Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Yesterday I mentioned the contribution that a bit of bunting can make to that holiday feeling – it seems to have become quite the thing recently, and no interiors catalogue is complete without some colour-coordinated bunting with which to accessorize your life. Bunting has that wonderfully retro feel, conjuring up images of street parties to celebrate the Coronation in 1953, or village fetes of yesteryear – in fact, bunting seems to have disappeared completely from England some time in the 1960s, and has only just reappeared on a wave of Cath Kidston-inspired nostalgia. It is as if Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon in 1969 was the signal for all the bunting to be put away: who needed boy scout tents and bunting when there were lurex and lava lamps to light up your life? And then suddenly, thirty years on, bunting is back! And this time round, even prettier – now it is flowery and spotty and stripy, and every colour under the sun, instead of plain primary colours.
I have had a hankering for a bit of bunting for quite some time, but felt it would be horribly extravagant to buy something so frivolous: I can be quite creative in my self-justification regarding outbursts of wanton profligacy on the spending front, but on this point I lacked inspiration. But then I happened to look at Sew Fabulous Fabric by Alice Butcher and Ginny Farquhar, and saw their patterns and instructions for sewing your own bunting. And so I made my own! And I didn’t have to buy a thing! I had some white cotton webbing tape which had been tied round some cushions I bought in the Laura Ashley sale, and the pieces of fabric were part of a stash of leftover scraps given to me by a dressmaking friend when she moved house. And the excuse for spending a happy hour at the sewing machine was the fact that my oldest son was coming back home from New Zealand – but sadly bunting is not on his list of must-have items so he didn’t really notice until the little flapping triangles were pointed out to him!
But I don’t mind – I now have my very thrifty bunting flapping in the breeze, and can bask in a warm glow of economy and creativity as I lounge on my holiday sofa. So next time you feel like being thrifty, why not try making some bunting – it is a very festive way of being economical!