Sewing: Banners

Some time ago I proposed the idea of making elemental banners.  My thought was to make them with the element in the background color, and the triangular emblems of those elements in black.

Today I was asked if it was possible to reverse that.  Sure, I think.  The pattern doesn’t care if the fabric is one color or another. That part, the fabric underneath the pattern, is more or less irrelevant to how one produces the pattern in the first place.  Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 12.30.05 PM

The basic idea of the banners is pretty standard.  They’re going to have a black background, and an appliqué of the four elemental emblems on them.  And it looks like they’re going to be installed in some sort of a lodge space somewhere north of here.  Which is pretty exciting — that’s sort of why I off-handedly designed the banners in the first place.

The basic process is pretty easy:  First you cut out the shape in some kind of interfacing.  Then you apply the interfacing to the desired fabric, and cut out that shape + 5/8″ for tucking/folding under. Then you press, a lot. Press the backing fabric, press the appliqué, press everything.

IMG_7541You get an odd-looking thing that is somewhat stiff but flexible made out of some sort of hybrid fabric-paper.  Getting this correctly pinned down on the backing fabric is going to be somewhat challenging, but I think it can be done.

And then you make these sorts of shapes four times.  Of course, ideally, one finishes the banners one at a time, so that you can learn from the challenges of one for the others.  It’s part of the reason that I started with one of the two harder banners, the one with two separated appliqué pieces.

The next challenge is a question of sizing.  The discussed size of the banner is 36×52″.  But due to some technical limits on the size of the triangle (like the width of the ironing board, for example, which determines how precisely I can iron a piece of interfacing to a piece of cloth; as well as the technical limits of how many pieces of paper from my printer can be stitched together accurately to form an exact equilateral triangle), I found that I needed to limit the size of the banner to about 28wx36“l.  

They’re coming out looking quite cool and interesting, and I suspect that people are going to enjoy interacting with them in a variety of ways.

The other challenge that has occurred is that I had to produce the Air Banner (pictured) twice.  So I have one that is at the commissioned size, and one which is quite a bit shorter (and, let’s be frank, quite a bit less-well made.  So I’m going to be producing a second set of these elemental banners, apparently. Eventually.  It’s not in the budget right now to make a set for myself.  But I have the first one done.


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