Monday, August 9, 2010
Steampunk Birthday Banner
Pennant banners (or bunting) have become very trendy. They are a great way to turn fabric scraps into something pretty. They can also be reused year after year, unlike crepe paper streamers, which must be thrown away when the party's over. Another advantage to the pennant banners is that they do not have to be limited to mass produced party themes.
Here are the measurements for the pattern I created. It is bigger than a regular sheet of paper, so I used a piece of my son's art paper, but a flattened brown paper grocery bag would work just as well.
The banners I made took 34 triangles total, 21 of those are cut from the clock fabric. It took about a yard and a half of the clock fabric for this. It is certainly not necessary to use the same print for all the backing fabric, that was just my choice because I liked the way it looked.
Pin two triangles, right sides together. Sew along the seam allowance.
Cut the point off of each triangle, before turning it right-side out. This will make turning easier.
Use a sharp pencil to help turn the points all the way right-side out. Trim off the two little points of fabric that will be sticking out of the opening on each triangle.
Iron the triangles flat. If you want to, you can add topstitching at this point, but I chose not to.
The letters on these banners were made using this font:
Mechanical Fanfare Alphabet Digital Kit
printed on iron-on transfer paper made for dark fabrics.
I traced around a homemade stencil to make the desired shape around the letter. Using a sheet of transparency paper ( the kind used for over-head projectors) to print out a gear design that I found online, I was able to have a clear plastic stencil, which made it easy to center the letter properly.
Cut out the iron-on design and follow the package direction for applying the design to the fabric. Peeling the backing paper off the iron-on sheet, may be the most difficult part of this project. If there is part of the score line on your design, this will be fairly simple, but without the score line it requires patients and a lot of picking at corners with finger nails.
Lay out all the triangles in the proper order and pin them into bias tape, so that the tape covers both sides of the raw top edge. Each of these banners took a 3 yard package of gold bias tape. Sew the full length of the tape.
I finished each pennant by sewing either a small gear or a key charm to the point, alternating each. This not only adds a little decorative touch, but also adds a little weight to help the pennant lay flat.
The finished banner:
Since it is double-sided, the banner can be turned so that the letters face the wall, to be used for other occasions. I think this clock patterned fabric would look nice for New Years Eve.