How to make shwe-shwe fabric bunting

Bunting makes everything feel like a craft market, and I frikkin love it. I also frikkin love shwe-shwe fabric. The bright colours and vibrant patterns really resonate with me, and I have some beautiful dresses in a variety of shwe-shwes that make me feel fabulous.


Though shwe-shwe is an old West African form of fabric printing, it’s gaining in popularity around South Africa and brings a bright, modern look to everything it touches.

So naturally, now that I’ve learnt the rudimentals of sewing from my first few lessons (I even made a cushion!) and since I hosted a kitchen tea this Saturday, I thought it would be MUCH better to make bunting rather than buying some.

Because why not. Because if I can make it, rather than buy it, I will.


Here’s what you need to make your own, with instructions.


You will need

  • shwe-shwe fabric scraps
  • pins
  • 20mm cotton tape
  • pinking shears
  • white thread
  • fabric pen


To make

  1. Using a fabric pen and ruler, on the back end of the fabric, measure a line 18cm long, and mark a dot at 9cms in the center. From this dot measure down 16cm. From each edge of the 18cm line, draw a line to the 16cm dot to make a triangle.
  2. Draw 21 of these triangles, in various scraps of fabric, to make an approximately 3m long strip of bunting.
  3. Use plain fabric scissors to cut the 18cm line (to keep it straight), and pinking shears (to prevent fraying and saving time on hemming everything) on the other two sides.
  4. Leaving a 30cm strip of cotton tape on either side, fold your cotton tape over the top of the bunting and pin in place on either corner and the centre of each triangle.
  5. Sew the cotton tape onto the bunting with your sewing machine.
  6. Cut threads and you’re good to go!





And here are some pics from our non-traditional kitchen tea… see if you can spot what’s naughty in those cupcakes 😉



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