I recently posted about creating a play castle for my son out of an old dishwasher box over here. One of the finishing touches was to add a little flag for fun and to personalize it. After thinking through all the possible things to put on this flag I decided a simple monogram would be the best way to go. Plus, I added a shield shape to the background, making it look like a little castle crest. Or, at least that was the idea and look I was going for.
Wooden dowel in size and length needed for flag pole
Scrap fabric big enough to cut a triangle in a size that matches your flag pole size and length
Sewing machine, or thread and a needle if you plan to hand stitch
Needle large enough to accommodate embroidery floss
Computer for creating the design for your “crest”, optional (you could just draw this out)
I started by using the sleeve of one of my husband’s old shirts. It had a rip that could not be repaired, but the fabric was almost brand new. It’s hard for me to toss things like this, so I just put them in the scrap box and they end up coming in handy later. I cut two simple, elongated triangles from the sleeve, taking care to keep the striped pattern going in the same direction for both sides. I used two pieces so that the “crest” would be going the right way and neat in appearance on each side.
After playing around with basic typography in Word, I decided on a VERY simple pattern for his monogram and printed it out. After choosing the fabrics to use for each letter, I snipped a piece big enough to cut two of each and did the same with the fusible webbing. I like to use the fusible webbing with paper on one side so that you can fuse it to the fabric and then draw on the paper side. I cut the letters out and used them as a pattern to trace the design onto the paper of the fusible webbing and fabric. This process makes for a nice straight line once each tiny piece is cut out.
I decided on the placement of the letters on the shield background, peeled the backing paper off and used the iron to fuse them down. Then I placed the shield right where I wanted it, keeping in mind that I needed room to sew around it to put the flag pieces together later. Next I used embroidery floss to attach the monogram “crest” to each side of the flag with a blanket stitch. And I outlined each letter with running stitch in a dark blue to help them stand out a bit from the similar background.
Confession Time: In my excitement and haste to finish this part of the project I managed to embroider the crests the exact same way in the exact same direction on the flag base. Meaning, I could not put them together without one side having an upside down crest. Oops!
(Doh! See what I mean?)
Solution: I trimmed the finished crest from the mistake base, leaving about 1/4 inch to fold under. Then I laid it out the correct way on the newly cut flag base and slip stitched it into place. Unless you look closely it’s almost impossible to see this mistake. Whew!
Once the “crest” was attached I sewed the two triangle pieces right sides together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a small slit at the back-end of the bottom corner. After trimming the seam allowance, use the slit to turn the flag right side out. I pressed it and then added a topstitch for stability about 1/4 inch in all the way around and up to the pocket left for turning. Stitch a seam about 1/2 inch away from and along the back edge of the flag down to the open slit to create a casing for your dowel. (This step will need to be adjusted according to the size flag you are making.) Just slip the flag over the end of the wooden dowel and you are set done! I did add a little dab of glue along the bottom edge of the slit at the dowel to keep the flag from getting ripped off by my crazy toddler.
(Here is a little closer view of the stitching and the monogram.)
To see pictures of this flag on my son’s new play castle click over here.