Making the American Flag

Discussion in 'US Flag Specs and Design' started by I love to sew, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hello

    I am in the process in making my own american flag. I have several questions.

    1) What is the best way to cut out the red, white stripes? Should I cut it out on the lengthwise grain or the crosswise grain. The fabric I purchased is a Nylon Flag fabric 60" wide and it is not lightweight. It feels like it is medium weight. I brought 2 yards of the red white and blue fabric.

    2) Will the fabric I purchased "Medium Weight" will work properly?

    3) I would like to make a 2' by 4' feet flag not a 3' by 5' feet flag. Where can I locate sewing instructions to make the flag?

    4) What is size for the hem sleeve should be? I want to slide on the pole without using grommets.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks
     
  2. PRGringo

    PRGringo Member

    I have a 3x 5 nylon flag that I can refer to and I can tell you that this flag has the warp threads vertical and the weft threads horizontal on the stripes.

    The weight of the nylon cloth determines how much wind will be needed to make it fly fully extended.

    There are specification for the size ratios but no instructions that I am aware of for sewing a flag. I would imagine that sewing techniques for nylon fabric would be your best guide of examining an actual flag. I do see that teh stars are often attached with a zig-zag stitch.

    If you plan on having it attached around a pole, you will need to measure its circumference and add enough additional fabric to the hem sleeve to allow the flag to not have the sleeve putting tension on the sewn seam when it is slid on the pole and to allow for a doble row stitch to the canton and stripes.

    Hope this helps. Good luck and remember, the 2nd one is always better than the first! This is probably also true of kids, pets, husbands and wives!
     
  3. Hi there- welcome to the forum

    It is my guess - that as to the type of questions you are asking, that you have never made an american flag before.

    I have sewn one before.

    A good tip to pass to you- the 1st flag you make - have a practise go at it - aim to make an indoor display flag- then you don't have to worry as much about its flyability and strength to fly outside.
    Then you can concentrate more on the look of the flag and practise it- and when you made that then you can assess it and see what changes need to be made in order to make it strong enough to fly.

    The hardest part I would say - is the stars- making them alike, and sewing them the same distance apart and evenly.

    i'll answer you questions one by one.

    1) What is the best way to cut out the red, white stripes? Should I cut it out on the lengthwise grain or the crosswise grain. The fabric I purchased is a Nylon Flag fabric 60" wide and it is not lightweight. It feels like it is medium weight. I brought 2 yards of the red white and blue fabric.

    that question.. i dont know the answer 100% as i didnt make my flag to fly- i made a display flag.



    2) Will the fabric I purchased "Medium Weight" will work properly?

    Yes. most regular nylon flags are made with 200 denier nylon
    the top grade flags are made with 70 denier nylon (the g spec line)- this is the lightweight nylon.

    3) I would like to make a 2' by 4' feet flag not a 3' by 5' feet flag. Where can I locate sewing instructions to make the flag?

    far as i know - there isnt any... PRgringo has a good suggestion - that you copy from a real flag.
    a flag in the dimensions you are planning on is not common to find.. the common size is 2ft in the hoist (vertical) and 3 ft in the fly. (horizontal)
    A 2x4 ft flag would work well though as long as you make a good size canton (blue section) good size would be 1.and a half ft in the fly - so that it is a bit less than half the length of the total fly length.

    4) What is size for the hem sleeve should be? I want to slide on the pole without using grommets.

    get the pole that your going to use and fold the material around the pole and leave a gap big enough to put your index finger into- this is the size of the hole you need, so pull a bit more material out in order to have some to sew the seam onto


    Id really like to see your progress in pictures and tell us how your getting on!
     
  4. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hi American Flag UK

    You are saying for the blue section that the good size would be 1 1/2 in the fly. Is that the finish measurement after it is sewn to the flag? What should the seam allowances be for the stripes and the blue section? Excluding the flat-felled seams for the stripes.

    Also, is it best for the me to us drafting paper to create a 2' by 3' square shape from that drafting paper for the entire flag shape? Then, I can measure out the finish width and length for the blue section and for the red and white stripes? I have some drafting paper at home I brought from the CVS store over the summer. I will not be putting any stars on the flag. I have something else in mind for the blue section.

    Lastly, can I use the iron for my nylon "medium weight" fabric to press out the wrinkles? I was told to use a damp wrong because nylon fabric will melt. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
     
  5. Hi there

    Indeed - nylon would melt. Nylon is a type of plastic- and with hot enough heat- plastic melts! - this is also why nylon flags are waterproof.

    I have never myself ironed a nylon flag- none of mine have ever needed it- so i couldent really say the best way to iron it. My iron hardly sees the light of day as it is lol

    You are saying for the blue section that the good size would be 1 1/2 in the fly. Is that the finish measurement after it is sewn to the flag? What should the seam allowances be for the stripes and the blue section? Excluding the flat-felled seams for the stripes.

    Yes 1 and a half for the finished measurement- this is before you take into account the extra length needed for creating room for the pole.


