TeePee Tutorial Part 2

Let’s Sew !!!

1.Begin by assembling your front panel. Take both of you front flap pieces.

NOTE: if you wish to line the front flaps this is the time to visit the upgrades post.


Two front flaps


High Tech design graphics.

Align the two flaps on top of each other , right sides of fabric together. Sew a one inch wide seam from the top of the flaps down the center, about 9″ down, i don’t measure.

Open the flaps so they lay as your full front panel, press open the seam you just sewed. Now press a 1/2 inch rolled hem the entire length of the front center edges. Sew the hem.


Finished front flap seam and hem, this extends the entire length of the front opening.


Front Panel assembled.This is the front panel sewn together with the front opening hemmed. Ignore the printed fabric, that is the front flap lining upgrade. If you wish to add that to your teepee.

Here are the upgrade instructions.

Good enough is good enough.


Mistakes, if you look closely you can see my iron rusted on my perfect new white front panel. Get over it! Move on! Have Fun!

2. Sew peak to each of the main panels.


Sew one peak piece to the top of each main panel. Place fabrics right sides together, pin, sew 5/8 inch seam.


Close-up of seam.


Fold the peak up to create your full panel. Press the seam flat. press all layers of fabric to the top. Now topstitch across the seam through all layers of fabric on the peak side of the seam. Reinforcement, reinforcement, reinforcement when you are sewing for child’s play!!!! I like to use a zigzag stitch, it enhances the TeePee feel. A straight stitch will be just as sturdy if you prefer.


Good enough is good enough. this is my “mis” alignment of the tee-pee peak and bottom panel for my front panel. i added more additional width for my center seam than was necessary. When you run into these “snags” just guestitmate your alignment and trim the extra off. It will be perfectly lovely. (or do a more accurate job with the original measuring than i did) This is not rocket science, it is fun creating.


My 4 assembled panels. notice i still have not trimmed my excess on the front panel. You won’t get to see the finished product until Papa gets to California. We are making this TeePee for our Cali Babies, papa needs to find dowels out here. It is going to be so adorable.

3. Hem the top edge of each panel.  Press a 1/2 inch rolled hem across the top of each panel and stitch across the top to create a finished edge. ZigZag or straight stitch, it is your design choice.Namafish.comIMG_4314


Hem top edge of each panel. A rolled hem is simple. Fold the fabric down 1/2 inch and press, fold again and press, sew through all thicknesses of fabric.

Now it is getting fun because your fabric mess is about to start to look like a TeePee.

NOTE: If you wish to add the window to the back panel, now is the time. Window Upgrade.   Tee-Pee-Tutorial/namafish.com

4. Sew the 4 side seams. 

With your 4 panels laid out as pictured above (if you have added the window be certain your window panel is across from the front panel) flip one panel on to the panel next to it. Right sides together, align and pin one of the angled side seams. Sew a 1/2 inch seam down the entire length of the side seam.


Side Seam alignment


full panel aligned, pin one side

on the back side press all of the 1/2 inch seam to one side of the seam, also….check out those Nama hands….i really am old enough to be a Nama…mind blown!


ZigZag through all layers from the front side of TeePee. Reinforcement is HUGE !! This image shows your peak seam reinforcement, your top hem and the side seam reinforced.

Continue working around the TeePee, completing the final three seams as you just did this first one.


Waaa-Laaa….you have something that looks like a basic TeePee. Adorable TeePee model not included.

5. Sew Pole Pockets


Pole Pockets

You will sew a pocket for the poles at each of the four main seams that connect your main panels to each other.

Lay the TeePee with one of the side seams facing up, you will notice that the bottom of the TeePee forms a peak at the point of the seam. i prefer to sew a small hem to create a straight edge where you will sew your pole pocket.


pole pocket hem

Fold the peak up to the inside of the TeePee, i fold up about a 6″ width, 3 inches on either side of the seam. Press and sew across the hem. The height of the hem at the center seam will be about 1.5 inches, tapering to nothing at the ends.Namafish.comIMG_4335Namafish.comIMG_4338

Once you have hemmed the the edge at each seam, Lay your pole on top of the side seam. Fold the TeePee over the pole to create a casing for the pole to slide into. Pin the two sides of fabric together to create a loose fit around the pole. Remove the pole and sew the seam where you pinned the correct width. the seam will be somewhere between 1″-2″ inches wide, depending on the diameter of your TeePee poles.

