This month I had the pleasure of pattern testing something completely different – the Celebrate! Banner (Bunting) sewing pattern with the happy Lisa Neri at #cucicucicoopatterns!

Now, you might say, that seems like a pretty simple thing to make, and bunting is bunting is bunting, right?  Well I have to say, I was blown away by some of the creative ideas the other testers came up with.

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The pattern includes 5 different flag shapes in 4 different sizes – Small to Extra Large, the entire alphabet in both upper and lower case letters as well as numbers, symbols and shapes for every size to applique onto the bunting for a personal touch.

The step-by-step instructions are very detailed with good photos and lots of helpful tips included, such as how to use Heat n Bond, and how to use a bias binding foot.

While this is a pattern suitable for a beginner, it’s also very versatile and includes options for no-sew flags, flags on paper, single and double layer flags, using fabric, upcycled felted wool and other media, and more. Lisa also has a bunch of tutorials and other fun patterns available on her site – and with a Cucicucico Cyber Week Sale – 40% off for this week only – grab it while you can! As well as further sales as November ticks down.

I was able to refashion some gaudy bed linen I had hanging around for such a purpose and produced one banner with appliqued letters. I used the extra large size flags, and smaller letters. These were quite easy to do, and the letters are helpfully printed backwards on the pattern so you don’t need to fiddle with them too much.  The Heat n Bond needed a little persuasion, but eventually succumbed to my ministrations, and the letters are stitched down with simple zig zag making them secure. The flags are then backed with another layer of fabric and turned inside out. I made bias binding to connect the flags from the fabric left over from the pillow case for this one, and stitched them together. Et voilà – a quick and simple make, but oh so personal and cute.

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Next I wanted to make more of a girly statement, so using offcuts from old doona covers I had lying around, I made some pretty patterned flags with no applique. I backed them with calico to give them a bit more substance.

To give them that special touch I found some eyelet lace, and attached that to bias binding to make it wide enough to use on the flags.

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I love how they turned out and will be adding more as I go along.  Goodness knows I have plenty of scraps to use up!

Other testers had some fab ideas (see some great ideas here) such as making pockets of the flags and using them for advent calendars, paper ones with string, kids drawing their own pictures as embellishments, using different shapes in the one banner – the ideas were endless.

Now, I’d better get started on my fabric scrap pile and see how much I can whittle down before the end of the year…

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