Why stop at just sharing pictures of the fruits of my weekend labors? Actually, to say labor is stretching it- this pyramid-shaped tent was so easy: there was only minimal frustration at reading a handwritten pattern (created perhaps for more experienced seamstresses) and so I've interpreted it here along with my changes.
My suggestion is to read through the entire how-to before you begin.
Disclaimer: This thing is short. It only measures about four and a half feet tall. The key here is to use wider fabric, hence to work with larger triangles. The geometry is very simple, but it can be a challenge to find really wide, durable weight fabric.
Stay tuned for #2, where I (and my trusty companions) will create one large version from a 9' x 12' canvas dropcloth.
3 yds fabric at least 54" wide **I used lightweight denim 58" wide.
Thread that compliments fabric and it's weight.
4- 5' poles or sticks **I used 3/4 UVC pipe from the hardware store.
Begin by taking your three yard length and folding it in half widthwise. Press it on the fold line, open it back up and cut. This will give you 2- 1 1/2 yd panels at the original widths.
Next, find the center point and mark it with a fabric pencil. Make a fold from the center point to the lower corner on each side, which will yield 2 right triangles and 1 isosceles triangle per panel.
You should now have in front of you: two full triangles and 4 right triangles.
Time to create big triangles out of the little ones for the front and back pieces using a single needle stitch and 1/4" seam allowance.
For the back of the tent, pin and then stitch two of the right triangles RST (right sides together aka face to face) from bottom to top, and adding a few backstitches at the end.
Press the seam open.
Next, create the front of the tent by stitching the other two right triangles RST, however, this time, begin your sewing 28" from the bottom. Pin everything together just as you did before, but begin the stitch at the 28" up mark. This will form the opening which to crawl through.
Stitch up to the top point and backstitch.
At this point, you may choose to finish the raw edges of your openings with a 1/4" hem or a zig-zag stitch. The denim selvage on my fabric looked kind of stylish, so I just left it raw.
Press seam open.
Now press the bottom edges of all 4 of your triangles up 1/4" and then fold it over another 1/4" to enclose it and hem each triangle seperately. An easy way to do this is to fold the edge up 1/2" and press, then open it up and fold the raw edge up to the pressed line, then over again.
You should have 4 triangles with neat hems all the way across them when you are finished.
**Now is the time to add any embroidery, applique or details you'd like to each panel. For the one I'm making for Miles' preschool auction, the kids will be stamping their handprints on some jeans pockets, which I'll stitch on, then stuff with little outdoor themed toys: plastic bugs, bubbles, a jumprope, etc.
I made a Pueblo inspired sun for this one by cutting some circles of fabric, putting the foot in the center of the stacked circles and sloppily moving it in a spiral shape. I cut the triangles, pinned them on, and used one continuous stitch to attach them:
Once your details are on, it is time to stitch the 4 triangular side panels together.
Pin WST (wrong sides together/back to back) while matching the hemlines up, then sew the front triangle to one of the side panels. Stop sewing 6" from the top to leave an opening for the poles to fit through. Press seam open.
Now turn it inside out (flip it over) and iron down along the seam (one panel on top of the other).
Using a ruler (transparent ones work well for this), mark a line which measures 1 3/4" from the edge and pin.
Topstitch from bottom edge all the way up to the center of the triangle, while minding the opening left for the pole.
This is the casing for one pole and it should be on the INSIDE of your tent.
Admire your handiwork.
Repeat for other panels until the tent is all sewn and the casings are formed.
The last one will require you to flip the whole thing inside out, of course. Don't fret. You can do it!
Fit the pipes, sticks or poles into the casings and finesse the poles all the way open and taught. Tie the tops of the poles securely with fabric scraps. I used strips from an awesome toweling I found on a roll at the fabric store. It was very grippy because of it's coarse weave and it holds the poles together well.
If you use UVC pipe, as I did, you may choose to paint the top portion brown to resemble sticks. I'm going to replace mine with actual sticks once I scavenge them on this property, so I didn't bother to paint mine. Bamboo poles might be nice, too. Just make sure to measure them before you sew the casings since they vary a bit.
I also think I'm going to run a stitch across the bottoms of each casing hole because I don't want to see the poles sticking out the bottoms. However, one could fashion a mat for the inside and use the exposed poles to attach the mat to, hence making them useful, if not handsome.
Use your creative imagination and make an awesome tent for you and the wee ones! Please feel free to email questions if you have them, as well.
**This project, though it has some Native American Indian inspiration/flair, does not have any authentic features, which is why I'm calling it a playtent, rather than a tipi. It is actually much more like a pyramid than a tent or a tipi, oddly enough!
I wish it could go without saying that pixie campbell or pink coyote assumes no responsibility for playtent mishaps. Enjoy this project at your own risk!