The client was my partner Glenn, who is 45. He is a bearded personal trainer who likes sci-fi and fantasy movie genres, coffee shops, recycling and camping. He likes to be well dressed, but does not follow fashion labels.
Before being a Personal Trainer, Glenn worked in an office and had to wear formal office attire daily. He was quite happy to leave that life behind and so has several shirts that he no longer uses that are made of high quality fabric with different patterns.
Happy Birthday Bunting was made for my partner’s 45th Birthday. The Bunting needed to fit in the family kitchen on pre-existing tacks that are in the wall specifically for our Christmas Bunting. This bunting would then form the backdrop of the Family’s birthdays – each time it is someone’s birthday the Happy Birthday Bunting comes out and be put up on the tacks.
Although the bunting was designed for Glenn’s birthday it needed to be quite generic. The whole family values recycling or up cycling, so I used reclaimed fabrics from shirts, some of which will be Glenn’s old shirts, others from donated shirts.
The striped fabrics were particularly chosen as they could be used with the stripes running vertical or horizontal and would give a different effect.
Glenn particularly liked the checked pieces and they complemented the striped pieces.
When laid out together the fabrics all worked with the red applique fabric and still maintained individuality.
The plan for the applique pieces is to machine applique in a blanket stitch using the same thread for all the pieces. White is a natural choice as it stood out on the red and showed the stitching especially from a distance. I then chose the red and white gingham fabric as the binding so that it would follow the colours used on the letters and would naturally work with all of the fabrics chosen for the flags.
I wanted the machine blanket stitch to be really neat a crisp, so I used iron-on stabiliser (interfacing) to give the shirt fabric more stability.
I avoided cutting the shirt fabrics on the bias as they were subtly different fabrics and I was not sure how they were going to stretch.
I liked the different shapes of the flags and the fabrics that I used as it did give a rustic and recycled feel to the product, but still a well-made and crisp finish. If I made this again though, I might just use one of the flag shapes as it did create some issue with making sure that the letters lined up neatly with the letter on the neighbouring flag.
I overcame my fear of machine appliqué. I have normally gravitated to hand appliqué, but for this project hand turning all of those letters would have added a significant amount of time.
Since then I have made a set for my Brothers family and included Bunting for each member of the family.