The Policeman’s Bunting

A few weeks ago my sewing skills and I were commissioned to make some bunting for a family event. Not only was this bunting to be 40 metres in length, it also had to be suitably police-themed. This bunting is, perhaps, bunting like you’ve never seen (or thought of) before.

My other half’s dad is retiring from the police force this week and is having a party to celebrate him entering into the world of late mornings, vegetable gardens and model trains. Knowing that I do quite a bit of sewing, his family asked me if I’d take on this mammoth task. In fact, forget mammoths, this was a task of dinosaur proportions.

I started off by choosing my colour scheme. I went for easy-to-cut, cotton fabrics in navy blue, bright yellow and black and white checks to represent the colours of the British police force.

These fabrics were then meticulously cut into rectangles (20cmx30cm) and then into triangles (with 12cm left square at the top so it can easily be sewn onto the tape). I ended up with an exhausting 120 triangles altogether. Tip: if you’re making bunting yourself, make sure you cut the triangles on the bias to stop the edges fraying as easily.

The next job was to sew each triangle onto my 40m binding tape (1″ thickness). I used my sewing machine and stitched 1cm of the top of each triangle onto the bottom of the tape at 13cm intervals. Easy enough.

And then the ironing began. In order to hide the ragged edge I’d just sewn onto the tape, I folded the square part of the triangle all the way around the tape to cover it and the seam and leave just the pointy part of the bunting on display (see picture left). However, before I could sew them all in place, I had to press every single triangle so that it was creased in the right places and would hold still when I came to sew it down. Pressing 120 triangles around a strip of fabric is not fun. Especially when long ribbon has a tendency to tangle itself when you so much as breath near it.

Anyway, 16 hours of ironing, 23 hours of sewing, 9 hours of de-tangling and 33 cups of coffee later, the 40m of police themed bunting is complete! I’ll take a photograph once it’s up in its desired location (hopefully accompanied by a few jolly policemen). Now all I need to do is make those 100 cupcakes I’ve also been commissioned to do…

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