Occasionally it seems that world is in pure chaos with nothing making sense, but that doesn't matter as long as I can sew. Sewing is a form of art, or at the very least creativity, and a form of expression. A great outlet for the tension of everyday life. Also you can make cute things. The craft revolution is truly taking place, old skills are being revived by a new generation, but with a seriously modern twist.

I've made Mario pillow cases, a giraffe print background, and turned duvet covers into summer dresses. I enjoy making something unique, special, and me- then I like wearing it and watching it fall to pieces or not fit properly. Then I enjoy (slightly less) fixing it.

One day I shall have a room filled with glorious fabrics and boxes of notions, and on that day I will have found my nirvana. But until then this blog will exist as my virtual haberdashery and sewing room. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at my creations as much as I enjoy looking at other blogs, and you'll be inspire to make something of your own.

Friday, 26 November 2010

How to Make the Worlds Most Glorious Banner

 Step One: Buy ATP End of Tour Finals Tickets, and secure appropriate     transport.  Search everyday on the BBC Tennis site to learn which players you will be watching in the doubles and singles matches.  Decide on design- adding humour where possible to encourage televisual exposure. I went for a beautiful double sided fabric banner, support for the singles on one side and the doubles on the other.  I also decided to use the same phrasing on each side, for amusing symmetry.  The kind of thing to make people smile and say 'oh that's clever'.  And I added the flag for each player (grrr 6 players and they all come from different countries) and some little tennis rackets- although as you can see my rackets would be useless as I forgot to add string to them. One side says:
And the other says:

Step Two:   I cut out large enough letters from a magazine and used these to make cardboard templates, I couldn't find all the letters the correct size in the mag but I used the T to help me draw the H, and the O to help me do the U, and so on.  The cardboard letters made sure all my lettering was uniform in size and style, and was a really good idea, also I can use them again. 

Step Three: Perhaps not surprisingly step three involves using the cardboard templates to cut the letters out fabric.  First I raided my mums fabric boxes and collected pretty scraps of green and pink fabric (a colour scheme helps IMO) to use for the lettering.  I drew around the cardboard letters (on the wrong side of the fabric) and then cut them out (with some scissors), alternating green and pink fabric as I went.  I then drew some card board templates for the flag (a rectangle intially, then I made the sides slightly curved to soften the edges) and the tennis rackets (large oval shapes extended downwards).  Then I looked online for the flag designs (accuracy being the hallmark of all good banner making) and raided the fabric boxes again to get the new colours I needed).  I found cutting the flags out the trickiest element, and they were all different designs I didn't want to create a new card template for each (such as the Serbian flag which is three stripes, and the template would be cut into three horizontal strips), so I used the basic template the get the size and shape correct but had to fiddle about with the various elements I had to cut out.

Step Four: Pause and pose for a photograph. (sigh)

Step Five: Attempt to sew the letters to the background several times including machine zig zag stitch and hand sewn only to realise, after several hours, that you own fabric glue.

Step Six: Use fabric glue to stick letters and flags to background.  Helpful to have a little glue spreader to use (I used a small piece of cardboard) to spread the glue evenly over the fabric.  I also managed to spread the glue all over the book I was using to lean on (I was sat crossed legged on the living room floor), others may take head and decide to use the kitchen table- but that ain't my style. 

Step Seven: My banner was double sided so I had folded a piece of fabric in half (if you do the same, make sure you glue the letters on the right way up on each side) so now I need to sew the edges.  Which I did. 

Step Eight: This is when I finally ironed my fabric- again others may chose to do it before they sew, but I do not.  Also when I realised I'd forgotten to add our names to the banner- which I did in biro.

Step Nine: Spend five hours on a coach to get to London, then head to the O2 arena, eat your little packed lunch, and wave your banner like there's no tomorrow.  Until you finally realise that up in the cheap seats there's no way anyone can see you.

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