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Posts Tagged ‘playing outside’

a tentA few months ago Joann’s was having a 99 cent pattern sale.  I bought a ton of patterns that floated my boat at the time.  One of the patterns was for a children’s circus tent.  I thought it would be fun to sew in my boy’s sewing club.  When I looked at the yardage that it required I immediately nixed that idea.  This puppy requires 21 yards of fabric!  Even if you could find cheap $2 a yard fabric (which is never something cool like army men and transformers), it would cost $45 in material alone, not to count the endless amount of notions:  a hula hoop, velcro, bias tape, batting, ribbon and hooks.  Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy something rather than make it.

Last week Jacob was reaking havoc looking through the shelves in my sewing room and came across the tent.

Jacob:  I would really like this.  Can you please make it for me?

Me:  (How could I refuse that?)  I don’t know I’ll have to see if I have enough material for it.  If I don’t, I probably won’t make it anytime soon.

Jacob:  I know you will have it.

I found some blue and yellow star printed fabric, an old blue sheet and some leftover yellow fabric from a batman cape. It didn’t exactly match, but I didn’t have to spend $45 on something that may or may not turn out fun to play with.  I went to town cutting the massive amounts of material out.  I decided to leave off the bottom of the tent so that it would be able to fit inside my washing machine.  I figured that while the weather is warm I would hang the tent outside under a tree and when the rain comes back, I’d hang it inside in our game room.  I knew the twins would love this but I didn’t anticipate how quickly they thought I could put it together.

Nate:  Is my tent done yet?

Me:  No.  It’s not even done being cut out yet.

And then dave and marshall came home from camp and the project was shelved for a few days.

Yesterday, on our first day of being a family of three, I was rather lonely after I put the twins to bed.  I decided to work on the tent.  I finished cutting and brought out my sewing machine and started sewing.  I finished the top part and called it a night.

I would like to break here to tell all of you about what it’s like at my house when I decide to sew.  I forget the dishes.  We eat a non-stop barrage of snack foods instead of breaking for me to make a meal.  The boys get to watch lots of extra tv until the noise becomes too much for me to bear.  They then get to drag out every single toy that they own all over the house because I am busy finishing this stupid project.

Let me also tell you that my kids are slave drivers!  Every time the machine would stop a little boy would come running.

Jacob:  Mom!  Why are you stopping!

Me:  I am getting a cup of coffee.

Jacob:  Fine.

or

Jacob:  Why are you stopping now?

Me:  Look!  I’m cutting up my cool map table cloth to make you a window.  Don’t I love you so much!

Jacob:  Yeah.  You do.

Me:  Damn, skippy!

or

Nate:  What have you finished now?

Me:  I have one window done.

Nate:  Is that all?

Me:  This is very complicated.

Nate:  Are you going to add a lock?

Me: No.  I don’t think that’s possible.

Nate:  It will be okay.  Just make it out of sew.  (and he went into a 10 minute explanation of how I could make one “out of sew”).

Me:  I did put on flaps so that you could shut the windows.

Nate:  I guess that would be okay.

the shut window.

Finally, sometime around 1 I finished the tent.  We took it outside with the ladder.  I didn’t anticipate all of the branches that I could reach with the ladder wouldn’t be able to hold the tent.  Thankfully Dave had tied a drying line up in our basketball court after they went camping.  I tied up the tent.  The rope could have been a good 2 feet higher.  We spread it out with rocks to keep the tent extended and then the boys did what all kids do when they have a new tent.  They went to find lots of things in it.  Nate came with toys, stuffed animals, an armful of books, graham crackers, water bottles and a flashlight. Jake just ran in and out of the tent.

circus tent for a clown

Nate:  Can we sleep in here?

Me:  Sure, if you want to take a nap!

Nate:  YES!!!  Jake if we take a nap we can sleep in here!!!

Nate started organizing all of the stuff in his tent.  Immediately the rope began to sag under all of the weight of the necessities.

Me:  Nate, you need to take some of those things out of the pockets.  (Why did I put pockets in this thing?)

Nate:  No, I don’t.  I have lots of room in the pockets.  I think I need more toys.

Me:  Nate, you’re going to break it.  The pockets aren’t made for all of those things.  They are made for 1 stuffed animal or 1 book or 1 box of crackers not 15 books, and 10 beanie babies and a box of crackers and 2 bottles of water and a handful of apples (It’s important to not starve).

After lots of back and forth, I was finally able to convince him to lighten his load.

silly boys
Jake:  Can we bring this inside.

Me:  I don’t think so.

Jake: But I want to sleep in it!

I think it was a hit.

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