Just Don't Call Me "Betsy"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by PRGringo, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    It finally dawned on me that the most practical and economical solution to get the flags that I wanted for my collection was to make them! I have no experience but I can make things so I figured I can learn.

    First of all, Acupuncture mast have been discovered by people who sew.

    I set up my sewing center.


    It looks easier than it is and my first flag will be purely for practice. I will give it to my wife to tea-stain. She says that will make it a "primitive". It is "primitive", even without the staining.

    But, my technique is improving and the next one will be better. Here is what I have so far.


    I am working on the stars. It will be a 21 star flag. I will post more pics as I go along.
  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Great job PRGringo! You are inspiring me to give it a try. I have fixed many flags but never tried to make one from scratch.
  3. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Thanks! It is a challenge but I love a challenge like this.

    I finished appliqueing the stars today. Tomorrow I will cut out the excess around each star on both sides of the field.


    I used a tight zig-zag stitch to fasten each star.

  4. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    It looks like cotton. Did you get it from a fabric store?
  5. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    It is 100% cotton. I wanted to use cotton as it was what they would have used way back when.

    I found the fabric at JoAnn's Fabrics and washed the red and the blue fabric to eliminate bleeding. I threw a 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the wash to help set the color.

    The thread I am using is rated for outdoor use. I believe it is a cotton/poly blend.

    I also am trying a "clear thread to sew the alternating stripes. I will let you know how it turned out as I am about to sew the field to the top 7 stripes.
  6. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Got a lot more done today. Joined the field to the top 7 stripes. I cut out the stars on both sides of the field.


    Next tstep is to join the bottom stripes to the top section.
  7. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Finished the flag this morning. I added the backing for the grommets (You can't see it because I laid it on the fence.) and I cut and turned the end over and stitched it.

    Overall it was not bad. I'll give myself a B-. There were a couple mistakes and I will know what to do next time.

    I will begin a duplicate tonight.

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  8. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Excellent job! Its a beautiful flag. Once you get the hang of it, why don't you try some unique star patterns? Here are some antique flags with interesting patterns of 13 stars to 38 stars:

    American Flag Star Patterns - a set on Flickr

    Nick A
    Columbia Maryland
  9. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Wow! Thank you. I have bookmarked the site and will use it as reference.

    Oh yes, I will be making some of the more unusual patterns, especially where I can find some precedent in history.

    That was the whole idea about making them myself, I could make the patterns that I liked that were historic and different than just the linear layouts.

    For example, I have always wanted to make an accurate replica of the original Star Spangled Banner. Now I can. (3' x 5')

    I recently heard that there was a 13 star circular pattern just like the Betsy Ross layout but with the six-point stars instead of 5 point. That one is on the list as well.

    So many flags to make, so little time!

    I will continue to post the ones I make here. I hope I can keep a decent pace and now that I have worked out some of the kinks, I hope to get faster as my confidence rises.

    If you have any other similar suggestions I would appreciate any info you can send my way.

  10. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    I am nearly finished with the 2nd attempt at a 21 star flag and I am very pleased with the results. The stripes are more consistent in width and the hoist dimension is 37", closer to my goal of 36" than the previous flag (It came in at 32")

    I will cut the length and apply the header and gromets. I will post a pic of it when it is completed.

  11. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    Here is the 21 star hoisted. My next flag will be a 37 star flag.


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