Sew a Solar Eclipse Bunting from Stash Fabric

total solar eclipse bunting

This solar eclipse bunting ensures clear skies for April 8!

Hey, who’s got a sewing machine and a total solar eclipse happening in her literal backyard this Spring?

I mean, maybe you, but DEFINITELY me!

Y’all, I am REVVED UP for this solar eclipse. I’m going to have a yard full of people, I’ve got enough eclipse glasses for everybody, there will be four different kinds of lemonade on offer, and there will be solar eclipse decorations if I have to sew every single stitch myself.

Which, considering that Party City doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo, I probably will!

My first official decoration is this solar eclipse bunting sewn from upcycled blue jeans and stash fabric. Y’all know how much I love buntings, so this choice shouldn’t surprise you. And thanks to the easy templates I used and my sewing machine’s superpower that is the zigzag stitch, I was able to take this bunting from concept to completion in half an afternoon. Here’s how!

Here’s what I used to make this bunting, but remember that I sewed entirely from my stash. So if you’ve got something different in YOUR stash, go ahead and use what you’ve got!

  • bunting templates. I folded an 8.5″x11″ piece of paper into an isosceles triangle for the pennants, and a wide-mouthed Mason jar lid ring for the suns and moons. For the total eclipse flare, I traced a sun onto the fabric, then drew the flares by hand around it.
  • fabric. I used denim (specifically all-cotton old blue jeans) for the pennants, stash flannel for the suns, and stash Kona cotton for the moons. The eclipse flare is upcycled from an old canvas tote bag.
  • bias tape. Double-fold bias tape is my favorite shortcut for sewing buntings! I buy all my bias tape from Laceking on etsy, but you can DIY this, as well.
  • sewing, cutting, and marking tools. I used my Singer Heavy Duty 4411 and a universal needle for this project, but any sewing machine should be able to handle denim plus a couple of layers of cotton-weight fabric. Sharp fabric scissors are handy for cutting out details in the appliques, and I like my Frixion pens for marking, as they erase with the heat from an iron.

Step 1: Create the templates and cut out all the fabric.

solar eclipse bunting

I cut seven pennants out of old blue jeans using the isosceles triangle template that I cut from a piece of 8.5″x11″ paper. Because this piece is decorative, you can even use parts of the jeans with too much wear to reuse otherwise. In the photo above, check out the pennant at the top of the photo–can you see the worn-out knee there? You won’t even notice it in the completed bunting!

To make the suns and moons, I cut six yellow circles and seven black circles using a wide-mouth Mason jar lid ring as my template.

solar eclipse bunting

To make that eclipse flare that will be part of the center pennant, I upcycled an old striped canvas tote. I traced the sun template where I wanted the flare to be centered, then traced the pennant around it so that I could hand-draw the flare to fit the pennant.

Step 2: Applique all the Sun pieces.

solar eclipse bunting

I put yellow thread in my sewing machine, and set it to a zigzag stitch with a length of 2 and a width of 3. I eyeballed the placement of the suns, laying out all the pennants in a row so I could make sure that they matched, then appliqued them to the pennants.

solar eclipse flare

Appliqueing the flare to the pennant required a bit more finesse, but a confident beginner should be able to do it. Just go slowly and don’t forget to make sure the needle is down when you rotate the fabric.

Step 3: Applique the Moons to the pennants.

solar eclipse bunting

I switched out the thread in the sewing machine to black, and went ahead and stitched the moon to the center of the flare, since I knew exactly where it was supposed to be.

To place the rest of the moons, I laid out the entire bunting on the floor so I could eyeball the whole thing at once.

solar eclipse bunting

If you’re in the Northern hemisphere for the 2024 eclipse, you’ll be facing South, and the Moon will be coming from the West, so we read this bunting from right to left. The Moon passes across the Sun on a diagonal from top right to bottom left. I placed the Moon pieces on each pennant to mimic the process of the eclipse, roughly trying to make them symmetrical without getting too pedantic about it.

Using the same sewing machine settings, I appliqued all the Moons to the pennants. Notice that the Moon goes off the pennant a few times. I trimmed all that away.

Step 4: Staystitch around the pennants, then add bias tape.

I switched back to yellow thread, then staystitched the perimeter of each pennant flag with a straight stitch at a length of 3. This will keep the denim from fraying beyond where I want it to, as well as stitching down the edges of the moons that I trimmed.

I measured and stitched shut approximately 12″ of bias tape, then started adding the pennants and stitching them into the fold of the bias tape. At the end of the pennants, I continued stitching the bias tape to itself for another 12″, then cut it.

I tied both ends of the bias tape into an overhand knot, and my bunting was finished!

solar eclipse bunting

My bunting is already installed over my nicest window. After April 8, there won’t be another total solar eclipse that hits the United States until 2033 (anyone want to meet me in Alaska to watch it?), but instead of putting this bunting into storage until then, I’m kind of thinking that I’ll find another place to install it permanently–perhaps on my porch? It’s too pretty not to look at every day!

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