Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


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Crochet Camping In Miniature!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I happened across this fabulous little book by Kate Bruning called ‘Let’s Go Camping’.

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Well, despite the proper thing to do being to put it on my Christmas wish list at this time of year, it somehow found its way into my Amazon shopping cart and, lo and behold, dropped through the letterbox a day or two later.

Of course, the sensible move would be to pop it on the relevant section on the book shelf, wait until I finished my really long gifts-to-make-for-Christmas list and then think about crocheting miniature camping paraphernalia. But I thought I’d just have ‘a quick flick through’, whilst grabbing five minutes with a cup of coffee.

To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – “Big mistake. HUGE!”

Faced with delightful images like this of a crocheted caravan complete with crocheted bunk beds and kitchen sink, how could I possibly resist the crochet itch which was insisting on being scratched?

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Well obviously I couldn’t, but I did have a moment of clarity which told me that making anything in the book would soothe the itch, so rather sensibly decided to ignore the time-eating caravan and hook up a quick little picnic scene instead.

And here it is!

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Just look at that sweet little teepee!

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Kate suggests covering wooden skewers or similar with washi tape to use as tent poles, but I improvised with some twigs from the garden which work just as well.

let's go camping kate bruning bunting

Miniature bunting was made in no time at all.

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A circular rug provides a more comfortable sleeping area for the playmobil characters.

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I made three tiny cushions both round and square, a chequerboard picnic blanket (my own design) and what picnic is complete without a hamper full of food?

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The lego baseplate will have to suffice until I get around to making the crocheted camping backdrop complete with all manner of trees, bushes and even snow-capped mountains!

lets go camping playmat mountains

The Boys have already declared ownership and spend many a happy minute playing camping with their “mens”.

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At only £7.49 I think it’s a great affordable Christmas present idea. Are you putting it on your list?

(This is not a formal review – just my own opinion)

On another note – swap partners have now been allocated for the #stitchingsanta. If you haven’t received your email, please check your spam folder first before getting in touch.


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How To Make A Child’s Teepee Wigwam

I know it’s bad form to utter the ‘C’ word while it’s still the school Summer holidays, but my August make for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network is this beautiful Teepee, which is indeed a Christmas present for a little girl in the family.

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I have to admit that this is not the first Christmas present I’ve made this year as I tend to make them all year round, as and when an idea springs to mind, but it’s definitely my favourite so far.

Isn’t it sweet?

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There are LOTS of tutorials out there showing many ways to make your own wigwam, but none of them were quite what I wanted, so this is my version which is suitable for a toddler – adjust the measurements upwards to make a larger tent for older children.

It is an amalgamation of several basic designs that I’ve come across which I have then personalised to suit the recipient using various appliquéd motifs and letters.

This lovely fabric bundle arrived from Minerva: –

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The white base fabric for the teepee is a thick cotton drill which makes a nice, strong tent. I also chose two contrasting fabrics which are lighter weight cottons; a gorgeous ‘Cath Kidston’ inspired floral cotton poplin and a dusky pink polycotton.

You will need: –

  • 2 1/2m of cotton drill
  • 1m floral fabric
  • 1m plain fabric
  • selection of scraps from your stash
  • 4 x plastic overflow pipe, each measuring 2.00m x 22mm (99p each from Wickes)
  • A leather shoelace or similar

Using the large diagram as a guide, fold your 2 1/2m of white fabric in half lengthwise and cut out as shown.

Cutting layout diagram

You should now have three equally sized triangles and two half-triangles. Stitch the two half-triangles together along the long straight edge with a narrow seam to make a single triangle. (I cut mine wrong, hence the off-centre seam!)

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The bottom edges can be hemmed if you wish, although I left mine as the selvedge forms the bottom.

Cut rectangles of fabric out of the contrast floral fabric as per the two smaller diagrams, then make about 4m of bias binding using your plain fabric.

(See my tutorial here on how to make bias binding).

