Teepee, tent, reading nook, hiding place, girl zone, clubhouse. Whatever you call it, I am in love. Every kid needs a spot to unwind and have time to themselves, there is something about crawling inside a cozy little nook to play or relax that is so charming. I wanted to create a little tent for the girls that we could set up in the living room (instead of trying to find spots for blanket forts that always fall down!) or can be taken outside to the garden for a bit of shady outdoor play. Also, we attended a super cute camping party at a friends house and I was challenged to recreate one of the tents- challenge accepted! My interpretation was a canvas teepee tent.
According to the internet- this is so 2012, or 2011. What can I say I am a little late on trends. Anyways, there is certainly alot of online inspiration out there, but the directions I found online and in one of my favorite sewing books “Growing up Sew Liberated” were a bit too complicated for me so I decided to wing it and just try coming up with it myself. Doesn’t make sense right- but to me somehow it seemed easier than reading through twenty odd steps of coming up with my own pattern anyway. I decided to use the cheapest form of canvas out there- a drop cloth from Home Depot! Home Depot was actually the only store I had to go to for this project which is pretty awesome. Eleanor and I made a trip there this morning and picked up two 1/2 inch pvc pipes (had them cut them in half so I had four 5 foot sections) and a 6×9 ft. canvas drop cloth.
When we got home I roughly set up the poles, tied them together up top, while winding yarn in and around the poles to hold them together in a teepee shape.
I pulled out the tape measure and roughly measured the distance between the poles, height etc. I drew up this sketch.
I then laid out my drop cloth, folded in half and drew up the measurements- the ends became the doors, the folded triangle is the back triangle of the teepee and the triangle cut in the center became the two sides. I then folded each triangle down at the top around 8 inches and pinned what would later be finished with bias tape to look like bunting flags.
For the doors I cut off 15 inches off of each top and traced them (complete triangle shape) and cut out chalk cloth to sew to the remaining door fabric. This is by far my favorite part of the tent, and ideal spot for the girls to doodle, draw or make signs.
Now for the tough part! The sewing. I sewed up each side wrong sides together first- not an easy task when you are using a heavy drop cloth and this much fabric! I added the bias tape to the triangle top flags. I used pink, yellow and red to add color and also finished the edges of the doors with yellow bias. Once all of the sides were sewed together I turned it inside out and encased those raw edge seams and sewed the pockets for the poles. Then had to undo half of those seams to make them larger- ugh. So much work.
Finally, after a few long hours of sewing this up I slipped the poles in their slots, added pvc pipe caps to the bottom of the pipes to keep out dirt/grass when we bring it outside and set it up. Given that it was a self drafted pattern I think it turned out pretty awesome! Seeing the girls playing inside it with their “Girls Rule” sign posted on top makes it all worth it.
*although I don’t really give enough direction for this to be a true tutorial it might serve as some inspiration for anyone trying to tackle this project..saves so much money! I was so excited to post about this I couldn’t wait to finish it- I plan to get longer poles since I made the fabric a big large, and I need to replace the yarn I held the tops together with some twine or leather shoelace. But for now it is done, and the girls love it.