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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beach and Imagination Tent Update (tutorial)

Like I said, I love this Beach and Imagination tent tutorial from Cakies.
I love it so much I am thinking about making a few more. 

The only thing that I thought it was missing was some form of storage. As is you can fold up the fabric and stack the boards, but that is loose and there is much more opportunity for parts to go missing. I love things to have a place and to be kept with together so that when I need them I don't have to go searching for all the parts.

The other thing I wanted was a way to transport the tent. I intend to take it to the beach, the park, the backyard, wherever! I want to use this tent as a sun blocker, a refuge and a place for make-believing. I didn't want to be juggling loose boards and a folded up sheet along with a diaper bag and a baby.

Here is my solution.

I took the basic tent tutorial and added a shoulder strap and wraparound ties.
These basic additions (took me about an hour to whip up) fixed my issues and I am so happy with the way they turned out.

Beach and Imagination Tent Shoulder and Ties Tutorial
What you will need:

  • Two strips of woven cotton fabric cut to 46"x3"
  • One strip of woven cotton fabric cut to 25"x7"
  • The Usual Stuff (sewing machine, hand sewing needle, fabric scissors, straight pins, matching thread, rotary cutter and mat, square ruler, etc...)
This tutorial starts after the Cakies tutorial ends. So, stitch up the fabric and elastic loops as she directs and then pick up with this tutorial for the ties and shoulder strap.

Wash and press all fabric before using (just in case it shrinks)

Cut out pieces according to the measurements, or use a rotary cutter and square ruler. (Check out this tutorial for using a rotary cutter).

Fold the all three strips in half long ways. Using a 1/2" seam allowance stitch up the long sides of the strips creating three tubes. Trim the seams to 1/4".

Pin a safety pin to one end of one of the tubes, only pin through one layer of fabric. Feed the safety pin back through the tube to turn it right-side out. Just keep scrunching up the fabric around the pin until the pin comes out the other end of the tube, then keep pulling the pin through until all the tube is right-side out. Do this to the other two tubes.

Press the tubes. Fold the raw end of the tubes in about 1/2" on each end of the tubes.

Fold the tubes in half long ways (making sure the raw ends that you just pressed are on the inside of the fold) and press again. Pin if you want to, I didn't because my fabric was staying folded pretty well.

Stitch right on the edge of the fabric to keep the edges together, hopefully the photo will illustrate what I mean. This will create a very strong shoulder strap and ties.

Fold the tent fabric in half long ways. Measure 2" from the folded edge and mark with a pin through the top layer of fabric. Measure 2" from the opposite side and mark that with a pin through the top layer. Unfold/open up the tent fabric.

Fold the ties (the two thinner strips) in half. Lay the ties (the folded ends) on the tent fabric on top of the pins that you are using as markers, the ties should have 1 1/2" on the tent fabric and the rest hanging off the edge. Pin these in place.

Stitch the ties in two places. At the top edge of the tie and at the edge of the tent fabric. Make sure to stitch these ties really well. I went back and forth a few times.

Fold the tent fabric in half again. On the same end as the ties, measure 1 1/2" from the folded edge and the same amount from the non folded edge. Mark with pins.

Fold up 1" of the wider strip (the shoulder strap) on each end, press and pin. 

Lay the shoulder strap on the tent fabric, the folded edges down. The strap should be 2" from the edge of the tent fabric that has the ties and 1 1/2" from the long edges. Pin the strap through the 1" folded ends of the strap. There will be some slack in the strap, this is a good thing.

Stitch around the 1" folded edge making a square, then stitch an X across the square. 

Now just fold the tent fabric in half and stack your 1x2s and dowel at the end without the strap and ties. Roll up tightly. Tie the ties around the bundle. Slip the tent on your shoulder and go adventuring! 


Let me know what you think! 


Monday, July 9, 2012

Beach and Imagination Tent

I saw this tent on Cakies and I fell in love! 

I just had to make one for my son.

I have been looking for a great a-frame tent tutorial for a beach tent, and this couldn't have been easier to build. I used a old bed sheet for the cover and it made the whole process super quick. I also got the guy at Lowes to cut the 8' 1x2s in half right there in the store so I didn't have to pull out the saw at home. This really couldn't have been easier. 

I loved watching my baby boy play in the tent pitched in our living room. He loved crawling back and forth. It did get a little rickety when he tried to pull himself up on the 1x2s, but once he is walking that won't be a problem.

