Sewing: Finished Banners

Sometimes your calendar just clears itself to make way for a new project.  A client (waiting on permission to post links) asked me to produce a set of four elemental banners, with the alchemical signs for Earth (green), Water (blue), Air (yellow) and Fire (red) for a working space somewhere in New England (again, waiting for permission on links).

And, more or less as soon as I’d started banner #1 (Air), expecting the project to take several weeks, a number of other deadlines magically got pushed back, and a massive snowstorm rolled in, and I had all the time I needed to produce the banners in three days instead of three weeks.  So they’re done.

If this project has a challenge that needs to be solved, it’s the problem of lining a triangle (or a trapezoid and a triangle) up on a cut banner panel, sewing it in place, and then sewing, bag-style, the front and back of the banner together in such a way that the emblem stays centered, both left-right, and top-bottom.  The guide-marks I laid out on the pattern were utterly useless.  I made a geometric ‘jig’, too, to try to get it right. It’s close in some cases, very close in others, and way off in others, for no discernible reasons.

In my prototype banners, I’ve done them both with and without interfacing or stabilizer.  With interfacing/stabilzer, it’s much easier to position an appliqué very precisely — but then then banner doesn’t hang properly, because it has additional non-drapey material attached to the back.  I think I used a total of fifty-six pins on the fire emblem, though, and it still slipped about an inch to the right.  And as weird as it will be to some readers, huge quantities of interfacing or stabilizer is not good for magical objects; that stuff is almost always plastic of some kind, and it disperses the charge more rapidly than for an organic object.

I also made a bag for storing them, trying to make enough of an allowance inside for space for the doweling and cordage they’ll need to hang them, with an appropriate drawstring to keep everything tucked.  It’s kind of irrelevant to most clothes, but in general I’ve come to believe that cotton objects will hold a magical consecration for three months or so, unless they’re stored in a container or in regular use, in which case such a consecration will last longer. So, a bag for putting them away when they’re not in use.

I plan to try again soon with this pattern. They’re fun to make, and I plan to offer these banners on my Etsy site. Well, not these banners specifically, but this design. There’s a lot of possible variations.

Magic Banners Designs
Banner Designs for Elemental Banners
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