Use up your scraps on this festive bit of fun for a special birthday or everyday room décor. Our party banner turned out to be so colorful and cute, I'm tempted to leave it up year 'round. It adds a super splash of color and the extra-long tassels shimmer in the sun.
Our free pennant pattern, which you can download below, is 6¾" x 9", so you need a piece of fabric that is at least 7¼" x 19" (so it will be 9½" when folded; we recommend you cut on the fold to create the front and back of each pennant). A slightly larger piece is even better if possible, so you can fussy cut your fabric to center a cute design on the front of the pennant. If you don't have any scraps quite that large, you can forgo the idea of cutting on the fold, and instead cut two triangles for each pennant: one for the front and one for the back. The finished pennants are inserted into and secured inside the bias binding, so you'll never see that top raw edge. No one will know... and I'll never tell.
Our thanks to our birthday pals at Michael Miller Fabrics for providing all of Patty Young's awesome Playdate fabric for our projects. These fabrics are available in stores and online. Get it now while the selection is best. Also, take a look at what Patty has been making with Playdate at the Michael Miller blog.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft 5200)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Ingredients shown are for a 25' party banner with about 9 feet of pennants in the middle and the balance of the length for ties to hang it up in your party space.
- Scrap fabrics for 15 pennants: we used nine designs from Patty Young's Playdate for Michael Miller Fabrics
- 3 packs (nine yards) of double-fold bias quilt binding (7/8")
NOTE: The color should match or compliment your fabric colors, we used a light green.
- 15 rayon tassels in colors to compliment your fabric: we used inexpensive rayon tassels in four different colors
- All-purpose thread to match or compliment your fabric
NOTE: We show several colors in our photo, but ended up only using the orange. It complimented all the colors and we didn't have to stop and re-thread.
- All-purpose thread to match your binding
- Pinking shears
- Tape measure
- See-through ruler
- Regular scissors
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Iron and ironing board
- Spray starch: we used Mary Ellen's Best Press
- Download and print the Pennant pattern.
IMPORTANT: The pattern is ONE 8.5" x 11" sheet. You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
- Using the pattern (as noted on the pattern piece, you cut along the fold), and your pinking shears, cut FIFTEEN pennants. We mixed and matched to get a very colorful look. As mentioned above, take the extra time to fussy cut the fabric so you have a nicely centered design on each pennant.
NOTE: As you cut, pink just outside the edge of the paper pattern. Do not cut on the paper itself.
- Press each pennant so it is nice and flat and so that the 'pinks' align exactly along each edge.
- Arrange the pennants in order, mixing and matching to your best effect, and choose a tassel to go with each.
At Your Sewing Machine
- Slip each tassel in between the layers of the pennant, positioning the tassel so it will hang freely below the point of the pennant. Pin the tassel in place. As you see in the photo, you will stitch each tassel right about where you pin.
- Slide the pennant layers and tassel under your presser foot. Adjust them as necessary to line up the drop of your needle right where you've pinned the tassel. Drop the presser foot and carefully remove the pin.
- Stitch back and forth across the tassel several times to secure it in place.
NOTE: We are stitching the tassels in place in this manner to make it easier for you to preserve the nice point of each pennant. It is very challenging to stitch down into a point and back out again without crunching and smooshing the fabric. However, you still need to be sure your machine can handle stitching back and forth like this, running on and off the very edge of the fabric. You need a machine with a precise fabric feeding system with very good feed dogs... like, say... a Janome!
NOTE: It's best to pin and stitch the pennants to their respective tassels one at a time. Otherwise, you risk the tassels falling out as you wrestle with the length of the banner.
- To secure the two layers together, stitch from the top corner down to the horizontal line of stitching holding the tassel. Pivot and take a few stitches right along this line of stitching. Then pivot again and stitch back to the opposite top corner.
- Remember to back tack at each top corner. I used a lock stitch.
- Re-thread your machine with thread to match your binding.
- Open up all three packages of binding and sew them together end to end, right sides together and with a ¼" seam allowance, to make one loooooooooong strip.
- Re-fold and re-press the binding at the seams.
- Fold the entire binding piece in half to find the center point. Mark it with a pin.
NOTE: I cut about 12" from each end of my binding piece to get to my desired finished length of 25'.
- Insert the pennant you have planned as your centerpiece at this point.
- Working from the center to the left and then to the right, insert the remaining pennants. As you slip the pennants into place, make sure the fold of each pennant is flush up against the inside fold of the binding. The top points of the pennants should be just barely touching. Pin each pennant in place securely.
- Make a tiny simple hem at one end of the binding tail. To do this, fold the end in about ¼" and then fold it again ¼". Start stitching at this end, aligning the right edge of your presser foot with the folded edge of the binding.
NOTE: I chose a wide zig zag to stitch my binding; I though it kind of matched the triangular shape of the pennants.
- Stitch the long binding tail (what will become the ties) closed, the continue across all 15 pennants, securing them in place. Finally finish by stitching the opposite binding tail closed with a matching tiny folded hem on the opposite raw end.
- For a super-crisp final appearance, press all pennants with spray starch.
- Hang up the banner at kid-eye-level for all to enjoy.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructions: Liz Johnson
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna SewFun and the Baby Lock Grace.