Thursday, February 9, 2012

Under the Table and Dreaming

When I think back on my childhood, some of my favorite memories have been sitting underneath a card table in the basement or in the back porch of my childhood home. Most of the times I remember involve my mom coming to join me and bringing me graham crackers and frosting left over from one of the cakes she had made. But it really was as simple as that to have fun as a child. Card table = instant play house.

So when I saw this on Pinterest, I thought, "I have got to do that for Maddie." I actually wanted this very pattern, but had some trouble finding it. And then I thought, "eh... I can do that." Please be forewarned this is going to be one of those posts that I mentioned here in my last post.

The final project was my February game for Maddie, as I mentioned in my post Resolutions:

What you'll need:
  • A queen size flat sheet (I recommend cotton and not t-shirt fabric, because uh, that was a mistake)
  • Clear vinyl
  • lots of white felt
  • lots of green felt
  • other felt scraps for decorations
  • velcro

I didn't create a pattern for this; I mostly eyeballed it and used a lot of pins. Here's how you can fake a playhouse tablecloth for a 36x60 dining room table, which is pretty standard, but I'm sure you could try to expand this or shrink it for a different size table.

  • Take a queen size flat sheet and a box of pins. Lay the sheet out on the table upside down (i.e. seams up). Your sheet probably won't reach all the way to the floor on all four sides. I set mine to reach on two sides and started planning a way to cover it all up (stay tuned).
  • Pin a little gather at each of the corners. Working from bottom to top pin the corners all the way down to the floor so as to eliminate all the access fabric.
  • Using a sewing maching, sew along your pins and cut out excess corner fabric.
  • Cut out four vinyl squares of the same size (let's say 18 inches squared). ( I planned for two windows and two doors, but you could add more if you wanted.)
  • Cut out 16 1-inch wide strips of white felt that are the same height + 2 inches as your final windows (get that, so if your vinyl is 18 inches, cut a 1x20 inch strip).
  • Using big stitches (you don't want to put too many holes in your vinyl or sew too close to the edge as it may tear) sew two strips onto each vinyl square to form a t (your window panes).
  • For two vinyl squares, sew a strip around each of the four sides, being careful to stay towards the center of the strip. These will be your windows.
  • [Here comes an eyeball-it part] Cut out two large white felt rectangles: Measure from the floor to about 2 inches below your table top and use this as your height. Add four inches to the width of your vinyl square and use this as your width. These will be your house doors.
  • Cut windows into your house doors (you can either measure everything out, or like I did, lay the vinyl on top and cut around them).
  • Sew in your vinyl squares.
  • [Here comes a HUGE eyeball-it part] Pin your windows and doors where you would like them and cut out holes in the house walls giving yourself a good inch of fabric to hem for every hole. (Ok, you could also just measure everything out, but be brave!)
  • Pin your hems and get sewing.
  • Sew your windows and doors as you had pinned, sewing only along the top edge. Doors will lift for your child (or you, I guess!) to enter) and windows will roll up to allow air.

  • Cut four 1x3 inch strips of white felt and 2 1-inch sections of velcro. Sew a piece of velcro to each strip.
  • Sew these strips to the center of each window, velcro facing in. This will allow you to roll up the window and fasten them.
  • Cut strips of green felt to equal the gap between your tablecloth and the floor. I was able to take a package of green felt and cut it into four equal strips and then just string them together, sewing around the bottom of the tablecloth.
  • Then comes the fun part -- I used a package of felt flower and ladybug stickers I found at the Michael's felt aisle. I also cut out numbers out of felt and sewed them to the front door (Maddie seems to think that 6-7-8 is one number, so that's what I picked.)

That's it! It seems like a lot when you see the steps, but really I did this a little bit at a time each night.

Maddie's already had her first visitor, Black Cat.

She so far is loving it, though there seems to be some confusion. Maddie goes inside and says, "I'm going to work. This is my car." and then proceeds to pretend to drive. Ah, well, at least it's fun. I'm sure you've noticed from these pictures that Maddie already has a library, a farm and a piano in her house. Not too shabby for a new homeowner.


Katie said...

Oh my gosh--so cute!

Net Ghost said...

Now all you need is triscuits and blue cheese!

Literary Auntie said...

That is pretty awesome. One time when I was 6, our house burnt down, so we were at my Aunt Connie's. I loved sitting under her (rarely used) dining room table, listening to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" on a portable tape player.