Monday, April 27, 2009

Page 11: The Tepee

Into the Tent! This is a fun little page that my kids like to put Mr. & Mrs. Noah into to "sleep" when they get off the boat. I also thought it would be fun to have a little compass (what kid doesn't like to play with watches or a compass?), so I made a little pocket for that. You could be creative and add whatever you like to this page in the white space. I found the compass at the dollar store as part of a key chain. I just cut off the part with the metal loop and sewed it on like that with a pocket for it to tuck into. My kids get a kick out of looking at the compass and figuring out which way is north.

Items needed: A fun, "feely" material for the tent (I used some neon green fuzz), Ric-rac (in any color) for the stripes on the teepee, a tad bit of Brown felt for the Tepee sticks at the top, one small zipper (around 5-6" long- can cut zipper down if you can't find a short enough zipper- they often don't sell them short these days), a felt square in any color for the compass pocket, and a compass or old watch to stick/sew into the pocket. I found my compass at the dollar store in the key chain section. Optional fun things to stick in the teeppee: Noah figurines, animal finger puppets from Ikea, Go-fish/memory cards, cheerios for snacking on.
Teaches: zippering, imaginative play, compass/watch reading

Cut out the following pieces out of felt: Take your fun fuzzy/rigid/groovy material for the tepee and cut into a triangle (approximately: 8"w x 8.5"h x 8.5"h). Cut your ric-rac into 3 pieces that fit across the tent lengthwise and then some (mine measured to be 8.5", 6.5", 3.5"), Cut out three little sticks from the brown felt (I used up some of my scraps for these), and cut a little pocket (mine measures: 2.5"w x 2.25"h). I used a pinking shears cut on the top of my pocket for fun/durability.

Directions: Take your 3 pieces of ric rac and sew them onto your triangle. Leave a little bit of ric rac at the edges, and fold under the material before sewing so that it provides a finished edge on the ends (ric rac will fray). You are going to want to double stitch/reinforce the ric rac in the center of the tepee (I just did a back stitch there in the center while sewing on the ric rac), since that ric rac will eventually be snipped right through when putting the zipper in.

Then you are going to want to put the zipper in. There are a number of ways to do this. You can first cut the slit in the tepee and sew it on, or you can cut the slit AFTER sewing the zipper on. I cut it after, so I will show you how to sew it on in that fashion, but feel free to sew that zipper on however you feel most comfortable. First, place the closed zipper on the underside of the tepee, where you want it to be. Make sure to position the zipper so it reaches the bottom of the tepee, but not the top. You can pin the zipper in place if you want. If you've used a zipper that has been cut down, you are going to want to make sure to reinforce the stitches at the end of the zipper (top) over and over so the zipper doesn't fall apart.

To sew the zipper to the felt, just sew around it (by sewing on the back side of the felt, so the zipper is on top of the back of the felt, but the zipper is wrong side up), making a Π shape, with the opening at the bottom of the teepee. Make sure to reinforce the zipper at the top. Then you are going to cut the slit from the front where the zipper is hiding. You can use a pair of scissors or a seam ripper. You'll want to cut your slit slightly smaller than the length of your zipper so the ending is hidden under the felt (my slit was about 5.5" long). Now your zipper should be peeking out. Unzip/zip it a few times to make sure it works. You may have to trim the ric rac back a bit on the slit part so it doesn't get tangled in the zipper.

Then, you are going to want to position the brown felt sticks where you want them on the muslin page (you can pin the tepee into place if it helps), so they peek out of the top of the tepee. Sew the sticks into place, then sew the tepee ontop into place. When sewing the tepee into place, be sure to double reinforce the stitching at the very bottom of the tepee where the slit is (when you're sewing it will be a bumpity ride as you go from teepee material to zipper to slit to zipper to teepee material.

Lastly, you will want to sew on your pocket (very simple), just sew around it on the muslin leaving the top open so you can stick the compass inside (if you want to sew on some words like "compass", sew this onto the pocket before sewing the pocket onto the muslin page). I kept my compass on the little black belt it came on with the key chain (with the key chain part cut off) and sewed that black belt to the muslin so it could reach into the pocket as well as have enough slack to be taken out and played with.
Here's a picture of a similar key chain I found online, to give you a general idea of what to look for at the dollar store if you go compass-huntin':
There you have it! A Tepee! Now, go campin'!
And here's my mom's rendition of the Tepee page (the original!): Also, here's a sketch (from the 70's!) my mom made when she was putting together her quiet book. Looks like she originally planned on making a little Indian doll to go with:


A&AWilcox said...

Thanks so much for posting another page. I am makeing 2 and I was starting to loose steam so now I am reinspired!

Fowler family said...

Good! I am sorry it has taken me so long to update! I'll try to be more diligent. It is good to know people are actually using the blog! And it is helping others complete their quiet books! Also, feel free to grab my "I'm making a quiet book" button (on the sidebar of my blog)and put it on your blog. I'm so proud of you for attempting to make these books! They are a lot of work, but the finished product is so worth it! Your grandkids will treasure it! You can't say that about a lot of other things you can buy.

rian said...

What a great idea. I found you through Anna Fowler's button. I am going to start one today. It "just so happens" (no joke) that I bought a huge pack of felt yesterday! If you are interested in other sew along projects check us out at

A&AWilcox said...

I had another question about the picnic page could you explain it to me please. Again Thanks for all your help!

Mutuelle sante said...

Thanks a ton it has been a fantastic support, now to make a quiet book is without a doubt simple by using your recommendation. Thank you