Tuesday, July 03, 2012

diy: denim American {inspired} flag

 I made a flag! The best part is that it came out just as pretty as I imagined it in the noggin. Here are the steps I took to make it, if yer a fancy-pants stitcher you'll have it all figured out and probably more orderly. If yer not, follow along as I am wonky at best!

I am a lazy stitcher. I don't measure, I just make. I cut and snip and snip and stitch until something clicks and the end product is finished. I have been collecting denim for a while to make this flag in time for July. It was inspired by a photo I saw either on a blog or pinterest. I don't think I pinned it or maybe I did and I am too lazy to search for it right now. Either way, my flag in now way looks like the image I saw but it did give me the idea to repurpose my denim pile (plus a few added pieces thrifted for variety).

*1-2 pairs of jeans (more if you want more variety)
*1-2 pieces cut from a man's button down 
*sewing machine
*old pillowcase or piece of scrap muslin or fabric
Cut out yer backing piece to the size you want. A pillowcase is a good size to use. I used a piece of faux linen that was already floating about the tiny casa.
Snip and tear away at yer denim pile (tearing gives you nice raggedy edges) until you assemble a pile of scraps that will cover yer base piece. Use long lengths to emulate the stripes of the American flag but make sure to think outside the norms and include seam and pockets, etc.

Layer away until you are happy with your design. I snapped this picture then went back and move the long plaid strips to create my star-box area. I also added a few contrasting bits for variety.
After I layered it all down, I pinned it all into place but found it too bulky to work with. So I took a picture then removed the tops bits keeping them arranged as I layered them and added them bit by bit. I would however, recommend pinning down your longest lengths and stitching them along one edge to keep them in place. 
 Oh wait, before you go about unpinning it all, flip the whole thing over and trim excess edges to square it all up.
 Bring the happy jumbled mess to your machine and stitch with a contrasting color. I first stitched along the right side of the soon-to-be flag, anchoring  down the long strips. Then I pinned the next layer and stitched and so on. Mix up your stitches for variety.
 Don't forget to put all yer pins back in the pincushion as you unpin. I have a bad habit of not doing that and my bare feet have paid the price dearly. I originally wanted to use some of my vintage costume jewelry pieces for the stars but have no idea where I tucked those away. Instead, I cut up the trimmed scraps into smaller bits. bunched them up, and stitched those on using one long continuous stitch. I wasn't able to get 50 little bits on but 35 made the cut and it still inspires one to think flag! (at least, I hope it does).
Next up, I made a casing so that the flag could go on a pole (like a real flag). To make the casing, I tore a long strip from the leg of a pair of jeans and folded it in half lengthwise. I pinned it so that it would not unfold then I pinned it to the left side of my soon-to-be-flag. Brought it all back to the machine and stitched away, including closing off the top so that the pole would stop and not go al lthe way through the tube. 
After snipping away some of the loose threads I sat back with a sigh and admired my handy work. So cool! **click here to see me waving my {freak} flag.


  1. SO CUTE!

    We've gone a little flag-crazy, but have yet sew one. Maybe a little stash-busting is in order....

  2. Jek, this is WONDERFUL! I'd be proud to have this on my wall.