This was the Christmas Gift That Almost Didn't Happen. I bought the pattern and fabric (four yards of it) months ago, preshrunk the fabric and ironed it, then spent a lot of time knitting stuff and quilting potholders, and when it got down to crunch time (Dec 23) I still hadn't cut out the pieces. I'd made peace with that, though. If it got done, it got done, and if it didn't, well, J. would be just as thrilled to receive a teepee come summer time. It's not like there wouldn't be plenty of presents for him at Christmas.
My husband, having held up his end of the bargain (buying the PVC pipe and other hardware, and drilling the holes) coaxed me into at least trying. So it was around 11 pm, or maybe midnight, on Dec. 23rd, that we discovered that cotton duck shrinks by twenty percent lengthwise. D'oh. I'd preshrunk it because I knew it would shrink... it just didn't occur to me that the pattern author assumed you wouldn't preshrink it. Isn't that one of the Commandments? Always preshrink! Right?...
Christmas Eve morning saw me at the door of JoAnn Fabrics at precisely 9:00 am, purchasing another yard and a half of cotton duck, then preshrinking it, then getting back to the turkey and trimmings and all other manner of Christmas Eve tasks. After we filled the stockings that night, we went back to the tent and finished cutting, sewing and assembling... at 1:17 am Christmas Day.
(photo taken after a few hours' sleep)
Tim gets full marks for doing the hardware, and helping with the pinning, cutting, and seam ripping (yes, I sewed a 5' seam backwards). He also gets full credit for providing the necessary kick in the pants. Thanks, honey! J thanks you too.
Except for the yardage issue, I'd recommend the pattern to anyone who wants to make a great (and easy) kid's tent. It taught me how to make a French seam in the process, and it really was pretty simple to put together. The whole tent collapses (no breakdown, just pick it up) and fits behind the couch. It's such a simple piece that it almost begs for embellishment. We'll likely paint ours together in a couple of years, but here is a roundup of beautifully creative, or creatively beautiful, tents to inspire you!