01 December 2010

Make A Pennant (And My Two Cents on Visual Media)

I have to admit, Kaia's desire for a pennant was media derived. We do not do much of that kind of thing around here. We don't have television, and at nearly 3 she has just seen her fifth movie, which is feeling like a lot. All Miyazaki films - Ponyo, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl's Moving Castle. Gorgeous, hand watercoloured, astoundingly beautiful, creative, and imagination inspiring films. Miyazaki filled me with wonder in my childhood, and was a strong artistic influence on me. 

I am still trying to figure out exactly where I feel visual media, such as movies, and the world of art meet and separate. Film is certainly a platform for art, and I will not shield her from all forms of the medium, nor do I think anything that appears on a screen is inherently bad for you. Especially when either of us are very sick. ;) I don't feel that in the music videos and movies I have allowed her to see that I am letting her have a little bit of a bad thing, but that when used selectively and in limitation the medium can be an experience in art and imagination. I am not really interested in wondering about our TV-free lifestyle, the adverts alone are enough to keep television from being something I consider life enhancing. In any case, Miyazaki is very firmly seated in the "artwork" category in my mind, and I especially enjoyed the sweet little scene about breastfeeding innocently placed in Ponyo. 

That said, the pennant has nothing to do with Miyazaki, sorry! The idea was from They Might Be Giants' music video for their song, "Seven Days of the Week (I Never Go To Work)", one of Kaia's absolute favourite songs for the moment. They Might Be Giants was my first favourite band as a child, and the first tape I owned. I am very excited about their more recent child-oriented album releases, Here Comes Science, Here Come The ABCs, and Here Come The 123s, and sharing what was some of my favourite music as a little person with my own little person, who loves it as much as I did. And wants her own pennant.

So, on to our pennant! I wanted it to be two colours, but you could use just one if you want. Cut out two triangles of the same size, however big and whatever shape you want your flag to be, and sew them together along one edge, wrong sides out.
Decide if you would like to adorn your flag, you'll need to have it sewn on before you sew your flag up. I loosely sketched a "K" for one side and a star for the other side with a disappearing fabric marker. Cut out your shapes, added fusible webbing to the backs, and iron in place. My fusible webbing says that no sewing is necessary, but it just doesn't look finished to me without it, so I inexpertly sewed around the borders as well in contrasting thread. If you were going to opt out of sewing yours on, you could do this bit after the rest of your flag is done if you want.
To make the opening for a flag pole, turn the point in on the bottom of your flag where your fabric meets and sew it in place. Fold your flag in half, wrong sides out, and sew from the edge of your turned point to the far point of your flag. There will be a hole at the bottom of your flag now with a finished edge for your pole.
To stiffen the flag and keep the two sides from wrinkling up I cut another large piece of fusible webbing to fit just inside the seams. Make sure it is cut to stop short of where your fabric is turned, you don't want to fuse the entire thing together or you won't be able to put it on anything. Turn your flag right sides out and iron together.
Now turn the top point of the flag in, just as you did the bottom point and sew the last side of your flag. Then put a line of stitching from the inside of one turned point to the inside of the other, (away from the side seam) up your flag. This will keep your pole in place. I also went over the top turned point a few more times just to be sure the flag pole wouldn't break through it, this will be a stress point.
All sewn up:
Now insert a stick or dowel rod and you are done. Our stick is not perfectly straight and is a bit snug, but it fits none the less.
Ready for marching around and playing! Kaia especially enjoys holding on to the very end of the stick and waving the flag around as high as she can possibly get it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

    - David


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