Publisher: Artelina. PO Box 421.
Paddington Qld 4064, Australia.
Author and Illustrator: McGifford, Anja
© Anja McGifford
2004; no part of the publication may be reproduced
without written permission from the publisher.
210 x 240(H), 187 pages
48 colour, 212 black & white illustrations
flag making tips from Sew Many Flags:
The first important decision you have is to choose fabric
which is durable against sun and fraying and also flies well and looks good.
Woven polyester bunting is excellent for both flags and
banners. Sew Many Flags gives you a list of flag
material suppliers in Australia.
The seams need to be made strong, especially for an
outdoor flag. Use a double felled seam for most
seams. A triple felled seam is your perfect
choice for those flags in which it's important that
there is no overlapping of colour on the reverse.
Quality begins with cutting. Cut along the grain.
You don't want your
seams look like this:
right-angle triangle drawn on crooked fabric. When
you cut it out, it stretches into an obtuse angle
triangle (drawn here red). See what happens when
you try to join this piece with another, which is
This flag will be a disaster. The only thing you
can do to improve it is to replace the red piece
with a new one, cutting it while the warp and weft
threads run at 90° to each other.
A diagonal seam will not lay flat unless you have
cut the pieces straight.
Joining two crooked pieces can look a little
better, but the flag will be a lozenge, not a
doesn't get any worse than this. Trying to join
oblique and sharp angle triangles will make you
realise the importance of cutting along the grain.
The corners of your flag will not form a neat 90°
angle unless you have cut the fabric straight.
Use a small piece of soap for marking fabric. It
comes off easily by brushing, or when you press your flag.
Ordinary soap leaves a neater line than many chalks, and
best of all - it's free. Don't throw away small ends of
soap, use them for your sewing projects.
SHAPE OF THE FLAG
There is no one correct shape for all flags. Many
are made to either 2:3 or 1:2 ratio, but you have many
1. You may want to use the official ratio, which
varies from flag to flag.
2. Use the same shape as your national flag.
3. Make the flag in 2:3 ratio - a good choice for
The question of shape becomes more of an issue when you
display two or more flags together. It's a widely accepted
practice to make all flags look about the same size, so
that one doesn't dominate the others. You have a few ways
to make the flags look equal:
1. Choose a common shape and size.
2. Maintain the official proportions and make the area
equal in all flags.
3. Keep the official proportions and make all widths or
all lengths equal.
4. Make the diagonals equal in all flags.
Each of these ways has its use. Perhaps the most
professional is the method number two. Let's assume you
have an Australian flag in dimensions 1m : 2m. You want to
make a Papua New Guinean flag in its official shape, 3:4,
and with the same area size as your Australian flag, 2
square metres. This is how you can work out the dimension
for the PNG flag: