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 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

How to make our weighted blanket

june 4, 2014 by nama

Here we go friends, this took longer than i had anticipated, i want to post it tonight because i promised you that, it may need another edit or two.  Please message me or comment if you find errors or the instructions are not making sense to you, i want to fix my human-ness.  i know you are all way too intelligent to need this explanation but some have asked…..any teal turquoise words are links to other information or posts, hover over them with your mouse and an explanation will  pop up. Click on the words and you travel to a whole new story or earth shaking information.

Blessing’s gift blanket is a wonderful fluffy soft pile of warm snuggle.  i suspected we would need a cooler option for the hot humid summer in our not air conditioned home.  We came up with this version, we are very happy with the finished product.  i would recommend this approach.  You could add a fleece duvet if you find you want more warmth or soft fuzzy snuggle.  This blanket is compact and will be very easy to launder. The streamlined design also made the construction process very manageable on a standard home sewing machine.

Our first weighted blanket is on the left,  the summer version is on the right.

Weighted-blanket-how-to-jpg //namafish.com

Blessing’s gift blanket is perfect.  This is not an improvement but rather another option.

Materials list: for a 42″ x 79″ Blanket

4 ½ yards 100% Cotton Fabric, 45” wide

Matching Thread

4 ½ yards 100% cotton thin quilt batting, 45” wide

Poly beads

i will provide links to my materials at the end of the post.Weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

How many beads?  The standard is 10% of your body weight plus one pound.  More is fine and additional weighting will bring deeper comfort to some.  The only caution you need to consider is being certain you are able push the blanket off and get out from under it.

For Blessing i took her weight: 55lbs x .10 = 5.5 pounds + 1 pound = 6.5 pounds. Our beads came in a 9 pound lot; i chose to use all of them as she has proven she is loving the intense weighting.  Our finished blanket weighs a total of 11.5 pounds.  It is perfect for our girl.

i chose to layer fabric, batting, beads, batting, and fabric for my design.   i wanted the beads sandwiched between layers of batting to soften the feel of the beads against her skin.  Blessing has intense sensory challenges and i was concerned the firmness of the beads may be irritating for her.

Cut the fabric in half, this will give you two pieces that measure 45” x 81”.  i bought our fabric in two 2 ¼ yard pieces as i wanted different fabrics for the back and front of the blanket.  You could make the blanket shorter,  i wanted this one to be twin quilt length.

Pre wash and dry the fabric.Weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

Take one piece of your fabric and draw a grid pattern on the right side of  the fabric.

You could avoid this step if you chose a fabric with a grid pattern on it.  Use a fabric pencil so these lines will wash out.  This is forming the pattern for the pockets that will hold the beads in place.  You may make the pockets whatever size you wish.

weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

 This picture shows you that the pockets on Blessing’s winter blanket (pink) are larger than what I chose to do for her yellow summer blanket.

I used a 10 x 20 grid, giving me 200 pockets.  My squares are approximately  4”x 4”.  This step took me 3 hours, less squares = less time.


Pin the fabrics with right sides together on three sides.

weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

Sew these three sides (red lines) using a ½ inch seam allowance.  i chose to sew both short ends and one long side.

i found it easier to add beads using this design.  Add both layers of your batting and re-sew the same three sides.  It will be easiest to do a neat job if you put both layers of batting on top of the fabrics.  After you have sewn the batting to the fabric on all three sides, turn the quilt right side out.  You should have a large envelope that consists of fabric (right side visible) on the bottom, two layers of batting in the center and fabric (right side up) on the top.

weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

Top stitch (blue line) 3/8 inch from edge on the three sides you have sewn. This adds durability.

Sew the columns: weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

These are the shorter vertical lines in your grid pattern, pin through all 4 layers of fabric and batting on line.  Sew on the lines you drew earlier to create columns for beads.  I pin and sew three lines at a time, working from the center out.


weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.comYou are going to add enough beads for one pocket to each column in between the two layers of batting.

Working across the quilt use the correct measure of beads per pocket and pour them into each columnweighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

I used a home crafted funnel to help the beads fall to the bottom of the column.

weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com

Once you have placed beads in one column, pin that column shut on the first  horizontal line locking those beads in place, move on to the next column, add one measure of beads, pin that pocket shut.  Once each column (20total)  has its first measure of beads, you will sew the first horizontal line across the quilt which will lock the first row of beads in place.weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com  Move up the quilt adding one row of beads at a time and sewing one horizontal line to lock them in place. Sewing over a bead will break your needle, be careful!

How do I know how many beads go in each pocket?  Using a kitchen measuring cup measure the volume of beads that you want to use in your blanket.  My 9lbs of beads measured 28 level cups.  There are 16 tablespoons in one cup.

I had 28 cups x 16 tablespoons = 448 Tablespoons.

I had 10 squares  x 20 squares = 200 pockets

Number of Tablespoons of beads (448) divided by number of pockets (200)

448/200 = 2.24 (2 1/4) Tablespoons of beads per pocket.

I used a 2 Tablespoon measuring spoon and made sure it was generously full.

Because I am neurotic, half way through I measured my remaining beads, this allowed me to adjust my per pocket measurement at this point.  I did a final measure and adjust with just two rows (40 pockets) remaining.  It would be possible to get to the end of the filling and not have enough beads for the final pockets or to have beads left over making your blanket lighter than you had planned.  All of this would be easier with fewer pockets.  The large number of pockets made a very smooth evenly weighted quilt, i like that but it is not necessary.


There are many options here.  I was going for simple and functional on this quilt.  My backing happened to be 2 inches wider than my front fabric. i simply trimmed the extra batting to match my front fabric size, i folded the back fabric over the front edge and top stitched through all layers.  My edges were both factory finished (salvage) so I did a simply single fold, if you have a cut edge you will need to do a rolled hem.weighted-blanket-how-to.jpg //namafish.com  I tend to be asymmetrical so I happen to like the one sided look this created.  I may add a strip of rick rack trim down the yellow stripe.  Cute!  Right?


This project is not technically difficult.  A beginner sewer could accomplish it.  If you are a new sewer be prepared to stick with it, it is time intensive.  You could use larger pockets to make the process easier, i feel you could go as large as 8”x 8”.  Your final quilt may not be as perfectly square or smooth but it will be perfectly functional and comforting.

My materials cost me $60.00.  A comparable quilt would cost $200.00 – $400.00.

My total time invested in this project was about 12 hours.

A dear friend of mine, a brand new seamstress made a quilt along side me and it is perfect for her little man.

IMG_5110 (2)

Blessing continues to be HUGELY helped by her weighted blanket.  It truly has been miraculous for us.  If i can answer any questions or step you through this process, please leave a comment, a facebook message or send an email.  i would be honored to help you however i am able.

Links: Batting

Beads   or  Beads

Here are a couple Youtube videos for your entertainment.

Happy Grandma Blanket


Easy Peasy Pillowcase version  

The Everyday Extraordinary

june3, 2014 by nama

She hugged me good-bye and said thank you six hours ago.  i said, “No.  Thank you for the gift of your today.”

We planned to do the everyday together.  Tasks needed to be completed.  Beads weighed and measured.  Straight lines drawn and wavering lines sewn.

Six hours after goodbye i wandered to the untidy kitchen to fill a bedside glass of water.  i spot the abandoned tea party, i savor the refreshment, treasure the truth and rejoice in the friendship.

Tea-time //namafish.com

I linger in the encouragement.

I marvel at His plan, doing the ordinary together.  Finding the extraordinary hidden in the hurts of honest hearts, woven into the words of  willing women, sewn into the deepest fibers of seeking souls.

Tea-time //namafish.com

The little girls had raspberry “Tea” in big girl china. 

The mammas had strong coffee in everyday stoneware.

We shared strawberries,  blueberries and pretzel thins with havarti.

The little girls played baby dolls and wanted to swim.

The mammas talked of their babies and wanted guarantees.

Tea-time (3)

The little girls asked for more sugar.

The mammas asked for more hope and courage.

Nine hours of ordinary intended to accomplish planned projects.

Tea-time //namafish.com

Nine hours of extraordinary.

Nine hours of hope for tomorrow, next week and 30 years from now.

Nine hours that linger and bless long after the ordinary called us back to lists, tasks, texts and time watching.

She says she prayed and the Lord gave her a mentor.  i say, my Lord knew i had  much to learn and she would teach me.

We don’t lunch, shop, fashion one another or plan day trips and girls nights out.

We do life, we cry, we step over the toys and push aside the pile of mending to make room for a second sewing machine.

Watch for the chance to let your ordinary become extraordinary.

Strawberries and Tea-Time //namafish.com

Slow down enough to rinse the berries and share them with someone who has time to listen, or needs to be heard.

Pause, listen and learn, the extraordinary is waiting in the quiet of the everyday.

It is easy to miss in the business of one more game, important studies and scheduled relationships.

The good is not always HIS best, the everyday may be where He wants to give you His most beautiful.

Weighted Blankets

Our planned project will be shared in tomorrow’s post.