When the boy had outgrown and almost worn out a favourite pair of football print flannel PJs he was desperate not to part with them, even though the trousers were halfway up his legs! I promised to make something with them that he would see every day in his bedroom. Using a bunting template I created, I made them into bunting and used an old ‘dressing up skirt’ (another story for another day) to make coordinating bias binding.
7 years later, the bunting still hangs proudly in his bedroom and I am not allowed to take it down!
Making the bunting template …
I don’t have bags of patience (understatement!) so I needed something I could make quickly and easily.
With a sheet of A4 paper and a 12″ rule, I drew one 6 1/2″ line horizontally, as below. I marked the halfway point along this line (at 3 1/4″) and drew a long line at right angles to the original line, all the way down the page.
From each end of the horizontal line I measured 8 1/2″, drawing in a line that met the vertical line, to create an elongated triangle. Ta-dah! My bunting template was ready to use.
Making the bunting …
Here are the beloved PJs and the polka dot skirt, ready to be upcycled into bunting! The PJs were so old by this stage, they were super-soft. We had been given them as ‘hand-me-downs’ from my nephew, and the boy loved them all the more for this.
- Fabric for the right side of the bunting
- Lining fabric (or double up your fabric if both sides will be visible)
- 1 pack of bias binding (or fabric to make your own) You can get cotton bias binding tape in 40 colours here
- Good quality dressmaking scissors or rotary cutter and cutting mat
I started by cutting open all of the seams in the PJs, cutting off the waistband of the pants and the collar from the top, so I was left with a small pile of usable fabric pieces.
Then I placed one piece of the PJ fabric over the lining fabric and pinned my template in place before cutting out my first fabric pieces.
Repeating this process, I had enough fabric for 16 triangles from the PJ fabric and backing fabric. Keeping right sides together, I pinned each fabric pair together along the long edges of the triangles, leaving the 6 1/2″ top edge free.
Using a 1/4″ seam allowance and back-stitching at the beginning and end for security, I stitched the 2 fabric pieces together.
After carefully snipping the end point of the triangle off, to reduce bulk, I turned each triangle out to the right side.
Top Tip: I used a knitting needle to ensure a neat point at the end of each triangle.
This was a wee bit fiddly but worth it for a nice finish!
I pressed every triangle carefully, then trimmed the top of each triangle to remove any excess fabric from the seams (to get a nice neat edge)
The end result
I made my own bias binding but it’s easy and quick to use store-bought bias binding if you’re in a hurry or not confident about making your own.
Working out from the centre of the binding, I pinned the triangles to the inside of the bias binding, sandwiching them inside. I made sure to leave 4″ (20cm) at each end for tying.
I sewed about 1/4″ in from the edge along the whole length of the bias binding, securing each triangle, until I reached the other end.
Last, I made a loop for hanging at each end and hung the bunting up to my son’s great delight!