Now that Christmas has finally come and gone I can post my Christmas projects. I would have liked to have posted them earlier, but I knew that even if I STRICTLY prohibited access to my blog my mother would peek. She gets it from her mother who once carefully unwrapped all the Christmas presents under the tree and then carefully rewrapped them.

My parents are finishing their basement and one of the rooms is going to be a much needed and soon to be much loved playroom. I thought it would be nice if Santa brought a couple of goodies to help fill it up. I played the little elf and this is what I helped Santa make. First, here's my inspiration from "The Land of Nod" (the Crate and Barrel for kids). I highly recommend signing up for their mail catalog. If nothing else, it gives you great ideas for decorating...for FREE! And who doesn't love getting something cute in the mail?

Here's my rendition, I apologize that the photography and the set aren't quite as cute. At least I've got a cute little model. Thanks Maddie!

I'll give you the semi-quick run through of how I made it and try to post some illustrations later this week.

First, I bought 12 yards of a solid aqua mystery $1.50/yd fabric with a little stretch at Walmart. I also bought 1 1/2 yards of another $1.50 mystery fabric in a matching aqua gingham that I wish would show up in the picture better. Then, I purchased a LARGE hula-hoop (also at Walmart).

I began by measuring around the hula-hoop, and then cut 2 pieces of the gingham fabric the same length plus 2" and about 15" wide for the pennant top. Then, I folded the pieces in half lengthwise over and over until it was about 8" wide. Next, I cut off the bottom two corners at an angle to create the triangles of the pennant trim around the top. I left about a 4" space between the top and the beginning of the triangles. Then, I sewed the two pieces together, clipped the corners and turned it inside out. Finally, I stitched along the edged to make them stay crisp.

Then, I cut three pieces of the solid aqua fabric which was 60" wide into 3 yard lengths. I sewed them together along the long edges to form the tent walls. Then I turned under and sewed the two unfinished edges to well...finish them. Next, I hemmed the bottom. Next, I gathered the top of the walls and sewed it to the pennant trim.

This next part gets a little tricky. I traced my hula hoop and folded the tracing in quarters. I cut out a quarter and used it as my pattern for the peaked top after a little alteration which I keep trying to find the words to explain, but I think I'm just going to have to draw a picture later. Basically, I elongated it and made the bottom edge less curvy.

Then I sewed those pieces together and sewed them to the walls and pennant trim. On the inside, I sewed a strip of fabric about 6 inches wide to the seam connecting the top and walls. Then I folded it in half to form a tube and sewed it again forming a casing for the hula hoop.

Last, I sewed a little circular casing around the top peak on the outside and inserted a metal quick chain link found at Walmart. It looks like this and was next to the screws and chains:

Finally, I inserted the hula hoop into the inside tube. Thankfully, I got a hula hoop that was easy to pull apart because it had these little inserts in it that lit up when you moved it. It would be easy enough to cut one using a saw if you couldn't find such a hoop. The tube on the inside holds it together just fine.

I cut a hole for a window, but had such a hard time edging it with the gingham and creating the middle cross part that I'm not even going to bother explaining. If you really want windows, I suggest cutting a rectangle or even better a circle and then using bias tape to cover the cut edges Forget the panes...they're a pain.


Kacey said…
Can I just say that I am VERY VERY VERY impressed! You are like Wonder Woman or something, seriosuly! I have been dying for the same little play tent for the kids - just waiting until they are old enough but also couldn't justify the cost at the moment. How FABULOUS are yout o figire it all out. Can you come and visit, just for a little while? Puleeez? :o) I'm so excited that I may be able to make this now. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Can't wait to see what other things you came up with.
Shana said…
You are one amazingly talented woman!
Your improv turned out every bit as good as the original. And I'm sure the kiddos will love it!
Amazing! Keep it coming!

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