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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! 


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