    Also, is it best for the me to us drafting paper to create a 2' by 3' square shape from that drafting paper for the entire flag shape? Then, I can measure out the finish width and length for the blue section and for the red and white stripes? I have some drafting paper at home I brought from the CVS store over the summer. I will not be putting any stars on the flag. I have something else in mind for the blue section.


    it is an excellent idea to use drafting paper to create the shape of your flag 1st and draw it out 1st - (i never thought of that myself either!)


    hmmm i'm interested! - what have you got in mind in place of the stars on this flag?
     
  6. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hi American Flag UK

    Thanks for all of your advices. I have found online instruction to make a 2 1/2' by 4' flag. That should be okay? I will be sewing 2 inch gold fringe on the edge as well. I'll let you know how everything turned out. I
     
  7. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hi American Flag UK

    Thanks for all of your advices. I have found online instruction to make a 2 1/2' by 4' flag. That should be okay? I will be sewing 2 inch gold fringe on the edge as well. I'll let you know how everything turned out. I look forward to hear your advice about the 2 1/2' by 4' flag instructions.
     
  8. hi - can you send a link please?
     
  9. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hi American Flag Uk

    Here are the links.

    http://sewing.about.com/od/freeprojects/ss/americanflag_2.htm

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2225504_sew-own-american-flag.html

    Let me know if one of the links are for a 2 1/2' by 4' flag. I did a conversion measurement using the conversion calculator on the internet. I don't know how accurate it is.

    I have another set of instruction but I am trying to search for it to acces link. I can't find it right now. However, I will look on the paper when I get home tonight and send you that link. I believe that one is 2 1/2' by 4' flag after the inches conversion.

    P.S. I sent a previous reply. I thought it would show on the main thread. I guess that reply went directly to you.
     
  10. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hi American_Flag_UK

    Here is the other website link I was referring to you about.

    Sew an American Flag, Free Sewing Craft Projects

    The finished flag size: 35 3/4" by 56"

    Could you convert the above measurements to feet so I will know what the finished size will be in feet?

    I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks
     
  11. Hi there

    Inches are units within feet . 12 inches make up 1 ft

    so 35 3/4 inches is a quarter inch less than 3 ft
    56 inches is 4 inches less than 5 ft

    the top link you gave is for a 3x5 ft flag (3x5 ft = 36x60 inches)

    the one under neath is 3x5ft aswell
    That one gives this description

    For pattern, see illustration of flag, marked A, B, C, mark and cut out. For part A, you need four red stripes 4 x 37 ½ inches. For part B, use a blue rectangle 25 ¼ x 22 inches. Trace star pattern onto acetate, light sandpaper or cardboard. Use pattern to cut stars from iron on muslin, with shears. For part C, use three red stripes 4 x 61 ¼ inches and three white stripes 4 x 61 ¼ inches.

    at the bottom last sentence it gives measurements for the long stripes at 61 and a quarter - this is to allow room for stitching and seams
    and gives 4 inches for the width of each stripe - again to give room for seams which 13 stripes deep would be approx 3 ft
    Its explained I think in a dreadfully complicated way! I think I'll stick to sewing it with my own intuition!
     
  12. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hi American Flag UK

    I agreed. You have to stick with things that are less complicated.
     
  13. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hi American Flag UK

    I would like to know do I need to do a double stitching line on the flat felt seam for my red and white stripes? I have alread stitched to top red and white stripe, but I have stitched the Blue Union section together. I will not proceed with the flag until I have completed the top stripes.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
     
  14. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hello American Flag_UK

    I am almost finish with my flag. I would like to know what is the hem depth for an American Flag? The reason being, is that the end of the flag is beginning to ravel and I had to restitch one of the flat-felt seam. About 1 inch from the end of the flag does not look professionally because it had ravelled where the flat felt seam is stitched. After I hem the bottom of the flag, I am planning on sewing on 2" gold fringe. :confused:

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
     
  15. Hey there...

    I am eager to see a picture or two of this flag!

    The standard hem on the end of a US flag is 1 inch wide with 3 or 4 rows of stitching on... this goes no matter what the size of the flag

    best way is once you get to the end of the row of stitching on the hem, double it back on itself for a couple of inches to lock it
     
  16. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Re: Making the American Flag (Gold Fringes)

    How to sew a 2" gold fringe on an american flag. My flag is completed with the flat-felled seams and hem at the sides and bottom. I'm currently waiting for my order of fringes to be delivered. Where I ordered them from they are really cheap .70 cents per yard.

    Instead of using white thread for the white stripes, I used invisible thread. That worked fine because of the nylon material. I continused to use the red thread for the red stripes and the blue thread for the union.
     
  17. cool... I would really like to see some pictures of your flag
     
  18. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hello All:

    I need help for this project.

    Re: How to sew a 3ft x 6ft Printed Polyester Pleated Fan
    Here is the link to see the photo of the pleated fan flag
     
  19. I love to sew

    I love to sew New Member

    Hello

    Is a flag considered a sign or a poster? I would like to take it to the inauguration festivties :confused:
     
  20. i really wish i could see some pictures of your flag...
     

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