I got a new embroidery machine for Mother’s Day (which I promptly named Thread Astaire since he’ll be tapping the night away). It has a much larger hoop size compared to my old machine, so when I came across this ‘I’ll be in my office’ design shortly after getting Thread Astaire, I was excited to pick it up and determined for it to be my first large hoop project to break in my new machine.
Once, I had the design, I had to figure out what to do with it. I decided that a small wall hanging would be nice and after coming across this pinnie pennant, I decided to make my own version. I knew I wanted my fabric at the top of the flag to be made up of squares and opted for a bright rainbow color scheme to really make it pop. I found threads to match the rainbow fabric at the top and used them in the design to help integrate the colors throughout the flag. I then finished off the design by outlining the flag with a fun rainbow thread.
Below is a tutorial on how to create this (approximate) 10 x 13" flag (due to the bulk in the seam allowance, it’s more likely to be closer 9.75 x 12.75", this can be counteracted by adding an extra 1/8" of fabric to all sides, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ve left that extra 1/8" out of these calculations).
While writing this tutorial, I realized that I missed taking a lot of pictures along the way, so I’ve done my best to describe everything with words and the pictures I have. Please let me know if anything is unclear or if I missed a step or two.
Quick note before we start - You may notice that my flag is fairly wrinkly around the design. While some wrinkles are to be expected, I unintentionally made mine worse. Once I was finished with everything, I soaked the fabric and fusible fleece with water and attempted to steam the wrinkles away, which ended up creating more wrinklage than it got rid of. So, I highly suggest being much more gentle than me when ironing and steaming your fabric and fleece.
Background fabric - 10.5 x 11.5"
5 strips of 2.5 x 5.5" fabric for the top
Backing fabric - 10.5 x 11.5"
Fusible fleece - 10.5 x 11.5"
Cut your background fabric to 10.5 x 11.5" (I stitched out my design, then cut the fabric down to size).
Once you have your 10.5 x 11.5" background fabric cut, grab your ruler and measure 6.75" from the top. Make a small mark on the side of your fabric (I forgot to take a picture of this step, but you can still see the mark in the next step). After you’ve marked the fabric, you’re going to fold the fabric in half lengthwise and lay your ruler down going from the mark on the side, down to the middle point. Then use a rotary cutter and cut off the corners.
Now, set aside this main body and grab your 2.5 x 5.5" strips of fabric. Using a 1/4" seam allowance sew the strips together along their short sides. Here’s a cropped pic of the strips sewn together.
Next, grab the main body of the flag and line your strips up to the top of flag with the right side of the strips facing the right side of the flag. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew the strips to the top of the flag. Next, grab your fusible fleece and lay your wall hanging on top of it. Trim around the fusible fleece, so it’s roughly the same size as your wall hanging. Fuse the fleece to your flag following the fleece manufacturers instructions. Once the fleece is fused, use your ruler and rotary cutter to cut the fleece down to the same size as your flag. If your strips are slightly shorter than your flag, you can leave a little bit (less than 1/4") of fleece along the side of your strip to make it equal the size of your flag.
Next, lay your flag down on the backing fabric (the backing fabric should have the right side facing the cutting mat and the wrong side facing the back of the flag) and cut the backing fabric to the same size as your flag.
Now, place the trimmed backing fabric on top of your fleece fused flag with the right side of the backing fabric and the right side of your flag facing each other. Starting in the top right corner of the strips (so, starting by stitching down along the purple strip on mine) and making sure to back stitch at both the start and finish of this outline, you’re going to stitch down along the outer edge of the flag , back up to the strips and stop after sewing 3 strips closed, leaving a 4" opening to turn the flag right side out (you can see where I left my opening in the picture below, it’s where the white thread is in the top right hand of the colored strips). Now you’ll reach into the flag and flip it right side out. Using something similar to a chopstick, gently poke out all the corners and edges of your flag. Turn in the seams of the opening in the top right corner and stitch it shut (I used white thread since this will be on the back of the flag and won’t be seen). Now grab your iron and press down all those seams.
Next, stitch along the edge of your flag to give it a finished look. I topstitched a 1/4" in from the edge. I stitched along the sides of my inside strips and then starting at the top of the pink strip, I outlined the entire flag. I then stitched the line along the top inside the background fabric.
Once you’re happy with your top stitching, fold over the strips on the top, creating 2" squares and stitch 1/4" up from the bottom of your strips, making sure to stitch through the back of the strips at the same time.
You now have the pocket for your dowel. I cut mine so that there would be 1" of dowel showing on either side of the flag and finished it off by tying some embroidery floss to hang the flag with.