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Apply bias binding to one side and lower edge of the two large pieces of floral fabric – these will form your front curtains.

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To shape the sides of the curtains to match the slope of the wigwam, place a large white triangle over the curtain, bottom edges matching and raw edges up the side. Your floral fabric will poke out beyond the edge of the triangle as seen below.

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Cut off the excess floral fabric.

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Take a curtain and pin the top edge to the bottom edge of your small white triangle, wrong sides together.

Take your other curtain and pin over the top of the first curtain.

It should now look like this.

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Sew together using a flat fell seam. (This previous post shows how to make a flat fell seam.)

You can leave it plain as this type of seam leaves a nice neat finish, but I chose to decorate mine with a strip of bias binding and a row of pom pom trim from my stash.

Similar pompom trim can be bought here.

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Make the curtain tiebacks as follows.

Fold the small floral rectangles in half lengthwise and stitch a small seam along one short and the long side.

Turn and press.

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With raw edges matching, pin and baste about halfway down the unfinished sloping edge of each curtain.

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Take a large white triangle and cut a 25 x25cm square for the window the base of which should be about 58cm up from the bottom edge.

Snip diagonally into each corner by 1cm and fold in a 1cm double hem. Pin in place.

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Stitch, sewing across corners as shown.

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Cut two little curtains, each one 15 x 27cm.

Hem all four edges and trim the opening edges with more pom pom trim.

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Make two tiny curtain tiebacks: –

Fold a 10cm length of bias binding in half lengthways and stitch close to the edge.

Stitch a 1cm square piece of velcro to one end.

Pin curtain to window at top and side.

Insert tieback under curtain about 10cm up from the lower edge, velcro side uppermost as shown.

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Stitch curtain in place, catching tieback in seam as you go.

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Sew the other piece of velcro to the inside of the window.

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You can continue to decorate your teepee or just sew the sides together at this point – just scroll down to the relevant section.

I personalised this one with a name which I first printed out on card using Cooper std font in size 240pt. Separating the letters makes them easier to cut out. For best results use a craft knife.

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Fuse a piece of interfacing onto the wrong side of your contrast fabric and trace around each of the letters making sure you reverse them first.

(I have plenty in my stash, but you can buy interfacing here at Minerva.)

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Cut around each letter carefully using embroidery scissors for accuracy.

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Pin the letters in place and sew above the window using a satin stitch on your machine.

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I decorated the sides of the teepee with a mixture of appliquéd flowers and butterflies – just click the links below to download the PDF for these.

Butterflies

Flowers

Each motif was interfaced before being cut out and sewn on with satin stitch as before.

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They look quite nice on the wrong side as well!

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Now for putting the whole teepee together.

Start by sewing each of the four sections together at the side seams, wrong sides together, in a 1cm seam.

Turn so that right sides are now facing each other and sew a 4cm seam (effectively just a huge French seam) which will create the tubes through which your pipes will pass.

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Sew a small square of velcro onto the front door curtains in the same way as before, and a matching piece inside the curtain close to the seam.

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Cut the pipes to 1800mm in length and thread through the casings.

(You may have to trim an inch or two from the top of the teepee to make room for all the poles like I had to).

Tie a leather shoelace or other cording around the top of the tent to keep the poles in place.

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And that’s it!

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I had to get a photo with the chickens!

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Hopefully I haven’t ruined the surprise as I’m pretty certain this little girl’s mother doesn’t read my blog!

As this teepee only takes up about one square metre of floor space, it is ideal for indoor use and, I suspect, this one will live permanently in her bedroom as a quiet reading nook.

Teepees aren’t only for girls though – what little boy wouldn’t love his own pirate version using this pirate fabric from Minerva?

Or how about a unisex wigwam to suit a brother and sister with this gorgeous Kite print?

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Wouldn’t it look lovely draped with fairy lights and bunting?

In fact I might just go and make some bunting now……