I made the Puppet Theatre from Bend the Rules Sewing as a Christmas gift for my daughter. I also gave her an animal puppet-making kit (picked up at Michaels a year or so ago). The colorful puppets paired well with the Puppet Theatre and led to a hilarious puppet show on Christmas day with my sister, mom, daughter and me as the puppetmasters. It was one of those priceless moments that only happen with a little one around!
I deviated from the book instructions slightly, because I didn’t use cuts of fabric. The main fabric with large circles is a nursery curtain panel and the white fabric with small dots is a coordinating crib sheet. Both
are from Dwell Studio for Target. I lucked out and found these on a clearance endcap for $5 each because they were an internet return. I love the colors and happy dots! As a side note, if you are in the market for nursery linens, these are great quality – soft, smooth cottons. The curtains are fully lined, too.
The pattern and instructions for this project are straightforward. I suggest planning to make this over a few days. Sewing all of those long straight seams gets tedious 🙂 To make the project go a bit faster, you could leave off the ball trim and even skip the valances. I don’t know if using the curtain panel was a shortcut or not. It did save me from hemming the bottom, making a casing for the tension rod and hemming one side. On the other hand, it added a few steps adding pieces to create the window.
All of the white there in the middle section is feeling a little boring to me, so I may cut out some of the large dots and applique on the bottom valance.
Since my 63″x44 curtain panel was wider and shorter than the main fabric piece that the instructions call for, I had to make a few adjustments:
- I cut about 1o inches off the side and hemmed to the book measurements (give or take). (the ten inches I cut off should work well to make the storage case.)
- Then I cut the curtain into two separate pieces, across the width about 14 inches down from the top edge. I hemmed the top piece. I left the edges raw on the bottom piece.
- From the crib sheet, I cutoff the elastic/casing off to create a flat piece of the white dot fabric. (I saved the elastic/casing…I’m sure I can use it later at some point.)
- From the white dot fabric, I then cut two rectangles measuring 8″x16″and hemmed the long sides of each rectangle. I also cut my valances from this fabric.
- I attached the bottom valance to the bottom piece of the main panel (and enclosed the raw edges) using double fold bias tape in blue.
- Next, I sewed the short sides of each 8″x16″ rectangle to the far ends of the two main panel pieces to create a “window”.
- From this point I just followed the book directions for finishing.
That lengthy explanation may make a straightforward process seem more complicated than it really is, but it might help someone!
Note that in these photos, the dowels are not inserted (they still need to be cut down to size), so the opening appears droopy. When the dowels are in place, the panel and window are nicely squared up.