I think this tent will make the perfect escape from the sun on our beach week and now we have an awesome place to make-believe for years to come!

Please go over to Cakies and check out this tutorial!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Audrey Sunglasses Case (Tutorial)

I have needed a sunglasses case for years. I generally just toss my sunglasses in my purse or beach bag and they end up getting all scratched and smudgy. And who else to grace the front of a sunglasses case than the elegant lady who wore the shades so very very well?

Here is my tutorial for the Audrey Sunglasses Case.
Audrey Sunglasses Case Tutorial
What you will need:
For the case:
  • 9"x9" square of quilting cotton ("grey fabric")
  • 9"x9" square  of quilting cotton ("multi fabric")
  • 9"x9" square  thin cotton quilting batting ("batting")
  • 1" squares of male and female Velcro
  • Drinking glass or something with a round with a  2 3/4" diameter (doesn't have to be exactly 2 3/4" diameter, that's just the size I used) 
  • The Usual Stuff (sewing machine, hand sewing needle, fabric scissors, paper scissors, straight pins, matching thread, rotary cutter and mat, square ruler, etc...)

Wash and press all fabric before using (just in case it shrinks)

Cut out pieces according to the measurements, or use a rotary cutter and square ruler. (Check out this tutorial for using a rotary cutter). 

Use the drinking glass to draw a half circle in two opposing corners, about 1/2" from the edge of the fabric. This is one of those cases where you should use tailors chalk, but I found that using a pencil was much easier because I could get much closer to the edge of the glass.

Layer the grey and multi fabrics (right sides together and matching up the edges), layer the cotton batting on top of this stack. Pin.

Stitch 1/2" seam alowance around the edge and along the rounded line you drew from the drinking glass. Leave a opening for turning on the opposite edge from the curved edges and in the middle of the squares.

Trim seams to about 1/8" all the way around except the unstitched opening for turning, leave this alone.

Turn the whole thing right sides out. Press very well, making sure to press the raw opening edges to the inside.

Pin the Velcro squares 1/2" from the top of the pouch (the side with the curved edges) and roughly 3" apart. Stitch around the edges of the Velcro and in an X across the square.

This is when you should stencil on your design, skip down to the bottom of the tutorial to find instructions of making an painting a stencil.

Fold the case in half with the multi fabric on the inside. Pin along the outside edge up to where the curve starts. Make sure the raw edges of the opening are not poking out.

Stitch right along the edge of the case, starting at the bottom of the curved edge and going along to the folded edge. 

Audrey Stencil Tutorial
What you will need:
For the stencil:
  • Printer paper
  • Transparency film
  • Fine-tip marker
  • Xacto knife and blades (always use a new blade for every new project you start)
  • Self healing cutting mat
  • Paper Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric paint
  • Paint sponge

Print out the image onto regular printer paper. The image should measure roughly 4 1/2" x 4" when printed. (I printed mine onto scrap paper, that's why it has writing and other things in the background. Go green :).

Trace over the image with a marker to make sure you know where you are supposed to be cutting. 

Cut out the image and tape it to the cutting mat.

Tape a sheet of transparency film over the image. Make sure there is plenty of room around the image. I usually leave at least 3" around the image that I will be making into a stencil. That way you can be sure that there is no issues when painting. 

Use a sharp Xacto knife, cut out the area of the stencil that you colored with the marker. Continue cutting until the whole image has been cut out.

Test the stencil by placing it over a piece of scrap paper. Make sure not to brush the paint onto the stencil. Dabbing in and up and down motion is the best method. 

If you need to this is the time to make changes or slight adjustments to your stencil.

Tape your stencil in place on the case. Dab on the paint in an up and down motion. 

Remove the stencil and save for use on future projects.

A note on stencil images:
Find an image that you want to use, I chose this really great Audrey Hepburn image because it is simple and pretty much ready to go. If you want to find a different image try Googling things like "flower stencil," or "bird stencil," also using the terms "vector" or "clip art" can result in some really great stencil-ready images.

If you find an image that is not already a stencil then you will have a little more work ahead of you. It is easiest to just use images that are supposed to be stencils. If you fall in love with an image that is not already a stencil image then try to use something that is in black and white with clear lines. Remember that free floating doesn't work with stencils, there have to be connecting piece, so you may have to add these connectors.

I hope you are inspired to make your own sunglasses case. 
Let me know what you think of mine.
If you make one please share your thoughts on the tutorial and send me some pictures of your project.

Xoxo and Happy Stitching!