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A couple of years ago I thought it would be really cool to deck my house out in Christmas bunting. I had loads of scraps of fabric in all kinds of festive colours, so I thought I’d be really thrifty and make some lovely decorations for the house. My kitchen / dining area is all one, separated by a counter top and an oak post-and-beam, and I thought it would be deadly to see the bunting hanging across the spaces between them. It’s not expensive to make bunting, as the pieces are small and the binding doesn’t cost much. Off I went, my sewing machine whizzing along. Before too long my dining area was festooned – that’s the perfect word – with glorious bunting. I had written “Christmas” on one, “Noël” on another and “Nollaig” on a third, in red felt letters that I cut out. I was really chuffed…until I realised that I had gone way overboard with the gold, and far from looking handmade by me at my very own sewing machine, my bunting looked as if it was mass-produced in a Chinese factory, from the pile marked “Christmas”, as opposed to the “Eid” pile and the “Hanukkah” pile. I was a bit sad, I must admit. I learned that while gold is very sparkly and nice, it can be very gaudy too…so since then I have been careful to choose only tasteful fabric. Last year I made a fresh batch: I found some lovely cream fabric in a kind of natural-looking calico, with red zig zags and stripes and Christmassy things on it. I also found the most amazing trimming – it was a row of reindeers stuck nose to tail, each fully cut out, except where they are touching. I thought it would look lovely along the top of the bunting. And it does, but sewing through the hooves of a million reindeer takes ages…
So I made some more, this time with no reindeer, but with some fab light green felt and more of the cream and red calico. I put a tiny bow between each flag. I thought it looked beautiful.
“Mum, that bunting looks Easter-ish,” said my younger daughter.
If you too would like to spend ages making bunting, only to be told it looks Chinese / Easterish / ridiculously labour-intensive, then come to Ballinderreen Community Centre on Tuesday 9th, Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th December and learn how to do it for yourself. At the same time you’ll pick up lots of `useful sewing techniques that you can apply to any project. I’ll show you how to make a paper pattern, how to sew a neat seam and above all how to be proud of your handiwork. All this talk of pound-shop-looking bunting is a classic case of false modesty: I’m actually very proud of myself and I think it’s gorgeous.
The classes will take place from 10.30am until 11.30am over three mornings. The cost is €30 for the three mornings. You will need to bring supplies, as follows:
– a sewing machine – even if you’ve never used it, we’ll work it out!
– an iron
– a measuring tape
– a marker or soft pencil
– an old newspaper and a packet of pins
– two pairs of scissors, one for fabric and one for paper – the fabric one must never have been used for anything else
– 1 metre / yard of fabric suitable for Christmas decorations (cotton or cotton-blend)
– 3 metres bias binding
– a metre of very thing ribbon (optional)
– a reel of thread to coordinate with your fabric
Drop me an email if you can make it on email@example.com with any questions – looking forward to seeing you!