How to Sew Your Own American Flag

Preparation for celebrating 4 th of july
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Overview
  • Yield: 3' by 5' flag

A purchased flag cannot express the same love and pride as one that has been made with your own two hands. Luckily, with these directions, making an American flag is not as daunting as it seems. Plus, an American flag also makes a great gift. Use your sewing group to construct a flag to be donated to your community or gift flags made with love to everyone on your holiday list.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Sewing machine
  • Needles
  • Pins
  • Scissors

Materials

  • 3/4 yard Red flag-weight nylon
  • 3/4 yard 60" wide white flag-weight nylon
  • 2/3 yard 60" wide blue flag-weight nylon
  • Red thread
  • White Thread
  • Blue thread
  • Invisible thread for the hems (optional)
  • Grommets

Instructions

  1. Cut out Stripes and Blue Block

    For this 3-foot by 5-foot flag, you will need to cut out seven red strips and four white strips, along with a blue block. You will work the stars from the remaining white as instructed in the directions. The measurements for the strips are:

    • Three white strips—60" by 3.5"
    • Three red strips—60" by 3.5"
    • Four red strips—34.5" by 3.5"
    • Three white strips—34.5" by 3.5"
    • One white strip—33" by 4"
    • One blue piece—26.5" by 19"
  2. Assemble the Stripes

    American flag seam details
    Debbie Colgrove

    Set up your sewing machine with red thread and white thread (one in the bobbin and one as the top thread).

    Starting with a red strip, join the 34.5" long strips alternating red and white. Set aside.

    Join the 60" stripes starting with a white strip and ending with a red strip, set aside.

    Go back to the 34.5" long stripes. On the top seam trim away the white seam allowance, on the next seam trim away the red and continue alternating until trim all the finished seams. Turn under the wider seam allowance and stitch it down to create flat-felled seams. You will need to change the white and red thread combination on your sewing machine.

    On the 60" long stripes, trim the white seam allowance on the first seam and alternate the same way you did with the 34.5" stripes. Finish the seams the same way.

    Set the stripe sections aside.

  3. Use the Template to Mark the Stars

    Star template to sew an American flag
    Debbie Colgrove

    Cut the remaining white fabric into 100 squares measuring 2.5" wide.

    Mark the edges of the star template on 50 of them. You will use the other 50 blocks as a double layer under the stars.

    On the blue section, using chalk or a temporary marker, mark 1.5" in from three edges and 2.5" in from the one 19" edge, to allow for hems and seams.

  4. Sew the Stars

    Stars and placement
    Debbie Colgrove

    Inside the block area, arrange the stars as shown in the photo, using five rows of six stars alternately with four rows of five stars.

    Sandwich two white blocks on each star location.

    Satin stitch around the star outline. Trim away the outer edge of the blocks leaving the star intact. Repeat for all 50 stars.

  5. Join Sections and Finish

    Sewing american flag
    Glowimages / Getty Images

    Attach the blue section to the 34.5" stripes. Using blue thread on the top and invisible thread or white thread in the bobbin. Trim the strip section of the seam allowance. Fold under the blue seam allowance and stitch down.

    Join the 60" stripes to the blue and striped section. Create the flat felled seam by timing the white seam allowance, and change your machine thread to correspond with where you are sewing.

    Hem the three outer edges by folding under 1/4" and 1/4" again. Stitch the hem down with invisible thread or red thread.

    Fold under 1/4" on each 4" end of the 33" by 4" white strip. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, and fold each edge into the middle. Sandwich the raw edge of the flag inside the folded strip, and stitch it into place. Place another row of stitching 1/4" inside from the original stitching for extra strength.

    Place the grommets on the white band at the top and at the bottom, according to the grommet directions.

    Your flag is now ready to hang.