10 March 2011

Little a's Tent

This post is long overdue, as it is about a Christmas present that I made for my nephew. Little a will be turning 2 this weekend. Time sure flies! When I was thinking about what I could make him as a Christmas present, I was reminded of a tent that my babysitter had in the playroom. I loved that tent. I would play in it for hours. It was one of several of my regular forts. I don't know what it is about forts, but the small, dark, and secret space does wonders for the imagination. My husband as well had fond memories of a denim tent that his grandfather had made him. We joined forces on this project. I did the sewing, and Sam did the woodworking.

I couldn't find any free plans online that I really liked for this project, and I couldn't bring myself to pay for any, so I free-handed the whole thing. I looked at a lot of pictures on Etsy to see all of the different ways that people make tents like this. I drew out some dimensions, and set off for the fabric store. I'm going to try to dig up my scrap paper with my notes, and put together a formal tutorial for this. I will likely make more in the future, when I have more nieces, nephews, or children of my own.

The tent body is made from red and blue denim. Denim is a little more difficult to work with than cotton, but I liked how it made the tent nice and dark inside. Either would work though. Next time I make one, I will spend more time scrounging thrift stores. Perhaps I can find some flannel sheets to upcycle.

The most time-consuming part about this project was the detail work, but I think that is what makes it really special. I put in a window, in case it was too dark inside. The windows rolls up or down and is held in place with Velcro. I also decided that I needed to use my newly-discovered skills in applique, so I added little a's name down the side.

BONUS: We got to buy a staple gun to make it! Woo new tools!

As you can see from the pictures, little a was very excited about his new play tent. He even moved his rocking chair inside so he could talk on his phone in privacy. :)

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