Sewing tutorial: how to make botanical bunting part 1

botanical bunting

Having recently created a few botanical thread-sketches, I was looking for a project to use them in. So I decided to make some spring bunting with a botanical theme, incorporating crazy quilting techniques with my thread sketches (and using up some fabric scraps along the way!) Brilliant fun. Read on to find out how I created the pennants, and part two explains how to piece them together to make the bunting.

But before you do! This whole project was inspired by my Creative Sewing Challenge – a monthly challenge for anyone who loves to sew. Sign up below to receive a creative prompt each month, plus ideas and tutorials tied to the theme (this month’s theme was ‘botanical’). Anyone who loves any kind of sewing is welcome to join – my sincere hope is that it is a fun and creative outlet for all our sewing talents. Find out more here or join right now by filling in this form…

Back to the tutorial…you will need:

  • A collection of fabric scraps
  • Rotary wheel cutter, ruler and board (you can manage with just scissors, but its quicker and easier if you have a rotary cutter)
  • Sewing machine and thread in matching and contrasting colours
  • Iron and board
  • Crazy quilt template (completely optional – I didn’t use these in the end)
  • Bunting pennant template (you can create your own or download my template below)

Use your crazy quilt template (or create your own) to cut a small, asymmetrical shape to be the start of your crazy patchwork fabric. As mentioned, I had previously created some botanical thread-sketches (you can find out how by visiting my post here). So I used one of these, cut to a slightly weird hexagonal shape to be my starting point.

Pin another piece of scrap fabric to this, right sides together, and sew along one of your edges, leaving a 0.5cm seam allowance. Press the seam.

Now neaten off the edge by cutting a straight line across both fabrics, using your starting shape as a guide (this is where a rotary cutter comes in handy).

So you should end up with a nice straight edge across the two scraps of fabric…

Continue in this way, adding more scraps of fabric…

…and straightening off the uneven edges as you go…

As your fabric piece grows, you need to keep checking against your pennant template – the goal is to make a piece of crazy patchwork that is slightly larger than the pennant. Try to keep your original piece of scrap fabric central as you grow.

Not there yet…

…or yet…

…so I kept adding scraps until the pennant could fit over my patchwork creation.

Cut out your fabric to the pennant shape.

Then repeat the process until you have as many pennants as you need to create your bunting. If your bunting will be seen from both sides, you’ll need to create double the number of pennants for backing pieces. If you know your bunting will hang against a wall, you can use plain fabric for this.

The next step is to sew over some, or all of your seams, with decorative stitching or trimmings. This is completely optional, but does add a nice touch if you have the time. I opted to sew over a few seams with different machine embroidery stitches, using threads in contrasting colours to my fabric scraps.

I’m really pleased with the result – kind of adds to the crazy to include the embroidery, and gave my bunting a nice home-spun feel.

If you want to complete the process, read on to part two of this tutorial where I explain how to turn the pennants into lovely, unique strings of bunting – perfect for a summer wedding or garden party.

botanical bunting

And don’t forget, sign up to my Creative Sewing Challenge for regular sewing inspiration just like this!

And here’s a lovely pin for later!