This project was a freaking dream to make!! Dylan M put out a call on instagram looking for sewers to create projects with her new fabric collection Playground. The projects would be photographed and included in her upcoming lookbook and also brought to a quilt market this fall. I was so honored to be included among many sewers working with this adorable line of fabric!
The bummer of this story is that the deadline was TIGHT y'all. So tight that the fedex package containing this tent arrived about 30 minutes too late to make it in the photoshoot. Sooo there are no professional photos of the finished tent and instead there's just a goofy one of me in my home studio standing inside the tent beaming because I freaking love the way this thing turned out!!
**Disclaimer! The yardage that I included below is what I ordered from Windham to create this project but I honestly am not sure how much I used of each individual print because of the scrappy look I was going for. Also, I am bad at math so I tend to get more fabric so I'm not running short especially on a big project like this.
Let's get started! I used the following materials
- Starry Dark x 1.25 yards
- Starry Peach x 1.25 yards
- Starry Citrine x 1.25 yards
- Starry Herbal x 1.25 yards
- Among the Stars Blue x 1.25 yards
- Among the Stars Dark x 1.25 yards
- Among the Stars Peach x 1.25 yards
- Hula Hoop
- Fun Trim (optional)
- Hot Glue (optional)
Step 1: Iron all of your fabric so that it is smooth and ready for cutting. 6 of the prints will be used to make half square triangles and 1 will be a solid square to break up some of the patterns. Cut all of the fabric to be made into half square triangles into 13" x 13" squares.
Step 2: Cut the fabric to be solid squares into 12" x 12" squares.
Step 3: To make the half square triangles I'm using the two at a time method. To do this you take the 2 different patterns and lay them on top of each other good sides facing each other and wrong sides facing out. With an acrylic ruler and a pen, draw a straight line from corner to corner. Sew a straight stitch 1/4" on either of this line. Then use a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler to cut down the center line. Now you have two half square triangles! Press open with an iron and then trim the edges to be a 12" x 12" square. *Note that because I used the 2 at a time method I made more quilt blocks than I actually needed - you can use your extras to make a fun floor cushion like this!
Step 4: After you have 48 squares you can start arranging your quilt blocks to create the "skirt" of your canopy. The dimensions will entirely depend on the size of hula hoop you purchased. My final dimensions was 6 blocks x 8 block (or roughly 6' x 8')
If you have sewed a quilt top before then you will already know how to put the rest together but if you have not then this explanation is for you! You want to start by sewing rows together - I sewed 8 rows that were 6 quilt blocks long. After that you want to iron each row alternating the directions you press the seams. So for the first row iron all seams to the left and then on your next row iron all the seams to the right so that when you sew the rows together your seams will nest and create less bulk.
Step 5: Lastly you want to hem the sides and bottom of the skirt.
Step 6: Now we're going to work on the top part. I wanted to continue the scrappy look of this canopy and use all of the prints. To figure out the size of each triangle I used this formula that I found from another blog post linked here
width of the triangle base: 1/8 hula hoop circumference + 1.5″
length of the triangle: 3/4 of the hula hoop diameter
Once you have your template made you can cut out 8 triangles.
Step 7: Cut a piece of fabric 24" long and 2" wide. This is going to be the loop you use to hang the canopy from the ceiling. Stitch the piece closed along the length of the fabric with the good side of the fabric facing inside. Next use a safety pin to turn the little tube inside out and iron.
Step 8: Start to sew the triangles of fabric together. I found it easiest to sew two sets of 4 triangles. Then you will add the loop you created and sew the two sets together.
Step 9: I made the skirt just slightly larger than the diameter of the tent so before attaching the two pieces together I added a basting stitch along the top edge of the skirt. Then I pulled one of the threads to gather the fabric of the skirt so that it perfectly aligned with the diameter of the tent top. Normally I hate using pins but these pieces can very easily become distorted so it's important to pin together before sewing - make sure you're pinning with the good sides facing each other and the wrong sides facing out. I first used my normal machine to sew the pieces together. Then after I was able to turn the tent inside out and ensure everything was lined up and looking good I went back and serged this seam. If you don't have a serger you can use bias tape to cover up the raw edges or just leave them be as it's on the inside and will mostly be covered by the hula hoop on the inside anyhow.
Step 10: Next we need to make ties to be able to attach your hula hoop on the inside. I used scraps leftover from all the other cuttings but each piece was roughly 2 inches wide and about 8 inches long. Since these ties are on the inside and not as visible I folded each piece along length with the good side facing out and serged along the perimeter for a faster way to create the ties.
To attach the ties turn the tent inside out and sew the middle of the tie to the bottom seam of each triangle so they are evenly spaced out.
Step 11 (optional): Lastly, if you want to add trim to the opening of your tent you can now do so! I attached this cream pom pom trim to the inside of the tent opening.
Step 12 (optional): I didn't want to leave the hula hoop bright candy green even though it would be on the inside. So I cut scraps into 2 inch strips and wrapped them around the hula hoop - hot gluing as I went to make sure the strips of fabric were secure.
Step 13: Tie your wrapped hula hoop in place and hang up your beautiful new tent!!
Love it when a project ends up looking like my sketch