I’ve received many great compliments on the play tent in my daughter’s play room, so I thought I would share the pattern that I used and a few pros and cons.
This past December, I finally got in full play room mode. With all of our daughter’s neat things that she got for Christmas, I knew that she needed a special place for her abundance of fun stuff. But I wanted it to be a “common” area- an area that we could transform over the years as she grew older, and an area that could be a fun place for her, her cousins, and her friends.
Luckily, we had such a room upstairs between the two bedrooms. So I worked on transforming the previous “sitting room” into a playful kids’ room. One of the items that I knew I wanted her to have was a play tent or teepee. I wanted something big enough for a few kids and something that would almost be the room centerpiece. While at a sale at Hancock’s Fabrics, I found this pattern on sale for 99 cents! (It wasn’t discontinued, just on a 1 day sale at Hancock’s). It is Butterick Pattern B4251. It looked easy enough to make, so I picked it up.
A month later, and the play tent was finished. Obviously, it was not a quick project. But it turned out great. Here’s a few things I learned from sewing this project that I would like to pass on to anyone else contemplating something similar:
- It was super fun to watch this pattern come together. The pattern has two different options for the design- one for a two-tone design, and one for a one-color design.
- You can design it to match your playroom color/scheme.
- It is extremely sturdy. The teepee uses PVC pipe as the braces to hold it up. While sewing, you are making the casings for the pipe to fit in as you piece the material together. This creates a heavy, stable tent that is highly difficult to be toppled over. It is not flimsy like many of the store bought play tents.
- The size of the tent is huge! Butterick states that it is 82 inches high and 72 inches in diameter. My husband, daughter, and I can all fit in this tent without being too squished. Believe me, if there is ever a disaster near our house we are grabbing this teepee and heading for the hills.
- The pattern also comes with a template to make a matching play mat. I have not made this yet, but it looks easier to stitch together than the tent and would be a very cute matching set.
- I would not classify this as a “beginner” sewing pattern. I would say that I’m an “intermediate” seamtress, and I had to get the seam ripper out a few times myself. Not that a beginner couldn’t do the project, it would just take some, patience, and maybe learning a few new skills.
- I’m a Simplicity pattern girl, so using a Butterick pattern was new to me. One would think “a pattern is a pattern”, but not really when it comes to the instructions. There were a few things, such as the instructions on making the casings for the teepee poles, that were a tad confusing (thus the seam ripper), but they came together once I was actually doing the step. But, like I stated, I typically use Simplicity patterns so it may have been that I am just used to their pattern instruction wording.
- This was not a “cheap” project. If you want a play tent for under $20, don’t do this one (unless you have 13 yards of fabric around the house). The cost of about 13 yards of fabric for the tent itself and several PVC pipes for the poles adds up quickly. By shopping things on sale, we kept the cost around the $40 mark, but it could easily add to alot more if using designer fabric.
Since I have made the teepee/tent, if you have any questions about the construction or the materials, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to help you out!
According to the Butterick website, here are the specs for the tent:
TEPEE AND MAT: Package includes patterns and instructions to make Tepee A, B: overall, 80″ H × 72″ diameter; inside vertical clearance 55″. B: contrast lower front sections. Measurements are approximate and may vary with individual technique.
NOTIONS: Tepee A, B: Six 1″ Diameter PVC Pipes, Each 84″ Long, Drill with 3/8″ Drill Bit, Twelve 22mm Wooden Beads with Large Holes in Two Colors, Spray Paint, 2 yds. of 1″ Ribbon to Match Pipes, 3 yds. of 1″ Ribbon for Front Ties, 11/4 yds. of 3/8″ Ribbon for Tepee Casing and Fusible Interfacing Remnant, 11/2″ × 11/2″. Also for B: 3/8 yd. of 21/2″ Beaded Fringe and 1/2 yd. of 1/2″ Flexible Braid.
|Fabric widths given in inches.|
|CONTRAST B (Lower Front)|
|45″, 54″, 60″*/**||13/8|
|Since I changed from WordPress to Blogspot, the comments from there did not transfer over. But I wanted you to be able to see them because a few of the comments highlighted some valid concerns about the tent pattern.
April Lara on said:
That looks promising!