Perfectionist sewers, avert your eyes

Never has a crafting project gone from designed to done so quickly. Well, nothing this large anyway.

I love the feeling I get from finishing a project, but sometimes the rush of happiness is much stronger. Last night, I stayed up waaaaay too late to get this awesomeness done. Partly because the contest I am entering it into deadlines TODAY and partly because I was so SO excited.

Sew Mama Sew is hosting a reinvention challenge, and I was supposed to choose one material off a list and make something out of it. I ended up choosing two and adding two of my own. Here is the material breakdown:

All these fabrics were either thrifted or saved from the trash. I did not literally take them out of a trash can, but I saved them from being thrown out.

Flannel. This dark grey flannel was the flat sheet to my bed. Then my puppy chewed on it. So naturally, I saved it. I have used bits for other projects here and there, but this one took a big chunk.

Jersey. I have a tote filled with huge pieces of jersey. I got them from a local artist. Her friend had saved them from a t-shirt factory that was going to incinerate them. They were color control samples, and they were last season’s colors

Vintage. I had two different bed sheets. One alone would’ve made a pretty weak tent, so I grabbed them both. Since they both have some pink, I think they go well. The other downside is one was a queen and one was a full. But that worked well with the whole door thing I have going on.

Ribbon. Both ribbons used in this tent were also headed for the landfill. Once again, a retailer called them last seasons’ colors. People are so strange.


I really wanted to echo the feeling of some exotic tent, not just a sheet folded in half. Having a door on the side with ruffle along the top really added to that. Plus, it makes it easier to keep an eye on things.
Simple woven ribbon stake loops. Durable, washable and still fun.
There are three ties along each side to keep things together. Both this ribbon and the green ribbon were also bound for the landfill.
Since my kiddo burns faster than anyone I’ve ever met, I used a heavier and darker fabric for the top. I am hoping this thing creates some serious shade.
I was going to do a scalloped edge, but that seemed like way more work. In the end, I like this result better.

Overall, the construction was really simple. The striped sheet was fitted and had to be cut down. I knew that would be the trickiest piece of fabric, so I started there. I had some rough dimensions, but nothing set in stone. Precision is definitely not a word you would use to describe this job. I cut that sheet into two panels, hemmed three sides and added the stake loops.

Once I had the two front panels, I laid them out on the floor on top of the floral sheet. I cut a pretty decent chunk off that sheet, and I only hemmed the side I cut. For two of the other sides, I just made sure I used the finishing that was already there.

After that, I just assembled all the pieces. The ruffles were the very last piece I did. I just cut really long strips of four-inch wide jersey. I ran a single stitch along one edge to ward off fraying. Then I did a much longer stitch along the other side and my machine just ruffled it up for me. And I must have racked up some good sewing karma because the ruffles were exactly the same length as the tent. It was strange and perfect.

So in total, five hours of sewing. And it was totally worth the sleep deprivation.

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