As I mentioned in the post about Lily’s birthday, it was an intense labor of love! I fell in love with this pin on Pinterest and felt inspired. Except for sewing up a hole in Mike’s pants or re-attaching a button, I have never made anything with fabric. I’m still puzzled why I decided to take on the bunting project!
You can read all about the original bunting that inspired me and download the patterns from the blog, The Purl Bee. The directions told me to have enough fabric for 40 feet and reminding ya’ll about my lack of experience I went to Joann Fabrics and purchased way too much material!
Thank goodness I had my mom with me to not only feed Lily some cheerios as I spent way too much time deciding on fabrics, but also feed me some excellent pointers. She showed me the area where you can purchase fabric scraps at a discount. I love a good deal and was shocked how expensive fabric could be. The directions also call for invisible thread to be used, but I went the cheaper route and used white thread my mom had.
I rummaged all the fabric for various options that included the yellow, orange, melon, light and dark pinks and I think I picked some winners! The next step was to iron all the fabric to make it easier to trace the patterns. I used skirt hangers to hold up the fabric once it was ironed.
When tracing the patterns I ended up using a regular ink pen because the pencil needed constant sharpening and worked poorly on the flannel materials. I placed the patterns back to back making it easier to cut. One of the patterns provided resembled the Von Cleef design. After spending an hour tracing patterns on one piece of fabric I knew using the Von Cleef looking pattern would make the project even more taxing. I ended back at Joann Fabric and purchased a wooden circle and small canister to use it’s top for alternate patterns. You want to make sure that patterns are thick and strong as you will be using them over and over. I took the patterns I downloaded on computer paper and traced them on an empty cereal box for the cardboard.
Over the span of ten days I cut all the traced patterns from the fabric (with my mom’s help of course!) and organized them by shape, not fabric, on paper plates that I labeled with a pen. The sewing part was a two man lady job. To make sure that I didn’t have the same fabric repeat next to each other I started to line up the pieces in the order I wanted and then stacked each piece on top of each other. My mom would then take one piece at a time off that pile and run the stitch at the top of the fabric. To make sure there was little space in between each pattern, you just keep feeding the fabric shapes one by one. As my mom would be sewing I would be lining the next group of patterns and this repeated until they were all sewn together.
I used a large plastic tub to store the bunting before the party. To make sure the fabric wouldn’t get wrinkled I wrapped it around a large plastic tub taping it to the plastic every now and then. If you do not have a plastic tub try using an empty cardboard box!
My mom and I hung the bunting a week before the party just in case anything went wrong. Due to the light weight, I only needed a few pieces of Scotch packing tap to hold up each point.
This project took a LONG time to make. It was during all the tracing, cutting and sewing that my mom coined it “The Romano Sweatshop.” Even though this project was time consuming, expensive (spent around $70 on fabric), and backbreaking, it paid off in the end. I am sure if you are more fabric/sewing savvy this project would be easy peasy! As soon as we hung it up I was obsessed with how lovely it looked! I loved it so much I kept it to reuse in the future or for a keepsake for Lily…which makes all the time & sweat worth it!
(All images are from Kimberly Photography)