Friday, October 10, 2008

My first craft project - finding some tipi fabric

Deciding on my first crafting project was always tricky. Predictably for a BHC ® , I didn't choose something in pink or related to a handbag (although actually, I might be trying to do a bag from the Queen Bee once I have worked out what on earth **stabiliser** is...). Typically, I chose something large and complex, the opposite of what I probably should have done, typical male then I suppose!

Anyway, project tipi. I have always been quite of an 'outdoors' sort of person, tramping across Dartmoor in the rain many a time. The problem when you are over six feet, is that most of your life in tents tends to be horizontal rather than vertical - no more! Welcome to the world of the t-i-p-i. 

Glastonbury in 2005 brought me wondeful delights of a whole field of tipis which just looked great. I will dig some photos out when I work out which of my old dead computers the images are stuck on (2005 bearing year 1 B.A. or Before Apple) . They do look great though, all lined up together, pointing to the sky like some sort of celestial car park of camping.

So, a tipi it is then. List of things I might goes:
  1. Background reading
  2. Some fabric
  3. Some trees
  4. A pattern or two
  5. Some flat seams
Starting at the top then, after reading a guide or two, I realised the first big bridge to cross was material. Yep, its fabric time. Seeing as I don't have as many cattle as I might have liked too, my Queen Bee not coming equipped with any major animal dowry to speak of, traditional hide was out.

Next came cotton. Naively, I thought there were only a few different types and weights but boy was I wrong. First of all, I was wondering whether I could get my hands on any second hand large sheets of canvas or cotton, a bit like theatre backdrops or something. There don't seem to be any serious outlets for these so its probably down to having the right connections in Theatreland which unfortunatley I don't.

So back to cotton. Fireproof, 8oz, 10oz, pre-weave, post-weave, the list just went on. Like most things, I decided that I just had to go and see some. Luckily there are a few shops that exist online that can send you out samples, thanks go to Point North and Russell and Chapple there. That certainly helped me decide on some lovely 12oz duck cotton, but as I was going to need such a large amount of it, I thought a personal visit to a shop might help. So off to Brodies I went...
© mondoagogo for this lovely pic

As its in the middle of Theatreland, they are quite used to large orders and have absolutely huge rolls of fabric. The larger the fabric, the better for me as there will be less stiching involved. Anyway, I bought a metre or so of a 12 oz and an 9 oz fireproof cotton - picture coming soon - so I can work out how to stitch it all together...part 2 I think. 

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