Hem Note: i cut my main panel pieces so the bottom of each side panel is along the finished factory edge (salvage) of the fabric. See Tutorial Part 1. When you can do this, you do not need to hem the entire bottom edge of the TeePee. If you have cut edges on the bottom of your main panels you will need to sew a 1/2 inch rolled hem along the entire bottom edge of your TeePee to prevent the fabric from fraying.

POLES  There are unlimited options for your poles, be creative and find something that will work for you. We like to buy wooden dowels from Menards or Home Depot. Menards in WI has a great selection in stock. We ordered online in Los Angeles and they were delivered free of charge to a local Home Depot Store. We have used 5/8″, 1″ and 1 1/4″ diameter dowels. The 1″ seems to be ideal.

Buy 4  1″ dowels, 72″ long.

Buy 4 1″ Rubber leg tips

Cut the Dowels to 66″ length (not necessary, our preference)

Place rubber tips on one end of each cut dowel.

That is it!!!

Your simple basic Teepee is complete!!

Slide your poles into each of the 4 pole pockets, make certain your rubber feet are at the bottom of your Teepee, you have a heap of fun about to happen!!

Upgrade  #3  Drill holes in poles and add ties at top of TeePee.

Upgrade #4  Add ties to the front flaps

Please Facebook me questions or suggestions so i can improve my tutorial. i would love to walk you through the process. You may also leave questions in the comment section.

TeePee Tutorial Part 1

TeePee Tutorial Part 3 Upgrades



TeePee Tutorial Part 3-Upgrades

Nama and Papa Upgrade # 1~Line the front flaps

This upgrade should happen at the beginning of your sewing process. We like to line the bottom half of the front flaps with a coordinating fabric. This creates a nice detail when the flaps are folded back for open play.  i am , again, not very precise about the lining. After i have cut my 4 peaks from the 1.5 yards of designer fabric i have had a scrap remaining that looks like it is about a right fit for the bottom of my front flaps. It does not matter how high up the flap your lining goes. You could line the entire flap or as you can see from the pictures, my scrap fit about half of the flap. Before i did my center seam and hem (Tutorial Part 2) , i simply put my lining piece on the back side of each front flap. Align as neatly as possible, pin and do a wide zigzag stitch across the top to hold it in place. (image 2) Image’s 2 and 3, again show my comfort with “about right”. You will see, when this is all done it will not matter a teeny tiny bit!!

UpGrade #2~ Window

It works best to add the window before you sew the 4 side panels together.

 Tee-Pee-Tutorial/namafish.comNamafish.comFullSizeRender 28 

We like to put one window in the back panel, all of your creative ideas would work here for placement, size and number of windows.


You will cut an 11.5″ x 11.5″ square of mosquitto mesh ( we get ours at Hancock Fabrics) or bridal veil netting, either will work fine. Cut 4 Strips of fabric 14.5 inches long and 3 inches wide. Press the fabric strips in half lengthwise to create 14.5 x 1.5 inch strips.


Create this window before you place the window on the TeePee. You will sew one strip of fabric to each side of the window mesh. Align the strip so the cut edges of the fabric lay along the edge of the mesh. Pin and sew a 1/2 inch seam along this edge.

Sew the top and bottom fabric strips to the mesh first, press the seam allowance to the outside of the window, now sew the two side strips to the window.

Four important details

1.When you add the side strips sew all the way across the fabric strips on the top and bottom.

2. Be detailed about pressing all the seam allowance to the outside of the window.

3. When you sew the side strips of fabric you need to have some extra fabric left on both ends to allow for a finished hem. This is pictured above.

4. It is very important that you sew the cut edge of the strips to the mesh, you need the folded edge to be your final outer edge to create a nice finished window edge.


This shows the backside of the window after all strips of fabric have been sewn on. Press all fabric to the outside of the window. Fold the extra length of fabric at each corner to the back to complete the finished edge. Do a good job of pressing all this in place.

Position the window where you want it to be on your TeePee. We chose the back panel near the top of the main panel. Pin the Window in place, zigzag stitch on inner edge of the fabric strip through all layers. You still have not cut the window hole out of the Tee-Pee, it works better to sew first.

Cut the hole in TeePee for window. 


Cut TeePee Window, pull the mesh away from the TeePee fabric. Turn the panel to the back side.


Snip the point of the TeePee Fabric on the inside of the TeePee panel.

From the snip in the center of The TeePee fabric cut diagonally to each corner of the window. Fold each triangle of cut fabric back over the zigzag seam that attached the window to the TeePee. Pin these triangles to the TeePee base panel on the inside of the TeePee. turn the panel over and zigzag stitch the outer edge of the window frame to the TeePee.


