Birthday Banner


Remember this fabric?  I’ve finished my project with it – a happy birthday banner.

Truth be told, this is my second time making this banner.  You can see a picture of the first one here.  I made a couple of mistakes on that banner:

  • I accidentally sewed the two scallop pieces together before sewing my letters on.  This means there’s an ugly side showing (but fortunately my sister and brother-in-law still said they liked it and just put that side against the wall).
  • I had a really hard time finding coordinating fabric (the party theme was monkey, with the colours yellow, brown and green).  I have since learned that purchasing fabric online offers you much more selection allowing better matches.

Want to make a birthday banner yourself?  There is a fantastic and easy  tutorial over at Kelsey’s blog Vanilla Joy: Making up & over.  The tutorial includes a pattern for the letters and the scallop pieces.  Kelsey did an excellent job of providing detail and photos, making this a great beginner sewing project.

I did a couple of things differently than Kelsey.  I used a zigzag stitch to sew my letters on (see below).  I also made the banner double-sided as we’ll be hanging it up outside with both sides visible for Maddy’s birthday in June.  I forgot to notch the curves… and when I remembered I was too lazy to go back and do it.  It turned out okay, but I’m sure the scallop pieces would be more rounded had I notched the curves.  I don’t have a point presser or a mini iron, so I just ironed the seam allowances open as best I could with our regular iron and it worked okay, but Kelsey said using a mini iron cuts the time this step takes by more than half.

I figured this was a good project to practice my sewing on – and goodness, you can see the difference already!  Here is one of the first letters I did:

And here is one of the last letters:

Before starting to sew the letters on, I read through Melissa’s (of the blog Sew Like My Mom) applique tutorial on curves.  She stresses that you must go slowly.  I sometimes have a hard time going slow and suddenly make a mistake.  I need to work on that still.  She offers some other helpful tips and tricks that I suggest you read through if you’re new to applique.

I also learned some of my own tricks.  I used the hand wheel to manually sew on curves or tough spots on the letter (like the circular insides of letters).  No matter how slowly I attempted to go, I was having a really tough time with those inner circles.  Using the hand wheel was really helpful (though, I hope one day I won’t need to use it as much).

I’m so excited to have this to celebrate Maddy’s first birthday in a few months (Eek – I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by!).


5 responses »

  1. heehee… I wondered if this wasn’t what you were working on when I saw your earlier post. And Logan’s banner is beautiful. I can’t really even see the difference between your first and last letter. Guess ’cause I don’t sew…

  2. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Madeleine! « sewrite

  3. Pingback: !yadhtrib yapph « sewrite

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