bunting...

...special birthdays need it too.

We're celebrating another special birthday in our household later this month, so I wanted to make some outdoor bunting to decorate the front of the house and the garden. This time, I took my inspiration from a favourite painting which used to hang in the bedroom of a friend's cottage, of a Cornish seaside town festooned with flags in faded patterns of red, white and blue which always seemed to pull me into the picture, to dance up and down the streets with the naively painted sailors in their clogs and Breton sweaters.

It's made the lazy way, just two triangles straight stitched together and machined onto a length of bias binding. I had a lot of fun selecting the fabric, some of which is decades old now, old Liberty dresses from jumble sale hauls years and years ago. I'm pleased with how it's turned out, a sort of faded brightness that perfectly suits our slightly wild garden.

Some of the pieces are cut from an old embroidered tablecloth that we inherited from the lady whose house we rented as students.

The central panel is of single flowers, so delicate and beautiful.

12 comments:

Gilly said...

Bravo! It would never have occurred to me to make bunting!

Do the sailors and clogs come with the birthday bunting???

silverpebble said...

There's nothing like bunting for party cheeriness but this is special bunting. Vintage embroidery? Liberty fabric? Lovely.

Hollace said...

You give me so many ideas! Your bunting is great.

Bobo Bun said...

Bunting equals happiness I think. Bunting is hung from the trees and across the driveway to a friends house. It looks worn and tatty, but still very welcoming and friendly. It tells people they're going to have a good time. So enjoy your celebration.

Lisa x

elizabethm said...

Gorgeous - you have got me wondering if I can make some for a party we are having at the end of the month. I have never tried before though so don't know whether I would just be creating yet another thing to go wrong, but yours is just lovely.

Jackie said...

I've never made bunting but you have made me think its a possibility. No special occasions in the offing here though.

Madelief said...

Hi,

The bunting you made looks great! I like the combination of patterns, colours and old embroidery.

Kind regards from Holland,

Madelief

Lorenza said...

how very lovely and romantic ;) quintessentially english! I like it very much :) L xxx

Gigibird said...

Your bunting is naturally very tasteful and lovely but they can’t always be said.
Harry has some very cute mini bunting that his Auntie Stella made.

Sue said...

Thank you for your nice comments everyone. Elizabeth, I have emailed you with vague instructions but for anyone else who is interested, here's how:

Just draw a triangle template (fat isoceles) on card, then draw round it onto some fabric. About five or six different fabrics is best, some plain, not too many different patterns. Cut them out. You can sew them together or just use single triangles if your fabric isn't too thin or you don't mind it being one sided. Then, get a long length of bias binding (I get it in rolls off Ebay) and start sewing it in half, folding as you go. Leave half a metre or so at the end for tying the bunting up. Then, add the triangles along the length of binding so that their tops are trapped within the folded binding. Just keep on sewing one long line on the machine, tucking the triangles in as you go. It's a good idea to decide on the order you want them to go beforehand. When you've finished just leave another half a metre or so and finish off.

Frances said...

Hello Sue, I just love the look of festive bunting, and somehow connect to childhood memories of using Library Paste to glue together paper chains for Christmas decorating.

Over here in the States, you don't see much bunting ... or maybe I should say over here in NYC, you don't see much bunting. The rest of our country might be festooned even as I type.

Wish I saw more around here! xo

Isa Maria said...

I love making bunting too! I need more occassions to make it though. That last fabric is gorgeous.