Friday, 3 October 2014

Baby Towels to Bunting | DIY Tutorial

I had initially wanted my first DIY sewing tutorial to be a new dress that I was hoping to work on, but after my trip to hospital and numerous infections (thanks ME) I thought I would ease myself in with a little tutorial on how to make bunting from old baby towels. 

When you're pregnant and sign up to numerous goody bags you end up with millions of tiny baby towels with hoods. Now Dexter is 10 months old they don't fit, and it seemed a waste to get rid of them. My initial idea to was to make a load of face flannels but this was really boring, so I thought I would make some decorative bunting for his bedroom. 

What you will need:
Old baby towels, dye (I used Dylon hand dyes in bahama blue and ocean blue - I picked these up for £3 each from Wilko), string, mini pegs (just as a cute added extra), and a sewing machine (you can hand sew too but this will take an age). 
So really hardly much is used, but it makes quite a difference. 

Step 1: to start, dye your old towels. Towels are really easy to dye and it makes quite a lot of difference. 

Step 2: cut out a template triangle for your bunting, I cut up an old box and used the template from there. Make sure you give a cm gap around the edge for when the sides are folded over. You can also leave another cm length at the top for folding over the string afterwards if you wish. 
It also doesn't matter how many you cut from your towel, ensure you have an even number of one colour, and an odd number of the other colour (I cut out 10 and 9). 
Also, give your towel triangles a good shake outside before sewing them as there is a lot of mess from the cutting. 

Step 3: cut the corners off each triangle to make a straight edge, when folded up and matched edge to edge this will leave a triangle corner, it just stops there being a whole lot of fabric building up and getting caught under the foot of the sewing machine. 

Step 4: pull down the sides of the triangles by a cm each side to make at the edging neat. I used standard straight stitching for this but my new sewing machine has a fancy option for numerous zig zag stitches would have looked awesome in several colours. 

Step 5: now you've sewn all your triangles, you can attach the string. As I said earlier you will have an extra long side to fold over the string and sew. Make sure you do this with alternating colours. For my bunting I decided to use mini pegs over the top too because I think they are super cute and just add a little bit more for a baby's room. 

There you have your bunting in a few easy steps, if you don't have a sewing machine it's still easily achievable with hand stitching, it just takes a lot of time. 

My new sewing machine is courtesy of Hobbycraft, and I couldn't thank them enough. All my previous sewing has been done on my mum's 40 year old sewing machine that weighs more than a person and is the most difficult piece of equipment to use. I opted for the Brother LS14 as this is a make we are both familiar with (I did consult my mum on which was the best to pick as she is a sewing guru and has been making her own clothes as well as mine since she was a teenager!), the size is perfect for quick and easy use and ideal small storage too, but has a lot more features than our old sewing machine. There are several stitch types (I love the zig zag stitching) and I've been having a good old play with this to get used to it. It's so easy to thread, and the DVD guide that comes with it instead of a manual is a lot easier to understand too. It's a great machine to have if you're a first time sewer because of it's simplicity, and even as a child's first sewing machine because it's very sturdy and hardy. There are few mistakes you can make with this sewing machine. 

My mum even had a play around with it and loves the reverse stitching button, her old machine has a large clunky button that you have to hold in and that's not simple to use with arthritic hands so this was ideal for her. Looks like I'll be buying her one to replace the one I 'borrowed' a few years back. 

It's currently in the sale for £69 with free delivery, and I think that's an absolute bargain for a machine. 
*This post contains PR sample(s) or has been written in collaboration, all opinions are my own. 

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