Make a clothesline playhouse
The perfect hideaway for garden games and adventures, designed by Sania Pell
1 Lay out 1.4m x 3.2m of cream fabric on a clean surface. Cut out a 1.3m x 3m rectangle for the walls and a 145cm x 90cm rectangle of blue fabric for the roof. Either fray the edges of the fabric by using a pin to tease out threads parallel to the edge or press under and stitch a narrow hem.
2 Fold the roof rectangle in half lengthwise and mark the fold with tailors chalk. For the roof tiles, draw and cut out a U-shaped paper pattern that is 11cm wide and 10cm deep. Fold a piece of 4m x 4m white felt in half and cut around the pattern through both layers 16 times to make 32 felt tiles. Pin 16 tiles so their straight ends are just to one side of the chalk line on the fabric, and parallel to it (A). Machine-stitch along the straight end of the tiles. Repeat to attach tiles on the other side. Pin and machine-stitch 145cm of cream rickrack near each long edge of this rectangle.
3 Cut out a 28cm x 25cm rectangle of contrasting fabric for the window pocket. Iron fusible bonding web to the wrong side of a selection of fabrics for the remaining windows and door, and cut out rectangles for them. Make windowpanes for some windows by pinning two lengths of ribbon in a cross shape and folding the ends to the back of the window rectangles, then machine stitch in place (B). For the pocket, turn under and press a narrow hem on all four edges, machine stitching in place on the top edge.
4 Fold the house rectangle in half crosswise and fold the roof rectangle in half along the line between the tiles. Lay them both on a work surface, with the roof in position. Remove the backing paper, and pin the door and windows to the house fabric (C). Iron in place, removing the pins as you go. Now remove the roof, unfold the house, and machine stitch around the edges of the doors and windows. Leave the top edge of the pocket unstitched.
5 From the fabric you backed with fusible web in step 3, cut out windowsills, a house number, and a letterbox (D). Remove the backing paper and iron them in place on the house fabric iron only the top edge of the letterbox so that it can flap.
6 For a finishing touch, add an embroidered climbing plant.
7 Peg over a clothesline to use.
This project is taken from 'The Homemade Home for Children' by Sania Pell (Cico Books, £16.99). Click here to buy the book from the Allaboutyou online bookshop, with free P&P
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