Wedding Bunting Tutorial

Press_Bunting_23454_1My lovely friend Liz is getting married in August – yay! Liz bravely decided to make meters and meters of bunting to adorn her reception venue.  I have written this tutorial for her and others who might like to make bunting for a special occasion. This tutorial is for quick and simple bunting suitable for complete beginners.

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Cut out your bunting triangles using pinking shears (these are scissors with zig-zaged blades and can be bought for around £5 on Amazon or in any craft shop).  This will ensure your fabric doesn’t fray and unravel and will also mean you don’t have to stitch two triangles together pin, sew, press, clip, turn out etc. Pinking your triangles will save you LOADS of time and fabric.  Perfect if your bunting dreams are on a grand scale.

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Most tutorials tell you to use bias tape to string your bunting and that’s fine and is worth doing if you want your bunting to be more durable and a permanent feature.  However bias tape can be a little fiddly if you are a beginner so I suggest you find some cotton tape or ribbon (this will also save you quite a bit of money).  Anything about 1.5-2cm wide is ideal.  Take your stack of triangles and pin them at even intervals along your ribbon.  Don’t forget to leave a longer length of ribbon at either end so you can tie your bunting up.

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You’re ready to start sewing.  My top tip for sewing in a straight line (don’t be embarrassed, it’s harder than it sounds) is to align the top edge of your ribbon and the fabric with the edge of your presser foot (see picture) and to hold that line. Alternatively mark a line right across the sole plate of your machine (that’s the metal plate with the lines etched on it in my picture) using masking tape or washi tape. Align the edge of your fabric with the tape to keep you on track.

Finally just to make sure you’re happy with where you’re stitching will be.  Align everything as described above. Lower the presser foot and then lower the needle by hand down into the fabric.  To lower the needle by hand turn the fly wheel (the big wheel on the side of your machine) towards you. Doing this will also stop the fabric slipping when you begin your sewing.  If you are happy with how everything is aligned begin sewing.  Don’t watch the needle fix your eyes on aligning the bunting with the edge of the presser foot or your tape depending on which method you are using.  Try to stay nice and relaxed and don’t forget to back stitch by reversing your stitches at the beginning and end of your sewing to secure your threads. Sew in one continuous line along your ribbon the whole length of your bunting.

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Spring Cleaning

It’s SPRING! I can’t wait for the weather to get just a little warmer so I can fling open all the windows and air the whole house. I like to spring clean room by room. I think the bedrooms are my favorite to clean but the kitchen is most time-consuming.  Today I thought I’d give you a great tip for getting your oven really sparkling clean without using harsh chemicals.  This topic was very popular on my previous blog and I often get asked for it so I thought I’d share it here again. To clean your oven, you will need…

  • bicarbonate of soda
  • a spray bottle filled with water
  • a cloth
  • soap and water
  • newspaper
  • white vinegar (optional)

You’ll need to choose a time when you won’t be using your oven for a few a hours – I do the first step in the evening and clean in the morning.

Step one – Remove the trays from your oven and sprinkle bicarb over the inside of your oven (don’t forget the inside of the door). Depending on how dirty your oven is you’ll probably use 4-6 heaped tablespoons of bicarb.

Step two – Spray water all over the bicarb – it’ll fizz a little.  You want to get the powder nice and wet but you don’t want puddles of water sitting in the bottom of your oven.  Leave for as long as you can, overnight is ideal.

Step Three – The next morning, lay the newspaper down on the floor in front of your oven and get yourself a bowl full of soapy water (ordinary dish washing soap is fine) and a strong cloth.  Firstly lightly wash any bits of your bicarb paste that come away easily.  Then scrub any areas that are a little more stubborn.  Finally with a fresh bowl of soapy water wash the whole oven again to remove any last bicarb residue.  Your oven should look like new!  You can use the bicarb paste on the glass but don’t scrub too hard as this may scratch the glass.

Step four – To give your glass a lovely shine, spray lightly with white vinegar.  You can buy spray bottles of white vinegar for this purpose in hardware shops and some supermarkets. Buff to shine with some kitchen towel or piece of scrunched up newspaper.

If your oven is really filthy you may need to repeat this process but do persevere.  The best thing about this method of cleaning is there is no nasty smells and no harsh chemicals to fume your food. Happy spring cleaning.

newnewspaper.newspaper. Step five – I find oven racks come up really well in the dishwasher but if you don’t have a dishwasher wash in warm soapy water, use a scourer and plenty of elbow grease.