It happened again! Another opportunity to sew a gift for someone who is an important part of my work life, my principal. He’s a Cleveland Browns superfan and has been for years.
Last year for Boss’s Day I made him a set of coasters out of Cleveland Brown fabric.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do this year for him, but a couple of weeks ago, I was inspired.
A few days prior to National Custodian Day (October 2) I was racking my brain trying to think of a gift to show my appreciation for Mr. Jackson, the head custodian at my campus.
He does a phenomenal job and I wanted to give him something that was personal and useful.
Thinking back to last year and the coasters I had sewn for my administration team, I thought Mr. Jackson would like Dallas Cowboy coasters, but I wanted to do a little more for him.
As my mind churned through different ideas, I recalled a conversation we had about a large screen TV he had recently purchased. He was super excited because he was finally going to hang it up in his man cave. He told me the timing was going to be perfect because the Dallas Cowboys were to play on the upcoming Sunday.
Scrolling through pins I’d saved on Pinterest, I came across one that showed a pennant banner made from vintage handkerchieves.
That was it! A pennant banner would be the ‘little more’ I could do! In addition to the Dallas Cowboy coasters, I was going to make a pennant banner, too.
You’ll be happy to know, the Dallas Cowboy gifts were a big hit! He loves the coasters and hung the pennant banner in a prominent place in his man cave.
Pennant banners are simple to make and easy to customize through fabric selection.
All I needed was Cleveland Brown fabric and I could make my principal a pennant banner, too!
Whether you call it pennant banner, bunting, or pennant bunting, this is a great DIY decoration for holidays, baby showers, birthdays, football, and other events.
Bunting isn’t hard to make but having different size flag templates will make it easier for you.
Get 3 flag templates for FREE! Each one is a different size and shape to meet the needs of your bunting project.
A Sew-Along Class
If you’re interested in making bunting through a sew-along class, check out my class Connect the Past, Present, and Future with Bunting that was first taught at the Upcycling Sewing Summit in August 2020.
You’ll get step-by-step directions to make the bunting plus access to a FREE e-guide with all the steps shown in the video class that can be printed or viewed online in a PDF format.
There is even a bonus in the form of letters you can use to make bunting for your sewing space!
How to Sew a Pennant Banner
After following the directions in this lesson, you’ll know how to sew a pennant banner. The completed banner will have 8 pennants and be just under 6 feet long.
Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin.
Gather the Supplies
- cotton or cotton-like fabric – a minimum of 1/4 yard with a width of 44-inches
- extra-wide, double-fold bias tape, 3 yards
- rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
- sewing clips (optional)
- measuring gauge and marking pen (optional)
- a triangle template
In the tutorial, I use a commercial template made to be used with a rotary cutter.
To provide options for the flag shape and size (including the same size I used in the tutorial), fill in your name and email below and I will send you 3 flag templates for FREE!
After printing the templates, you can trace them on the fabric then cut them out with scissors.
Get Your Sewing Machine Ready
Put the 1/4″ presser foot on your sewing machine. If you don’t have one, you can use an all-purpose presser foot. Just use the edge of the foot as the guide when sewing.
Wind thread on the bobbin. Insert the bobbin and thread the machine. Set the machine to do a straight stitch (a width of 0 and a length of 2-3 for a medium length stitch).
Prepare the Fabric
- Prewash the 100% cotton fabric in warm water and dry in the dryer.
- Press to get the large wrinkles out.
Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin.
- Cut the fabric so it’s 8 1/2-inches tall by 42-inches long. You want the width of the fabric to be the height of the triangle template. This will enable you to make fewer cuts.
2. Place the triangle template on one end of the fabric strip. Line up the top and bottom of the triangle with the top and bottom of the fabric.
3. Use the rotary cutter to cut one side of the triangle then the other.
Tip: If you’re using a cardboard template, draw a line on the fabric then use the rotary ruler and cutter to cut the fabric.
4. Invert the triangle template, lining up the edges. Cut another triangle.
Tip: If you are fussy cutting, the edges of the cuts may not line up with the template as you cut more triangles.
5. Keep going until you have all the triangles you need.
Note: If the fabric has a pattern, pay attention to its direction as you cut triangles. Using the cutting method above, the pattern may be upside down. When constructing the banner, these triangles could all go on one side of and be the back.
6. With right sides facing each other, pin two triangles together. Make sure the edges are lined up.
Optional step: Before sewing, use the measuring gauge to mark the place where you will pivot the needle at the point. It will be centered at the triangle point 1/4-inch from the edge of the fabric.
7. Start sewing at the top of the triangle. You’ll use a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew down one long side, pivot at the point, and sew up the other long side. Leave the top of the triangle open.
8. Trim off material at the point. Be careful not to cut the stitches.
9. Turn the triangle right side out. Carefully push out the point with the closed end of a pair of scissors or a specialty tool if you have one. Use a pin to carefully pick at the point from the outside to make it sharp.
10. Press the pennant so it lays flat and the edges are crisp.
11. Open the package of extra-wide, double-fold bias tape and press out the creases.
12. Leave a tail of bias tape at least 12-inches long. Open the bias tape and place the top of one pennant right against the fold. Pin or clip it in place.
13. Space the pennants out evenly. I left 1-inch between mine.
14. Measure another 12-inch tail after all pennants have been attached. Cut off excess bias tape.
15. One side of the bias tape is slightly longer than the other side. Sew with the shorter side on top. Sew the bias tape close to the edge.
That’s It. You’re Done!
Pennant banners make great gifts! They can be hung in many different places such as doorways, walls, and fireplace mantels.
Who in your life would be thrilled to hang a pennant banner either as a room accessory or an as-needed decoration to celebrate sports games or party event?
Bunting makes great gifts for baby showers.
Personalize the bunting with the baby’s name. Check out the applique letter templates I created just for this purpose – Sew Many Letters.
Not sure how to applique? Take a look at Introduction to Hand Applique: the Freezer Paper Method and discover another way to indulge in the joy of sewing!
If the fabric was prewashed and dried the fabric, it can be cleaned by washing it on the delicate cycle.
It can be dried in the dryer or hung up
Consider using a lingerie bag when washing and drying in a machine. The lingerie bag should be large enough that there is room for the pennant banner to move around.
Press out any wrinkles.
My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.
Need help or have questions on this project, pattern, or tutorial? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work together to get it figured out!
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