Monday, 30 November -0001

Perfect party favours for VE Day celebrations

The Royal British Legion has teamed up with May Martin from BBC 2’s hit series The Great British Sewing Bee to provide some top tips on creating the perfect 1940s accessories & party favours to give your VE Day celebration an authentic feel.

Written by May Martin
The Royal British Legion is calling on the nation to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) and has teamed up with TV sewing instructor May Martin from BBC 2's hit series The Great British Sewing Bee to provide some top tips on creating the perfect 1940s accessories and party favours to give your VE Day celebration an authentic feel.

May Martin says, 'Bunting epitomises celebration and is such an easy thing to make and a great way to get children involved in the preparations. Once you have made the bunting, have some fun decorating it perhaps with traditional union jacks or some polka dots to reflect the fashion of the time.'

May's Top Tips:

Paper bunting
• Take a piece of card 20cm (8inches square) mark one edge of the card as the top and the other edge as the bottom. Draw a line from top to bottom of your square dividing it in half.
• Draw a line from the corners at the bottom edge of the card either side of this line you have drawn meeting on the line at the top edge of the card.
• You should now have a triangle shape. Cut this triangle out and use it as a template to draw round on paper or fabric.

Fabric bunting
• For the quickest bunting take a strip of fabric and draw round your card triangle first one way up and then the other way up. You will have a zig-zag of triangles.
• Repeat this process with several fabrics.
• Cut your triangles out with either pinking shears or scissors. This method makes single layer fabric triangle.
• Take lengths of tape or bias binding and attach the triangle with either a row of machining or running stitches worked by hand.
• Don't forget to leave long ends of tape so that you can tie your bunting in place!

'In the 1940s, women liked their jackets to be really fitted with cinched in waists and big shoulders. Below are some useful tips on jazzing up a jacket with some 1940's glamour,' says May

1940's fashion
• Take a suit jacket and emphasise the shoulder area with an extra shoulder pad. You can pick these up from a haberdashery department. You can either undo the lining hem and insert the shoulder pads between the two layers of the jacket or you can cover them in a piece of fabric that is near in colour to the jacket lining.
• Put the jacket on and slide the pads into position. Pin in place along shoulder line and then secure in place with a few stitches on the inside of the jacket.
• Shape the waist line with vertical double pointed darts. These look like an orange segment. The widest piece is the waist shaping. I would normally do both jacket and lining separately.
• Undo the lining at the hem so that you can pin out darts on the waistline on both outer fabric and lining. Machine or hand sew this shaping in place.
• Sew lining hem back into position.

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