Flip to the inside of the TeePee and trim the excess fabric off the inside triangles.

Here are a couple more images of window details to clarify or confuse you further….


There Ya Go !! Window….Upgrade #2


Upgrade #3 Drill holes in Poles and add ties to top of Teepee.

Namafish.comFullSizeRender 8

We add a tie to the top of each of our side seams to tie through the poles. This prevents the fabric from creeping down the poles during play. This is an upgrade because the fabric will do a good job of staying in place simply because of the pyramid shape, but the ties add a bit of extra stability we prefer.

i sew 8 ties. 4 for the top pole ties, 4 for the front flap ties.

Cut 8 strips of fabric 10″ long x 1.5 inches wide.

Press the sides of each strip into the center, fold this piece in half and press again. Zigzag through all thicknesses down the center.

Namafish.comFullSizeRender 15

Pin and sew a tie to the top of each side seam. Use a tight zigzag stitch to create a strong seam. You may sew a small hem in the loose end of each tie. You may zigzag across the end to finish it or i like to use Fray Check to seal the cut end to prevent raveling.

DRILL HOLES IN TOP OF POLES 11130808_10205378252108352_860738297_o

Look closely at the top of our poles, we drill a hole in each pole just above the fabric line. Place the hole 5 1/2 inches down from the top of the pole. Tim does the drilling for me. My words to him are “please drill the largest hole you can give me without compromising the strength of the pole.” Tim says a  3/16″ and 1/4″ bit is what he has used. Remember… we have used different pole diameters. Go small, squeezing the ties through may take patience but that beats a broken pole by a long shot. I have used a small nail to help push the tie through the hole.

When you set the Teepee up simply grab top ties across from each other and Tie knots. it is simple, it is effective!! + Cute !!!

Final UPGRADE 4: Add ties to front flaps


You will add your final 4 ties to the front of the Teepee to tie the flaps open for Playtime.

Place your ties about 18″ up from the bottom of the Teepee. They should be sewn right on top of the seam that created your pole pocket or right next to that seam. One tie goes on the outside of the TeePee, one tie goes on the inside of the TeePee on each side of the TeePee.IMG_4952

You can grab the ties from the inside and the outside and tucking the flap in between them and tie it open on each side. IMG_4811


Sew the tie to the TeePee with a straight stitch. The long tie is laying over the pole pocket. The 1/2 inch seam allowance is laying on the front flap side of the TeePee. IMG_4812

Once you have attached the tie with a straight stitch fold the long tie over the top of the seam allowance and zigzag through all layers of fabric. do this on both sides of the Teepee. You have just attached your outside ties.IMG_4813

You will use the exact same process for your inside ties. This image shows the inside tie completed. 

The inside and outside ties will actually be aligned on top of each other with the Teepee front panel sandwiched between them.IMG_4815

TeePee Tutorial Part 1

TeePee Tutorial Part 2

TeePee Tutorial Part 1

Tim and i made a fabric TeePee and a fabric “cabin” out of PVC pipe and clearance fabric for our first two little guys 25 years ago.


That is Captain Hook and Peter Pan…as if you didn’t know. Vintage TeePee in background.

Last fall when we saw the rash of designer TeePees popping up everywhere, we said “We did that 25 years ago!” When we saw the price on those trendy TeePees we said…

“We have to do that again for our Grand-babies!” Continue reading

My Daughter in Law is not a slob

This post is a disclaimer to yesterday’s post:

All these images of these beautiful unkept children were taken while Nama was in charge. Melissa’s home does not look like this when she is in charge. Melissa keeps her home neater with 3 small children than i keep mine with 1 child + Tim.


This Little Beauty turned 11 months old yesterday and is about the sweetest tiny miracle in all the Land.






The bacon and pancakes were yummy.

The bacon and pancakes were yummy.

Facetime with Wisconsin Friend.

Facetime with Wisconsin Friend.

This was our state of affairs two hours into today.

This was our state of affairs two hours into today.

Clothes optional

Clothes optional

Es Loves these blocks

Es Loves these blocks, they are noisy !!!!!


This is a motivational program i developed to maintain some calm and obedience. If Nama was a soft mama at times, Nama is a complete push over as Nama. They have my number and they know how to play me, i needed a discipline method that was positive and motivating but would “cost” them if they choose to push the limits. Trav and Melissa had some rolls of quarters lying around so that seemed like divine provision and we made a little plan. Fruit snacks seem to be more affective with Raena. That Girl !!

Messy EveryDay

Jammies and cartoons