Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Floral Tent

I have completed a bit of sewing around here despite the heat.  My sewing machine is in the basement and you would think with last week's heat wave I would have parked myself there and sewn up a storm.  Somehow though, I found myself doing many other things in the heat; stuff like preparing for a garage sale and mopping the floor.  Anyway I did finish off this play-tent and just picked up the dowels for it the other day so the kids could use it outside.
I used the instructions in Emma Hardy's "Sewing in No Time" book.  I have to say (and maybe it was just the heat getting to me), but I found the illustrations to look different than what the instructions said to do.  Namely in the sewing of the pole channels.  I looked and looked on-line to see if there was any errata for the book, or just for anyone elses' experience making it.  I only found one person who mentioned they were making it for their child, but that's as much as I could get.  I find in most book reviews people will say they like the book or not based on having a look through, but there are not many who review books after actually having completed some of the projects.  In the case of "technical manuals" as I like to call sewing and craft books (it makes me feel like I'm investing my money and not wasting it at, you might as we not do a review at all if you haven't completed any of the projects.  I mean really, how helpful is that?  So frustrations aside, I went with the written instructions to finish the tent.  I will say it's OK; but there could definitely be room for improvement.
I used some sheets I bought last year at the thrift store, because this could have been an extremely expensive tee-pee if I had gone to the fabric store.  The sheets are a poly-cotton blend and I couldn't use them for pyjama bottoms or bags.  I felt a little bit guilty that my selections were so, well, girly, considering the tee-pee is for both of my kids; but when I told My Favorite Boy what I had chosen before I stitched it he just sighed and said, "I know Mum".
So, after several days sewing and several more waiting to pick up the dowels the tee-pee tent was finally ready to make its debut:
I can't help thinking that a quirky-colorful granny square blanket would look much better than this Mexican inspired one; it's on my list the next time I'm able to get to the thrift store.
The back and sides:  not having enough of one kind of print I used two sheets for the outside; a pink and white stripe and a rosy pattern.  I trimmed the top of the rose patterned sheet off and sewed it to the bottom of the striped pieces for a bit of continuity.  Kind of anal I know, but it was so pretty I couldn't leave it off!

The inside is made on three sides with a small floral print, and the doorway panels are made of another yellow and pink floral.  When you are inside it's quite charming to be surrounded by so many flowers.  I spent a good hour in here today cross stitching while the kids played in the kiddie pool.  Yes, a vintage granny square blanket must replace that fiesta one.  It's not very Cath K/Laura Ashely  inspired is it?
So far four kids under 8 years old can fit inside (it's about four feet by four feet at the bottom, and four and a half feet tall at the center) and one can stand up.  It's meant to be a little rosy hide-away for times when secret fairy meetings need to be conducted, or just a pretty place to get away from the sun.  I'm not sure if its life will extend past this summer, but it may leave a bit of a memory for a few neighborhood children anyway.


Stephanie said...

Very cute! I often wonder if anyone actually tests the patterns in some books. I, too, have had this problem and makes me not want to purchase from the same author again.

Pumpkin said...

Now THAT'S a fort! :o)

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